Planning a funeral is one of the most gracious gifts you can give your loved ones. Having a plan for the inevitable helps ease the burden your family will feel once you are gone. They are not left wondering – or possibly arguing – about what each of them thinks you would have wanted. The decisions will be made, and perhaps payment will be made as well.
The same can be said of your loved ones. If you are overseeing – or even encouraging – end-of-life planning for a friend or family member, you can help ease the burden of those left behind by having a plan in place.
Once people start planning, though, they find they have many questions. We are putting on two funeral pre-planning seminars in the coming weeks. Attendees will learn about options and get answers to many frequently asked questions from Michele M. Phaneuf-Plasz, a fourth-generation funeral director and certified pre-planning counselor.
Michele is well versed in helping people get the answers they need to make some difficult – yet important – final decisions. These informative gatherings will include timely information about planning a funeral and cremation planning as well as time for questions.
The free seminars, which include a casual lunch, provide the opportunity for you to get the answers you need to help yourself and/or other family members prepare for these important decisions. These events will be held:
DATE: Tuesday, March 10
TIME: 12 p.m.
LOCATION: Phaneuf Funeral Homes & Crematorium, 172 King St., Boscawen, NH 03303
DATE: Wednesday, April 1
TIME: 12 p.m.
LOCATION: Phaneuf Funeral Homes & Crematorium, 243 Hanover St., Manchester, NH 03104
The events are free, but a reservation is required as space is limited. RSVP for one of the sessions by calling (603) 625-5777 or register online.
Reasons for planning a funeral
Funeral pre-planning will ease the burden your family will feel once you are gone. It’s an important yet often-forgotten component of retirement planning. Making end-of-life arrangements with one of our funeral directors ensures your wishes for your services and final disposition will be known and followed. Then, you have the option of paying for your services in one lump sum, or you can use a payment plan to pay over a time period that you control.
Some of the benefits of funeral pre-planning include:
- When your arrangements are made and paid for, they cannot be changed after you’re gone. (You can still update your wishes and arrangements while you are alive.) Your family cannot alter your plan after you have passed, unless this is stipulated in your arrangements.
- Also, once your arrangements are paid for, that price is locked in and does not change, even if you thrive for several more decades. You won’t – and your family won’t – owe any more money. There is a guarantee fee to lock in the price. (Your family may owe for third-party items that increase in time, such as cemetery fees or obituary costs.)
Funeral pre-planning: The time is now
Folks of all ages begin to ponder planning, and often these plans account for death, just not funeral pre-planning:
- In your 20s and 30s, you might be newlyweds or have young kids. You are planning for the future of your family including savings for emergencies, medical power of attorney, custody for your children if both parents die in a freak car accident, and life insurance. Making some preliminary end-of-life plans also makes sense.
- In your 40s and 50s, your parents begin to show signs of aging and slow a little. Maybe someone you know develops an unexpected, yet serious illness. Or perhaps there’s a death of someone close to you. Death or dying is on your mind, and that of your parents. They may show you their list of most valuable possessions, or add you to their bank accounts in case something happens to them. These plans make them feel better. Think about how making sure your funeral or memorial is exactly how you want it would make others feel better.
- In your 60s, you may be meeting with a financial planner or making life insurance arrangements as part of retirement planning. You might also be designating charities as part of your estate plan. (Some folks may not think far ahead before they get close to retirement age, and others who are ahead of the game may make updates or refinements to existing life insurance plans.) Moving from retirement planning to retirement itself is another time when end-of-life planning makes sense.
The goal of planning a funeral is to ease the burden on family members by making these important decisions before someone passes, and these upcoming seminars will include lots of information on how to achieve that goal.