Preplanning funeral arrangements may seem like an awkward or taboo topic to bring up with your parents, but it is important to begin the discussion sooner rather than later. Starting the conversation can help alleviate stress on the family and ensure that their final wishes are executed without causing any last-minute rushed events or details.
Wanting to understand their final wishes is important to everyone involved, so beginning them while they’re healthy can help everyone feel lighter moving forward. Here are a few points to touch on when having this conversation with your parents.
What Do I Ask?
Do they want to be cremated or buried? Do they have a burial plot already? What kind of casket do they want, if any? What kind of service do they want?
By discussing these questions, you all can rest easier knowing that there won’t be confusion when the time comes because there’s a clear plan in place. Putting your parents in control of what they want may also help them feel more at ease.
If you’re worried about missing pieces of the memorial, or not knowing what questions to ask, check out our Pre-Arrangements Form that can act as a guide for you and your family.
Who Should Be There?
When discussing plans with your parents, you and your siblings should all be in the room. Including the whole group in the conversation can eliminate future misunderstandings or disagreements that could take away from the service itself.
If your parents do not wish to have the conversation with all or any of their children, you can encourage them to meet with an attorney to include their final wishes in their will.
Should We Bring Up the Cost?
Absolutely. Preplanning a funeral service gives your parents the option to put money aside, or to plan which family members will contribute to the services. This would also be the time to know if any life insurance or funds are already in place to cover costs.
If you choose to pre-arrange with us, we will discuss estimated costs and options, giving everyone clarity and peace of mind.
What If There Are More Questions?
Your parents may be hesitant to have this conversation because they don’t know where they will be or may not know their estimated income once they are both retired.
This does not need to be a one-and-done conversation, and we encourage you to contact us with any questions or concerns that come up.
What If They Refuse to Talk?
This conversation is difficult for all parties involved, so you may need to be patient with your parents, or even with your siblings. No one wants to think about end-of-life plans, and your parents may feel like this conversation is too stressful or morbid for you to think about.
That’s normal. Keep trying, and let your parents know that you want to honor them however they wish to be remembered and remind them that this conversation will bring ease to what will be a very difficult time.