The initial hours and days after your death are some of the most difficult your loved ones will have to face. One of the ways you can ease their burden is to plan your funeral ahead of time. This relieves them of the need to make difficult and emotionally draining decisions during an already emotionally stressful time.
So, how do you go about making funeral plans for yourself? First, keep in mind that planning your funeral ahead of time is not the same as prepaying your funeral. Prepaying your funeral is seldom a good idea and is not recommended.
If you want to plan ahead for your funeral arrangements, here are some things you’ll want to consider:
- Type of Ceremony. Do you want formal or casual? Large or small? Somber or festive? Do you want a memorial service or a wake? The possibilities truly are endless.
- Location. Would you like your ceremony to take place in a church? A funeral home? At the home of a family member or friend?
- Specific Preferences. Do you want a specific type of flower at your service? Who do you want to officiate? Do you want a certain poem read or song sung?
- Burial/Cremation Wishes. Do you want to be buried or cremated? What casket or urn would you like? Would you like your ashes to be scattered? If so, where and by whom?
- Paying for your Funeral. Although prepaid funerals aren’t a great idea, it is a good idea to have a funeral fund set aside so that your loved ones don’t have to pay for your funeral.
Once you’ve thought through all of your preferences, you’ll want to put your wishes down in writing. You’ll also want to let your loved ones know where your funeral plans are located, and let your executor or a close relative know how to access your funeral fund.