How do you prepare for the outcome we all face?
It probably feels unfamiliar to think about preparing for your own passing at the same time. We understand—no one wants to think about their own fate. But getting your end-of-life plans in place actually serves as a gift to both you and your surviving family.
When preplanning a funeral, it’s best to do it while you’re healthy and able—and remember, you can never be too prepared. While the process is personal to your final wishes, there are several different people that you’ll want to include along the way.
The end result? Well-documented and organized end-of-life directives for your family, so they can focus on celebrating your life without burden or conflict. Continue reading as we explore who to include as you prearrange a funeral.
A preplanning advisor will guide you through every step of documenting your final wishes. Their goal is to listen to your unique life story and help you craft a final celebration of life that will honor you the way you want.
A preplanning advisor will help you document important final details, including your preferred disposition method (e.g. cremation, burial, etc.), service preferences and personalization ideas (e.g. what clothes you’d like to be dressed in, what flowers to display). They’ll also help you with the laws and requirements involved with planning a funeral.
Preplanning advisors can meet with you in the comfort of your home or a funeral home location. Most of the time, preplanning arrangements can be documented in the matter of one afternoon.
>>>Related resource: How Funeral Preplanning Is Different With Busch
Funeral Home Staff
A funeral director will help you purchase any goods and services you’ll need for the burial, cremation, funeral or memorial service. These goods could include caskets, urns, headstones, stationery, keepsake items and more.
Keep in mind that the way the funeral home staff treats you during your preplanning experience will reflect your future services. This is likely the same staff that will assist your family in carrying out your plans. You should feel confident that they will provide the care, comfort and service your family deserves in the future.
Immediate Family Members
One of the greatest benefits of preplanning is lessening the stress your family would endure while arranging your funeral during one of the hardest times of their lives.
Be sure to communicate about the plans you’ve made, where important documents are filed and what funeral home you preplanned with. If your plans include family members taking part in your services, you’ll want to communicate that as well.
While not required, some folks prefer to involve family members in the initial meeting with a preplanning advisor. This can help you think about your life story and legacy from a different perspective, and also gives family members a chance to share their thoughts.
>>>Related resource: My Loved One Prearranged a Funeral. Now What?
An attorney will help get your affairs in order, name beneficiaries, manage power of attorneys, and make sure your will and/or trust is up to date.
It’s a common misconception that a will or trust dictates final arrangements. Keep in mind that while an attorney can help you with the above documents, it’s very rare that they include information about how you want to be remembered, which is why a preplanned funeral arrangement is important.
Life Insurance Agent
Make sure to consult your life insurance agent to confirm your policy will take care of your surviving loved ones when you pass and cover all necessary expenses.
Some life insurance plans offer burial insurance, often called a final expense plan. These additional purchases offer funds to help your beneficiary pay for funeral expenses.
Keep in mind though: It can take weeks or even months before the life insurance company pays out the death claim, meaning your family would still be expected to pay a funeral home in full and out of pocket. A prepaid funeral plan alleviates this from happening to your family.
Preplan to Save Your Family Time, Money and Worry
Interested in learning more about the emotional and financial benefits of preplanning? Download the Seniors’ Guide to Funeral Arrangements for more information on how preplanning can save you and your family time, money and worry.
Editor’s note: This post was originally published in 2016, and has been updated for comprehensiveness.
Believes that one of the greatest gifts we can leave behind is to put a plan in place now, to guide those we love into the future. It’s Kathleen’s privilege to give you sincere and honest information on the many end-of-life choices available to you. Honorably serving Busch families since 2002.