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You’re the right person for the funeral pre-planning job. Here’s what to expect.
Think of your life as a story. How would you write a perfect closing chapter?
Setting up your final arrangements doesn’t have to be sad or morbid, and you could really help your loved ones by doing this.
Here’s what to expect for the before, during, and after phases as you take the next step with funeral pre-planning.
How Does Funeral Pre-Planning Work?
According to the National Funeral Directors Association, state laws could require you to work with a funeral director to pre-plan your funeral. The Federal Trade Commission regulates funeral providers, and funeral homes must give consumers a “General Price List” of all goods and services.
Funeral pre-planning allows you to save money by prepaying for items and services that increase in price over time. With Pathway® insurance, your premium goes into a trust to pay for funeral costs. The funds stay protected from long-term care expenses and debt collection.
To put it simply, a Pathway® policy helps you handle future expenses so your loved ones don't have to.
Funeral Pre-planning: The "Before" Phase
List Your Accounts and Policies
Your loved ones could spend years finding and settling bank accounts, savings bonds, investment accounts, and insurance policies without a list in place. Use a laptop, a tablet, or pen and paper to document this information.
Set Up Beneficiaries for Your Bank Accounts
Are you the only person named on your bank accounts? If that’s the case, a judge will determine what happens to those accounts after your passing.
Add a payable-on-death beneficiary to determine who will assume control of these accounts, or set up your account as a trust with a designated beneficiary. Consult your banker or lawyer (or both) for more specifics.
Check Your Life Insurance and Retirement Beneficiaries
When was the last time you checked the beneficiaries on your life insurance and retirement policies? If you haven't reviewed these policies, payouts could go to an ex-spouse, an estranged child, or a sibling who hasn't talked to you in years.
List a primary and a secondary beneficiary to guarantee your benefits go to the people you choose.
Think About Notifications
Who needs to know about your passing? Create a list of family, friends, co-workers, clubs, and organizations who should receive a notification.
Include contact information such as email addresses, phone numbers, and mailing addresses.
Gather Obituary Details
How have you changed the lives of friends, family, co-workers, and your community? How do you want them to remember you?
Your obituary answers these questions.
Include the following details in your obituary:
- Community service or causes you support.
- Date and place of birth.
- Favorite hobbies.
- Maiden name (if applicable).
- Military service.
- Names of your close family members.
- Quick highlights of your career.
- What makes you unique
Include the names of newspapers or online publications where you want the obituary to appear.
Funeral Pre-planning: The "During" Phase
You might choose to keep things simple, or you could include a PowerPoint slideshow, videos, or displays of your favorite art, clothing, and medals.
Decide whether you want your body to be on display during the visitation. There’s nothing wrong with having loved ones gather to remember you without your body present.
Find quotes, poems, or spiritual passages you want someone to read during the funeral. Talk to your church to arrange a traditional religious ceremony.
You could take a different approach with a celebration of life at a banquet hall or VFW. That’s the beauty of pre-planning: you make the decisions now so your family doesn’t worry about it later.
Burial or Cremation
You can choose cremation, burial in a casket, or environmentally conscious options such as biodegradable coffins. You have several options for purchasing memorial stones, burial plots, and coffins ahead of time.
Funeral Pre-planning: The "After" Phase
When you reach this point, you plan what happens after the visitation and funeral. This could take place the same day or sometime further down the road.
There’s no wrong choice for how you want your loved ones to celebrate your life.
Here are some ideas for your family’s post-ceremony get-together:
- Gathering for a meal at your favorite restaurant.
- Having an honorary drink or two at your local watering hole.
- Wearing wacky Hawaiian shirts and throwing a big backyard luau.
Take the first step toward putting your final arrangements in order. Contact Pekin Life Insurance Company to find a pre-planning agency in your area.