If your family must make the funeral arrangements after you pass away, it can prolong and increase their grief. One way you can help them is to pre-plan your funeral. Working with a funeral home, you can specify the details and pre-pay for all of the services to make this time easier for your family. Here are the major areas that your funeral plan should cover to support your family after you pass away.
Full-Body Burial or Cremation
This is an important choice to make so your family doesn't have to debate which you would prefer. Make it clear which one you want because this decision affects other elements in your plan.
Your Final Resting Place
Specify which cemetery you wish to be placed in and the type of spot for your remains. If you choose a full-body burial, you'll need a standard cemetery plot. Even if you choose cremation, you can be buried in a standard plot, but you can also choose a small plot set aside for cremains, or be placed in a columbarium niche.
A Container for Your Remains
You'll need to select a casket for a full-body burial. Cemetery regulations may also require that you have a concrete vault placed in the ground to contain your casket. If you are cremated, you can also be buried in a casket, but you can choose a smaller container. Cremations urns come in plain metal or stone, elaborately carved or engraved containers, or as simple as a fiberboard box.
You will want to specify the different types of services you wish and the specific activities in each. Whether you choose burial or cremation, you can have the same variety of services. The types of services to include in your funeral pre-plan are:
- Viewing service - This is a simple service where people can come and pay their respects to you and your family. Your body is on display in an open casket during a viewing.
- Visitation service - This is similar to the viewing but without the body or open casket.
- Memorial service - This is the traditional service held in a chapel, church or other location. It is normally open to friends, family and the general public.
- Graveside service - This is often a private service held at the cemetery or columbarium.
If you specify the details of each service in your plan, you take even more of the difficult decisions from your family. Some of the details to consider include:
- the theme of each service
- who will officiate at the services
- speakers at each service
- music played or songs to be sung
- types of flowers
Paying for Your Funeral
The final action you can take to help your family is paying for the funeral expenses. You can pre-pay for all aspects of your funeral. The funeral home will either put your money in an escrow account or purchase funeral insurance. At the time of your death, the funds are released to the funeral home and your family. This takes the financial burden off of your family at a time when they don't need additional stress in their lives.Share