Planning Your Own Funeral: Everything You Need to Know

Posted by Pekin Insurance on Sep 21, 2016

No one wants to think about dying, but planning your own funeral can be a blessing to the loved ones you leave behind.

Dealing with the loss of a family member can be stressful and disorienting. Most of the time, we're asked to make important memorial and financial decisions while still in a state of grief, which compounds the challenge of making reasonable, sound choices. As if all that isn't enough, there's the added burden of trying to ensure that the deceased's after-life wishes are honored at an affordable price. Depending on those wishes, this may be no small task. Fortunately, you can help prepare your loved ones for these moments by planning your own funeral in advance.

It seems a strange thing to think about, but planning your own funeral not only guarantees that your life is celebrated and remembered the way you want, but it also eliminates the financial stress put on your surviving family members so they can be free to focus on what really matters—finding emotional comfort in your absence.

The benefits of funeral preplanning

Planning your own funeral carries with it a number of benefits. The most important is that it tells your loved ones exactly what it is you want. This is especially useful in the case of an unexpected passing. It not only ensures that your wishes are taken into consideration, but it also relieves your family members of having to make all of the decisions that come into play at your passing.

And those decisions can be expensive. The average cost of a funeral can run anywhere from $6,000 to $8,000—no small sum for any occasion, let alone a memorial. By preplanning your funeral, you can take care of those expenses ahead of time, which takes a lot off the plate of a grieving family.

What costs are associated with a funeral?

Funeral costs depend heavily on whether you choose a traditional burial or cremation. For both there are service fees, transportation fees, preparation fees, facilities fees, and materials fees, to say nothing of costs for things like flowers and other memorial decor. Add in the cost of a casket or urn, a cemetery vault or gravestone, and officiant fees, and you've got quite a list of expenses on your hands.

With one of Pekin Insurance's funeral preplanning products, you take care of these costs in advance, which also means you have the opportunity to shop around for the best value instead of leaving your family to make sudden, sometimes costly decisions.

Non-financial considerations

There's more to planning your own funeral than just financial decisions. You'll need to choose whether or not you want a graveside service or some other post-funeral ceremony. There's also the option to have a pre-funeral viewing or a wake and what sort of reception you'd like, if any. There are religious practices to be taken into consideration as well as personal touches like where you want the services to be held, who you want to conduct those services, and the guests you'd like to be invited.

There are prayers, poems, eulogies, songs, and even charity donations to think about. All of these details make funeral planning a long and arduous process if it is not taken care of ahead of time. You might want to consider making a checklist so you can address each of these details while preplanning your memorial services.

Other ways to help those left behind

If you have a life insurance policy, make sure that you've left that information available to your family so they can take advantage of that benefit. To that same end, make sure you've listed at least one person as a beneficiary of any life insurance policy or retirement plan. You might also want to consider adding a "payable upon death" beneficiary to your bank account to make those funds available as well. Even with planning your own funeral, there are sometimes unexpected costs after the fact, which you'll want to anticipate and make arrangements for.

In the end, your funeral service should be about you and the celebration of your life and memory. Contact Pekin Insurance today to find out more about funeral preplanning to make your passing as easy—and your life as memorable—as possible.

Have you preplanned your funeral? Are there any details we've missed? We'd love to hear from you in the comments below.


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