Phaneuf presents funeral and cremation planning seminars to members of Osher Lifelong Learning Institute (OLLI) through Granite State College. OLLI is a member-driven, volunteer-based membership program for people ages 50 and up who enjoy lifelong learning, social events and volunteer opportunities.
Funeral planning for OLLI
Here is an overview of the topics we cover during our OLLI planning seminars, which are held at our Hanover Street location in Manchester:
We have been raised to think seriously about various things that will make up our future plans: saving money for retirement, creating an estate plan, and having a will and assigning power of attorney. These are all wise ways people take the future into consideration. However, there’s one important topic missing: What happens at the end of your life?
This may be addressed through an insurance policy, but true end-of-life planning is infrequent.
There are many benefits for not only you, but your entire family, for planning ahead. When you plan for your estate – such as putting assets into trusts for your children or other loved ones – you can approach your end-of-life planning like other future planning. Having a plan for the inevitable helps ease the burden your family will feel once you are gone. Likewise, if you are overseeing end-of-life planning for someone else, you can help ease your own burden. The following section will look at the different times when someone might begin planning for a death.
Planning ahead happens anytime you make arrangements for end-of-life services, whether in a casual or formal way. There are many ways to go about this, and it can be as simple as having a conversation with someone who will be there at the end, such as a child, spouse or friend, about your wishes. Writing down basic information is a great way to begin the process. That’s a casual approach. We have a planning guide to assist you, too, called My Life, My Wishes.
You can take your advanced planning one step further by reaching out to us at Phaneuf to make your end-of-life wishes known. That way, when the time comes, we can inform your family about your wishes.
Taking one more step, you can also formalize your end-of-life arrangements with us. This means choosing all the details of your end-of-life services. Then, you have the option of paying for your service choices in one lump sum, or you can use a payment plan to pay over a time period that you choose. Consider the many benefits of doing this ahead of time:
- One, this locks in your wishes. Once the 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 still alive.) Your family cannot alter your plan after you have passed, you allowed this.
- Second, 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.) The services you arranged and paid for will be provided (or as comparable a service as exists at that time). At the time of your passing, neither your estate nor your family members will need to come up with the cost of a traditional funeral and burial ceremony.
Consider this the final, gracious gift you can give your family. You are allowing them to focus on their grief and celebrating your life. They are not left wondering – or arguing – about what you would have wanted.
Generally, there are between three and five days when someone passes and final arrangements are completed. Whether this is an anticipated death or not, your family is already dealing with loss, and there are lots of moving parts when someone passes. If you can take the decision making and payment worries off their plate, that’s an amazing gift.
Here’s something else to think about: advance planning can start at any age:
In your 20s and 30s: Getting married and having kids creates dependents who need you
In your 40s and 50s: When your parents begin to show signs of aging. When someone you know is sick. When there’s a death in the family or a death of someone close to you.
In your 60s: Meeting with a financial planner or making life insurance arrangements (Some may not be thinking that far ahead before they get close to retirement age, and others who are ahead of the game should make updates or refinements to existing life insurance plans). Moving from retirement planning to retirement itself.
Learn more about the Granite State College OLLI program here.
Preplanning your final arrangements ensures that your family understands your final wishes and alleviates a great deal of stress.
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