If planning your final send off (now) sounds a bit strange, that is understandable. Most of us are afraid to talk about death, let alone our own funeral.
In this article, we highlight some of the reasons why you should plan your own funeral, how to do it, and the different ways you can use to prepay for your funeral expenses. Read on to find out everything you need to know.
Why Should You Plan Your Own Funeral?
By planning your final journey, you get an opportunity to design and specify the exact type of sendoff you’d like so that your family and friends can celebrate you as you wish.
By making sure everything is in place before you pass on, you’ll have played your part in ensuring your loved ones have less difficult and complicated decisions to make during the most emotional and challenging time of their lives.
The other benefits of planning your own funeral include:
- Save money: When you plan and prepay your funeral, you lock in everything at today’s rate. Nothing will change, no matter how long it takes before that sad moment finally arrives. You can even set up an installment plan to help you and your loved ones avoid years if not decades of inflation.
- Avoid the rush: Nobody knows the exact date and time that they’ll die. This is the primary reason why all funerals are usually last-minute affairs. However, by planning in advance, you have got plenty of time to research all the options and make sound decisions.
Since you are not under pressure, you eliminate the risk of overlooking important issues or making unnecessary rash decisions on what will be required.
- Complete your financial life plan: You have always been financially responsible your entire life. You planned for your wedding, home construction, car purchase, children’s school fees, and even your retirement.
So, why should you not complete the last piece of your puzzle to make sure your finances are fully secured? Funeral planning lets you live the remaining days of your life in peace, knowing that everything has already been taken care of.
- Focus on what matters most to you: A lot of things happen at funeral ceremonies. Sometimes, the most important people to the deceased are never recognized by those in charge of the ceremonies.
If you don’t want such a thing to happen to you, then you should consider planning your funeral in advance. That way, you can be sure to include everyone who matters to you so that others can know how much they meant to you.
How to Plan Your Funeral
In this section, we take you through a vital checklist that can help you plan for your own funeral. Keep in mind that you can make these arrangements with the help of a funeral planner or any funeral establishment.
- What happens to your remains? This is probably the biggest decision that you’ll be making when you decide to plan your own funeral. Do you wish to be buried, cremated, or your body donated to science?Your overall funeral budget may play a critical role in deciding which one of these options you go with. Typically, the cost of a funeral varies significantly among these three options. On average, a burial service will cost anything between $7,000 and $10,000.On the other hand, cremation will cost between $1,500 and $5,000. Donating your remains to science won’t cost a penny. With the availability of final expense insurance cover, you can adequately insure yourself for any amount necessary to cover whatever sort of sendoff you prefer.
- What type of service do you want to have? We have seen different types of memorial services being held in the loving memory of deceased individuals. So, you need to decide on the type of service you prefer.Would you love a funeral service followed by a burial/cremation? Would love to have a funeral service followed by a graveyard service or a service at the crematory, followed by burial/cremation?Would you like to have a memorial service after burial/cremation? Would you love to have only a graveyard service or a service at the crematory, followed by burial/cremation? Would you love to have a funeral service in your home?
- Viewing or no viewing? Do you want your loved ones to have one final chance of viewing your body before it is laid to rest? While some people want it to happen that way, others don’t. The choice is yours, and this is something that you must decide while making your plan.
Final body viewing can take place at the church, home, synagogue, or any other place you prefer. However, one thing you should keep in mind is that if you wish to donate your body to science and you want a viewing, your loved ones will be required to pay for the cost of viewing.
The other important questions you should address while planning for your own funeral include:
- Where do you want a memorial service to be held?
- What type of urn or casket do you prefer?
- What type of music do you want to be played at your funeral?
- Do you prefer an open or closed casket for a service?
- Do you have specific people in mind who will be your pallbearers?
- Is there a specific religious leader you would like to conduct the service?
- Are there any prayers, poems, or readings you want to be included in your service?
- If you want to be cremated, do you want the ashes to be kept or scattered?
- Are there any specific people you would like to do readings or make speeches?
- Would you love your loved ones to have a wake, party, or gathering afterward, and where?
Paying for Your Funeral
After you have planned everything, you need to figure out how your funeral expenses will be catered for on that fateful day. One of the reasons why you should plan your own funeral is to ensure the costs of your final journey don’t fall on your family.
The truth is that most families usually don’t have the cash needed to pay for funeral expenses outright. Even if you do nothing in terms of planning, consider planning financially for your funeral to ensure your loved ones aren’t forced to take a huge debt to do it for you. So, how can you pay for your final expenses?
- Get a final expense insurance cover: One of the easiest ways of ensuring that your funeral expenses will be fully catered for is purchasing a final expense insurance policy. These are policies that are designed to specifically cover end of life costs.This policy is particularly helpful for folks aged between 50 and 85 and may not qualify for the traditional whole life insurance policy. Get your final expense today, and enjoy the much-needed peace of mind.
- Purchase a pre-need contract: A pre-need contract is a contract between you and a specific funeral establishment. With a pre-need contract, you design your funeral plan with the funeral home, and then they tell you how much it will cost.It can be seen as a form of life insurance policy, but the main difference is that with a pre-need contract, you will stop making payments at some point. Most funeral homes that sell pre-need contracts will try to get you to pay off your funeral expense balance over three to five years.
- Save money: You should only consider this option if you are financially disciplined. In essence, you are setting aside a small percentage of your monthly income towards your funeral budget.You will be required to save religiously until you have sufficient funds to cover all your final expenses. The biggest disadvantage to this approach is the fact that if you die before you have saved enough, your family will be forced to come up with the difference.
You don’t need to wait until you are nearing the end of your life or have been diagnosed with a terminal illness to start planning your funeral. Consider taking this step as soon as you can so that you have sufficient time to ask questions on things you are unsure of.
If you feel like you are stuck with something, feel free to get help and advice from a qualified funeral planer. We hope you found this article interesting and gave you enough reasons to start planning your own funeral. Contact us today for an affordable and friendly last expenses insurance policy.