Trisha Ball Talks About the Importance of Pre-Planning Your Funeral and How it Can Help Your Family

The death of a loved one is a sensitive subject and one that should be treated with much patience, understanding, and grace on all parts. 

When this event – whether sudden or expected – takes place, the last thing people want to go through is added stress and anxiety that can come from family disagreements.  When a family loses a loved one, it can be easy for emotions and long-suppressed feelings to arise and manifest; especially when people are going through the grieving process and attempting to cope with this sudden life change. 

In my experience in talking with families every day, I felt it valuable to offer some of my experiences and educate people on the benefits of pre-planning, and why this advanced planning can help prepare your loved ones for this event – helping to remove a lot of unnecessary stress and uncertainty when that time comes. 

Peace of Mind:

Planning your own funeral in advance means your wishes will be honored.  By doing this, you can actually alleviate the stress of your loved ones frantically trying to plan what they think you would like to properly honor your memory.  In addition, it can also cut down on any family disagreements that could arise. Family members want to honor their loved ones, and if you can make your desires clear, it can really go a long way for the various parties involved with the execution of your funeral. This is also a great time to consider getting your will and other medical directives in place.  Make these tasks part of your Senior Financial Plan!

Don’t Stress About It: 

Heightened emotions, being unfamiliar with the funeral planning process, and having to assume the financial obligations can make planning a funeral very stressful.  Because of the decisions that need to be made – plus the fact that the death of a loved one is one of the biggest triggers of stress, depression, and anxiety – disagreements among family members are common during this time.  However, the reality is this time should be spent honoring the fond memories, and going through the grieving process. Pre-planning your funeral far in advance when you have the clarity and peace of mind to make decisions will make it so much easier for your loved ones, and is really the best gift you can give them.  

A well thought out funeral plan should include the basic services of the Funeral Director and staff, transportation to bring you into the care of the funeral home, dressing and casketing, cost for the memorial service, as well as the desired urns, caskets, and vaults.  Some of the variable costs would be for things such as flowers, various honorariums, death certificates and even burial expenses that would be assessed by the cemetery.  Most families are not aware that all of these costs are part of the funeral planning process and can be very stressful for the families to coordinate.  Adding these costs to your funeral plan will ensure these expenses will be covered and your family will not need to be responsible for these costs later on. 

Financial Security: 

I have seen many family members who have had to assume the financial obligation for a family member’s funeral expenses.  This could mean putting anywhere from $2,000 to over $10,000 on a personal credit card!  This could be life-changing for many families.  People assume life insurance will cover these expenses; but oftentimes policies are not large enough, or the children assume their parents had a policy in place, when this is not the case.  In reality, a life insurance policy is intended to cover the loss of a family member’s income as a result of the death. 

Sometimes, the wishes of the individual need to be altered because the family is not able to pay for the funeral. By pre-planning your funeral, you can cover most of these costs in advance. Setting aside the monetary resources beforehand that are needed to carry out your wishes can help remove one of the biggest financial stressors for people in times of grief.  Consider how the financial obligation of a funeral will impact your family and their own financial situation.

The time to start this advanced planning is not when you are in your 90’s.  I have seen too many families where their children are looking to get a pre-arrangement plan in place for their mother or father who is not in the best of heath and they are also going through the difficult decision of considering arrangements for alternative care.  Planning ahead when you are younger, (in your 60’s and 70’s), and when you are in better health allows you so many more options!  Oftentimes payment plans are available allowing you to have your plan paid in full within 5 to 7 years. 

Once the plan is in place, it helps to protect against inflation from funeral costs increasing over the years.  What paid for a traditional casketed funeral 17 years ago, will only cover a cremation service today, (and that is not including burial expenses). Having a plan in place will ensure your costs are locked in at today’s pricing, and your family will not be required to pay the difference at the time of need – even as funeral costs go up each year. 

To learn more about how you can start the pre-planning process, please reach out to me and I would be glad to assist! 

You can also learn more about the benefits to pre-arrangement planning by clicking here.

from Trisha Ball | Business

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