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Why Wait? 10 Game-Changing Reasons to Plan Your Legendary Funeral

Whether you have given it much thought or not, most individuals have strong opinions about their own funeral, memorial service, and final resting place.

Whether you have given it much thought or not, most individuals have strong opinions about their own funeral, memorial service, and final resting place. Taking the time to preplan these details can provide peace of mind and empower you to shape your own legacy. 

Here are ten reasons why you should consider making funeral preplanning a priority:

1. Take Your Time to Consider Your Options

When you preplan your funeral, you have the luxury of carefully thinking through each element. Unlike the time constraints that come with planning a funeral within a week, preplanning allows you to ensure no detail is overlooked. The type of ceremony chosen may depend on personal preferences or cultural and religious traditions.

You also have time to consider your preferences for:

  • Burial or cremation
  • Traditional funeral, graveside, or memorial service
  • Burial or internment for casketed or cremated remains

Some families might not realize they can select viewing or visitation with a cremation option. A full-service funeral provider offers cosmetology, embalming, and rental caskets to create a traditional service if desired.

2. Personalize Your Memorial Service 

Preplanning allows you to customize your memorial service to reflect your individuality. Are you a movie buff, avid sports fan, or devoted nature conservationist? You can create a themed service to reflect your beliefs, passions, and pursuits. 

  • Add music, poetry, or scriptures.
  • Include your favorite foods for the reception.
  • Specify certain personal items you’d like displayed, such as a wedding photo, favorite team jersey, or other mementos.
  • Request that guests wear clothes appropriate for your selected theme, such as your team’s colors.

By discussing these preferences with your funeral director, you can ensure that your tribute is carried out precisely as you envision.

3. Ease Your Family's Emotional Burden

The emotions experienced by families after the death of a loved one can be overwhelming. By preplanning your funeral, you can significantly reduce the stress on your family during this challenging time. And while most families prefer their loved one to make preplanned arrangements, only a third of adults have a plan. Having your arrangements already in place lets your loved ones focus on their grief and healing process.

4. Prevent Family Conflict

Imagine your family trying to decide on your funeral arrangements without your guidance. It is natural for different family members to have conflicting ideas about what you would have wanted. Preplanning eliminates the need for your family to engage in debates or guess your wishes, minimizing potential conflicts and ensuring your desires are fulfilled. You can spare them the stress of making funeral arrangements without knowing what you prefer.

5. Avoid Overspending

During times of emotional distress, it is not uncommon for families to overspend on funeral arrangements. According to recent studies, the average funeral cost in the United States can range from $7,000 to $12,000, depending on various factors such as location, type of service, and additional expenses. 

Amidst the grief and stress of losing a loved one, it can be challenging to make sound financial choices. However, you can protect your loved ones from impulsive grief spending by preplanning and making your decisions in advance. Ask about packages that include the options you want — these are often more affordable than “a la carte” items and services.

Free Guide to Funeral Preplanning

Get the Afterall Guide to Funeral Preplanning and get help from our experts.

6. Choose a Funeral Director Who Makes You Feel Comfortable

The relationship between a family and a funeral director holds significant importance. By meeting with a professional and establishing a relationship, you can have peace of mind knowing that your family will be cared for when the time comes. Discussing your wishes in advance allows you to develop trust and confidence in the funeral director's ability to fulfill your needs.

Consider the following qualities to look for in a funeral director:

  • Empathy and compassion
  • Clear communication
  • Respect for your choices
  • Attention to detail
  • Experience and expertise
  • Flexibility and adaptability
  • Transparency about costs
  • Supportive resources

Don't hesitate to ask for recommendations or seek reviews from others who have worked with a particular funeral director. You deserve to have someone who will guide you through this process and honor your wishes every step of the way.

7. Ensure Access to Your Wishes

Although some individuals choose to leave end-of-life instructions in their wills or safe deposit boxes, these documents are often not opened or read until after the funeral takes place. By preplanning, you guarantee that your wishes are known and easily accessible when needed.

8. Secure Your Finances

Opting for a prepaid funeral contract can save you money in the long run. With a written agreement, you pay today’s funeral home services and merchandise prices, which will likely only increase over time. A reputable funeral home must show you its General Price List (GPL) with prices for each item or service. This financial security brings peace of mind and protects your loved ones from potential financial burdens.

9. Preplanning Advice and Documenting Is Free

Licensed funeral directors can guide you through the preplanning process. You can also work with a trained and certified preplanning expert. There are two programs that promote expertise and professionalism in advance funeral planning:

  • Certified Preplanning Consultation (CPC) program through the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA): To earn certification, candidates must meet specific predetermined qualifications and pass the CPC examination, which tests their knowledge of prearrangement standards. Qualifications include at least 12 months minimum employment in the preplanning field and a funeral services degree or equivalent. 
  • Certified Funeral Service Practitioner (CFSP) program offered by the Academy of Professional Funeral Service Practice (APFSP): To earn certification, candidates must meet requirements related to funeral service in four categories: academic, professional, public education and service, and career review.

These professionals are a reliable source of information and guidance when you preplan. They keep your preplanned documents safe and secure without cost (unlike a bank safety deposit box).

10. Enjoy Peace of Mind

Perhaps the most significant benefit of funeral preplanning is the peace of mind it provides. By taking control of your own arrangements, you can confidently approach the future and focus on living your life to the fullest.

Throughout our years of assisting families with funeral preplanning, we have found that no one ever regrets putting their arrangements in place. Whether you preplan over the phone, via video chat, online, or in person, we encourage you to reach out today and begin securing your wishes. Find a nearby Afterall location here.

Take this opportunity to shape your legacy, ensure your desires are respected, support your loved ones, and plan the legendary funeral you deserve.

If you're still not sure if you should plan a funeral at all, take a look at our article Why You Should Have a Funeral (Even if You Don’t Want One).