Planning Ahead

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Nobody likes to think about death and what is going to happen after they die, but planning ahead for your end of life care is important for several reasons. Preplanning can provide peace of mind and help alleviate stress for loved ones during a difficult time. It also allows for personal preferences and wishes to be honored, can ensure funeral costs are covered, and may simplify the funeral planning process for surviving family members. 

Here are some of the key benefits for preplanning your funeral or other end of life arrangements: 

  • Peace of mind: Taking the time to think about your arrangements in advance can provide reassurance and alleviate stress for your loved ones during a difficult time. It can also help ensure that your final wishes will be honored and respected since your preferences will be clearly defined ahead of time. End of life and the immediate days following a death can be stressful and emotional times regardless of the level of planning a person does. Prioritizing your own planning process and documenting your wishes can ease some of this uncertainty. 
  • Personalization: Having the ability to choose the type of service you prefer, the musical selections, any special readings or prayers, and any other elements of your funeral or memorial service is very important to some people. By making these decisions in advance, you can personalize the ceremony to reflect your life, beliefs, and values. Advance planning also allows you the time to research any options that are available and understand the different costs associated with each choice. 
  • Financial preparation: Funeral costs can be significant and many families are unprepared for the cost, especially when the death is unexpected or sudden. It is not uncommon for families to overspend when planning a funeral and making financial decisions during an emotional time. Planning ahead and making selections in advance allows you to compare prices and make decisions based on your budget and with a clear head. 

 

You may also consider pre-funding some of your funeral expenses. Take the time to do your research and fully understand the options available in your area. Some people choose a “preneed” funeral policy or to make advance arrangements with their funeral home of choice. You may also consider setting up a simple savings account, a Payable on Death Account, or a life insurance policy that provides coverage for funeral expenses. With any of these options, ensure you understand the terms of the agreement and what will happen if you have a change of plans after making the arrangements.

Planning ahead can make a world of difference for both your own peace of mind and that of your family. Having arrangements and finances in place means your loved ones will not have to worry about making decisions and adding additional stress after you die. They will be able to focus on their grief and healing while remembering you and celebrating your life. 

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