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Planning Your Own Funeral? Here Are A Few Things To Consider

by Bruce Lawson

Whether it's planning for your child's college tuition, purchasing life insurance, saving up for a new home, or making wise investments for your retirement, planning for the future helps shield your family from financial uncertainty. Taking care of your own funeral arrangements can alleviate a serious burden from your surviving family members, but far too many people fail to make preparations, leaving that difficult task in the hands of their loved ones.

Planning your own funeral isn't easy, but it can ease stress on survivors during a difficult time and ensure that your burial or cremation wishes are met. Here are a few things you should consider as you make your arrangements in advance.

Carefully Choose Your Service

Arranging your own funeral in advance gives you plenty of time to consider the type of service you want, including other options regarding certain aspects of your burial or cremation. Instead of having ordinary cut flowers on hand, for instance, your service can celebrate the resilience and beauty of life with live plants. Unlike cut flowers, these plants can live on in the gardens and homes of surviving friends and family. Other options for your final tribute include video tributes, poem readings, and the use of your favorite music throughout the service.

You can also choose to hold your memorial service away from the cemetery or funeral home. Choosing a scenic location that offers a better reflection of your life and legacy, whether it's a picturesque park, a scenic waterway, or even the top of a skyscraper, can help make your service more memorable and ease the pain and anxiety of your loved ones.

Consider Paying in Advance

Rising funeral costs and inflation can easily turn what seems like a reasonable service into an expensive affair. To keep your family from experiencing this unpleasant form of sticker shock, it may be a good idea to prepay your funeral expenses. By locking in current prices, your family won't be surprised with additional expenses during a difficult moment in their lives.

Remember That Your Insurance Might Not Cover Everything

Although you might expect for your life insurance to take care of your funeral expenses via your lump-sum benefit after your death, there's no guarantee that those funds will be available. For starters, your benefits could dwindle due to the costs of battling a long-term illness. It may also take the insurance provider some time to disperse funds, which means your loved ones may not be able to cover your funeral expenses in time without having to pay out of pocket. In addition, the typical life insurance policy isn't indexed with inflation, meaning that the insurance proceeds may not be enough to cover inflated funeral costs.

Keep Your Loved Ones in the Loop

It can be jarring for surviving family members to discover your actual wishes are vastly different from what they expected or had planned themselves. During the prearrangement process, you should discuss with your family and relatives your plans for your burial or cremation and what your family members should expect. This way, your family will be well aware and mindful of your decisions and have great comfort in carrying out your final wishes.

Proper Documentation Is Important

Simply purchasing a cemetery plot or writing a will may not be enough to firmly establish your instructions for your own funeral. For instance, your will simply instructs surviving family members on how to handle your financial affairs after you're gone. Instead, it's best to record your precise wishes for your funeral in writing, preferably with a family member and/or attorney present to witness the event. Copies of this crucial documentation should be kept where it can easily be accessed by surviving family members.

For more information, check out websites like http://www.hitzemanfuneral.com.