More and more people have been opting to plan their own funerals ahead of time. It might sound morbid, but it’s really a matter of convenience, control, and taking some of the burdens off of loved ones.
While an anticipated death isn’t too hard to plan for, an unanticipated death combines surprise emotions with confusing planning. Planning ahead gets rid of the problem.
If you’ve been considering it, we want to help you figure out how to plan your own funeral. We have a checklist so you can plan your funeral the right way and it can go off without a hitch.
This doesn’t have to be a stressful process, and it isn’t dissimilar to planning a funeral for someone else. Think of it as a party with some extra planning.
Keep reading to learn our tips and tricks for funeral planning.
Know Your Budget
Funerals are expensive. There are a lot of factors that go into it that many people don’t plan for. Some are optional while others are a necessary part of the process.
Make a list of all of the things that are going to go into your funeral and research the costs in your area.
Regardless of what you plan on for your end-of-life preparation, traditional funerals usually include a decorative casket of some kind (which is expensive). Renting a casket, if you choose not to opt for a burial, is more affordable.
If you choose to have your funeral at a traditional funeral home, there will be funeral fees for the attending staff and for the funeral space.
Decorations cost money, and while many people bring flower arrangements to a funeral as a final offering, you may want to have your own decorations planned out.
Figure out what you’re able to spend ahead of time and decide what things you need and what things you want.
Manner of Disposition
This is one of the most important decisions that you’re going to make in the planning process, and it’s one that you shouldn’t take lightly. Don’t leave this up to your family if you can help it.
There are several options with a wide range of costs. The most popular (and expensive) is a traditional burial complete with a casket, embalming, and grave space.
Cremation is another popular option, but traditional cremation is still expensive. It also may not be the best for the environment if that’s a concern for you.
We suggest a green cremation. There are two options.
A more traditional option is a flame cremation that’s modified to reduce the environmental impact of the cremation. Your family will still receive ashes to hold or spread as they wish.
Water cremation is another option that’s friendly to the environment. It’s safe, natural, and has no adverse effects on the environment. Your family still receives remains, though they’re different.
If you choose any kind of cremation, you still have the decision on if you want your ashes spread in a special place, kept in the homes of your loved ones, or set in a memorial at a cemetery.
Where Is The Funeral Happening?
Then you decide where the funeral is going to be.
Most people opt for churches or funeral homes, but these aren’t your only options. Many rental spaces will allow funerals, though it’s important to explain your situation ahead of time to make sure that they’re appropriate.
If you have a special place in mind, like a favorite farm, field, or even a home, these may also work, but you’ll have to check on the laws in your area.
Do You Want a Viewing?
Viewings are controversial. While they’re often done in traditional funerals, many people are growing uncomfortable with the idea.
A viewing doesn’t require a burial. It also doesn’t require embalming unless state law says otherwise. Some funeral homes require it for services while others allow un-embalmed viewings so long as they’re done soon after the passing.
Make your wishes known to your family.
Do The Paperwork
There’s a lot of legal paperwork around death that many people don’t consider until it’s too late. Setting aside time for this early on takes a lot of stress off of your family.
There are affairs to settle, tasks to delegate, assets to distribute, and papers to sign.
Writing a will or a living trust is a must if you haven’t already done it. This puts your wishes on paper and lets you delegate responsibility to someone in your family so it doesn’t default to someone you’d rather it not.
Get together with a lawyer and talk about writing a will or a living trust.
Plan for Payment
As we mentioned, funerals have a lot of associated costs. Don’t put those costs on your family members.
Some funeral homes will allow you to pay long ahead of time. They’ll arrange a payment plan so you don’t pay a large chunk of money all at once. Instead, you’re able to pay off your funeral in installments.
It may be a good idea to consider other options in case your plans change.
One of the best options is life insurance. Not all life insurance policies are intended for funeral use, but some have plans that include “end of life expenses”.
You can also start setting aside money ahead of time if you have financial stability. Keep this money in an account and add to it every month if you’re able.
That’s How to Plan Your Own Funeral
Funeral planning isn’t easy for anyone, but making it easier for your family can be your final act of kindness. Taking off the financial stress and the stress of planning is one of the best things that you can do for your loved ones who will already be going through an emotional time. Learn how to plan your own funeral and put your mind at ease.
We want to help you plan. Are you looking for Texas cremation services?
We offer disposition options that are better for the environment than traditional methods so you can rest easy that your carbon footprint stays low after your death. Contact us to start making arrangements today.