Because death is a devastating experience for loved ones and friends to cope with, a funeral is a matter which should be planned beforehand. The pre-planned arrangement for your funeral will help alleviate some of the grief and confusion your family members feel. If you are a widow or widower, you may have no surviving relatives. Pre-planning then becomes an assurance that your funeral will take place according to your wishes. You may be a member of a family whose relatives are far from home.
Pre-planning will take the complication out of your funeral arrangements, thereby relieving your scattered family from the burden of making hasty decisions and arrangements because of time limits imposed by travel. For a single parent, it removes the burden of planning a funeral from the surviving child or children. This will be particularly beneficial if your death should occur when they are too young or inexperienced to make such arrangements.
Planning your funeral requires careful consideration. First, you must select a funeral director. Choose one as carefully as you would choose a doctor or lawyer. They can be very helpful and understanding when you plan your funeral. During your initial meeting, the funeral director will be more than happy to give you any information you will need, at no cost to you.
A pre-planned funeral is a written funeral plan filed with the funeral director you have selected and a copy for you to retain. This plan will fit your personal funeral needs and desires, covering such things as how much money will be spent on your funeral, what sort of services will be held and where, and who will officiate at the service. It also states whether the funeral is to be an open or closed casket service and what kind of casket will be provided. The plan outlines what music will be performed and which clothes or jewelry you wish to be buried in. In addition, it determines whether the funeral will be open to the public or to only a select group of your loved ones and friends. It may further state whether you wish to have the gift of flowers held to a minimum, requesting instead that the money be donated to your favorite charity or service organization.
Once the pre-planning has been established, you may choose to pay the predetermined sum to cover your funeral. The money is placed into a funeral trust fund account at a local bank, in your name, in trust for the funeral home. It earns the highest interest rate available for such an account, which helps cover any additional expenses which might arise due to inflation. When you die, the proceeds from the burial trust fund are immediately made available, thereby leaving insurance, savings, and investments to those loved ones, friends, and service organizations that you have previously designated in your will.