Your funeral may be years or decades away, and it can feel strange to talk about it ahead of time. However, there are many psychological, emotional, and financial advantages to pre-planning your funeral that can benefit both you and the loved ones you leave behind. Below are some thoughts to consider.
The key question we often see loved ones asking themselves, and each other, when planning a funeral is “what would they [you] have wanted?” This question can lead to uncertainty among family and friends, which can turn into disagreements or even conflict if they have opposing opinions. Pre-planning your funeral takes away any uncertainty, as clear instructions will be given to them on your passing.
This is also the case when it comes to your personal belongings or heirlooms. Pre-planning invites you to consider the big picture, which also includes what you want to happen to your property after your passing, avoiding any unnecessary disagreements after you’re gone.
Easing the Emotional Burden on Your Family
It can also be emotionally comforting for family to know everything is taken care of. When a loved one dies, family and friends naturally enter a state of emotional distress as they process their loss. Creating a plan for your funeral ahead of time saves them the additional stress of visiting multiple locations and arranging it themselves, which can give them peace of mind and emotional space to manage their journey through grief.
You Take Financial Responsibility
Given that funerals happen after we are gone, it’s easy to forget the cost that family members incur when planning a funeral. Pre-planning allows you to take financial responsibility for the cost of the funeral directly, instead of leaving it to those you love.
The number one priority for family and friends after the passing of a loved one is to ensure your life is honored and remembered in the best way possible, and this can often lead to unnecessary purchases or upgrades to show how much they care. Pre-planning is helpful as it sets the overall cost and eliminates the risk of overspending.
It’s important to note that there are alternative options, such as leaving the money for your funeral in your will. However, it can be difficult to work out the final dollar amount without knowing the details, and pre-planning does usually come with options such as funeral insurance that can reduce any unnecessary risk for both you and your family members.
Your Own Preferences and Personal Wishes Are Met
Another benefit of planning your own funeral is that your personal wishes and preferences are met. There are so many options for family and friends to consider, but the pre-planning process allows you to choose details such as the size of your headstone, the inscription, the location, etc. all in line with what you would personally prefer. The benefit here is that you will get to decide how your life story is told and remembered by those closest to you for years to come.
It Enhances Your Wellbeing
Finally, pre-planning your funeral can end up being of benefit to your own wellbeing as well because you can live every day with the peace of mind that one day those closest to you will be taken care of in your absence.
One final note: we do recommend that you tell your family ahead of time if you decide to move forward with pre-planning. While the conversation can feel uncomfortable, it’s important they know what to expect so they are prepared when the time comes.
If you have any questions about pre-planning a funeral or are in need of emotional support, we are here to help. Please reach out to our team here.