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Your guide to Funeral Planning

Funeral PlanningIt’s one of those subjects we just don’t want to talk about, but planning a funeral in advance can save a lot of aggravation at a time of great stress. Here are two short articles on pre-planning and the planning needed ‘on the day.’

No one likes to think about death, let alone plan for it. In many families, discussing one’s mortality is an extremely uncomfortable topic. But it is a topic that should be discussed and planned for well in advance of your death.
By pre-planning your funeral, you relieve your family of having to make important financial decisions during a period of great stress and grief, a time when people aren’t thinking very clearly and may not know what to do because you never made your wishes known.
It’s easy to say, “Don’t make a fuss. I don’t want a ceremony. Just bury me and be done with it.” But it is important to realize that the ritual of a funeral and/or memorial service isn’t for the deceased but for the living. It is a time when friends and family can gather together to grieve openly and to provide support for one another.
Pre-planning your funeral can be very informal and as simple as following our pre-planning checklist and sharing your wishes with a family member. More formal arrangements in the form of a pre-need contract can be set up with a funeral director and pre-funded through life insurance, bank trust agreement, or another method.
Pre-planning, when done properly, can give you peace of mind because you know that your arrangements are ready and pre-funded. Meet with your funeral director to discuss pre-planning.

By pre-planning your funeral, you can:
Make all the arrangements during a time of peace and not leave them to your family during their time of grief;
Make your wishes known;
Control the cost of your funeral and protect from inflation;
Ensure that personal records are organized and easy for your survivors to locate;
Protect your insurance so that it provides for your survivors and not for funeral expenses; and
Provide protection in case the need arises before it is expected.

How to Plan a Funeral
When a loved one dies, grieving family members and friends are often confronted with dozens of decisions about the funeral, all of which must be made quickly and often under great emotional duress. What kind of funeral should it be? What funeral provider should you use? Should you bury or cremate the body, or donate it to science? What are you legally required to buy? What other arrangements should you plan? And, as callous as it may sound, how much is it all going to cost?
Each year, Americans grapple with these and many other questions as they spend billions of dollars arranging more than two million funerals for family members and friends. The increasing trend toward pre-need planning – when people make funeral arrangements in advance – suggests that many consumers want to compare prices and services so that, ultimately, the funeral reflects a wise and well-informed purchasing decision, as well as a meaningful one.

There are two stages to arranging a funeral. In the first stage, work with your local funeral director to explore the options. Once you’ve made your choices and arranged the ceremony, the second step is to arrange the financing.

Planning a Funeral Ceremony
1. Determine the type of service.
Large or small ceremony
Traditional ceremony or creative expression

2. Determine the final resting place. Do you want a cemetery plot? Mausoleum? Do you want to be cremated? If you choose cremation, what do you want done with your ashes?

Weighing the options in advance is better than making a rushed decision on this personal topic. What best fits your lifestyle and feelings? With the help of your family-owned funeral home funeral director, you can create a funeral that will be a personal and dignified tribute. For more information: www.funeralplan.com

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