For a long time, people have viewed the idea of planning their own funeral as being scary or depressing, and many have avoided it for this reason. And sure, many people may still feel this way. However, the long-ingrained stigma that has been associated with funeral pre-planning has shifted in recent years.
This shift is a good thing. After all, each and every one of us will meet our demise eventually, so we might as well prepare for it. Doing so can help provide a sense of comfort and peace in the face of the unknown, reduce the burden from surviving family members, and ensure your final wishes are carried out.
Removing the Stigma Around Death and Funerals
Merely talking about dying used to be considered taboo, but that mindset appears to be changing. Many new initiatives, including the rise of death cafès--social gatherings around the world where people talk about death and funerals--encourage people to confront death, wills, and funeral planning.
The growing use of conversation, writing, and other forms of information distribution around the topic is helping people remove the stigma around death and become more comfortable talking about it.
A Growing Trend
Today, pre-planning funeral services is actually a growing trend, made possible by advancements in technology, improved access to information, and increased awareness around the topic. There are a number of tools and tips available online from resources, such as Funerals360, to help make the process simpler and more efficient than ever before.
The Funeral and Memorial Information Council conducts a survey every five years, and their most recent survey showed that 72 percent of their survey respondents were in favor of funeral pre-planning. The questions regarding pre-planning funerals first appeared on their survey in 2005, to reflect this growing nationwide trend. Funeral directors also report a noted increase in the number of pre-planned services, with some seeing as many as 50% of services now being pre-planned.
Why Should You Pre-Plan Your Funeral?
So what’s all this buzz about? Planning your funeral may actually be a liberating experience, since it can help provide clarity to your family during a difficult time.
When planning a funeral in advance, you’re able to answer important questions such as: Do you have a preference towards burial or cremation? Will there be a ceremony? If so, what will the ceremony be like, who will be involved, and where will it take place? Would you like certain things to be included in your obituary? Do you have preferences for a viewing, a casket, urn or a final resting place?
There are several distinct benefits of pre-arranging a funeral:
● You can help give your family time to process the event emotionally while helping to reduce the burdens of final expense decisions. There’s often little time between a death and burial, and in this time, surviving family members must make several crucial decisions. Without the benefit of forethought, it’s often difficult to think clearly while dealing with such intense emotions.
● You can help ensure your final wishes are fulfilled. Pre-planning is an effective way to help ensure your ceremony reflects the way you want to be remembered. More and more we are seeing funerals that include personalized touches, reflecting the personalities and hobbies of the decedent. Involving these personal touches – favorite flowers, songs, photos, and other touches – can make the service more meaningful to family and friends.
● You can make financial arrangements for the associated expenses. For example, options like final expense insurance and funeral trusts, or a payable upon death joint savings account, can help you secure your final wishes without passing the potential financial burden on to your surviving family.
A Tool to Help You Plan
Many options exist for pre-planning end-of-life ceremonies, and there are various online tools to serve specific needs. Funerals360 is a resource that helps support your funeral planning needs all in one place. Using its pre-planning tool My Funeral Wishes, you can decide on everything from burial plots to floral arrangements. The Funeral Planning Checklist can also help keep you organized, while the local vendor search tool allows you to examine the best options for your family and understand local funeral costs. If you’d like a personally guided approach to pre-planning and cost comparisons, their funeral concierge service can help with that, too.
Using Funerals360, you can have your funeral plans mapped out quickly and easily. Then, you can review the regulations in your state to find out what else needs to be done, if anything, to help make your wishes legally binding.
Pre-arranging a funeral isn’t the painful hassle it used to be. Nowadays, many people find the process to be not only informative, but also relieving. By preparing for the event, you can effectively compare products and services and help ensure that the proceedings go according to your wishes, while helping to reduce the potential burden from your surviving loved ones.