Whether you realize it or not, you (and likely members of your family) have already begun thinking about or taking steps toward planning for the end of life. You likely have a life insurance policy — perhaps several — that will ease any financial burden placed on your loved ones after you are gone.
Conceivably, you have started working on a will that will include some of your final wishes. Some folks like you already have burial plots picked out so family members will have their final resting place near each other.
Because you are already on the journey, it may be the right time to take your planning journey a step or two further and consider funeral planning. There are a few big advantages to having a plan in place, including:
- An end-of-life plan makes certain that all of your final wishes will be fulfilled after you pass.
- Funeral pre-planning eases a financial burden that would fall to your loved ones after you are gone.
- Making a plan also offers you and your family a strong peace of mind because you all know that everything has been “taken care of” ahead of time.
Funeral Pre-planning ensures that your final wishes will be achieved
One of the most-common things we hear from people just like you is that it can be a bit challenging or uncomfortable to begin a conversation with your children, grandchildren, siblings or parents about dying, Some find it morbid and others think, “Out of sight, out of mind” is best. But because death is a difficult subject to discuss, often your true wishes may not be known or fully understood by your family.
There are actually some ways to begin talking with your family in a very positive way, and there is more information about that here.
Going a step further, by meeting with a certified pre-planning counselor, your final wishes can be detailed and fulfilled. Once your arrangements have been settled and payment arranged, they cannot be changed after you’re gone. (You can always update your wishes and arrangements while you are still alive.) Your family cannot alter your plan after you have passed, unless this is stipulated in your arrangements.
A financial benefit is another reason to pre-plan a funeral
Planning for a funeral can eliminate the burden that funeral costs might pose on your family. Once your arrangements have been made and 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. (Your estate may be responsible for some third-party costs, such as cemetery fees or obituary placement.)
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, cremation or burial ceremony.
And, because your arrangements have been taken care of and the cost will not increase, this presents an opportunity to leave more assets to your family after you have passed.
Any funds paid toward a funeral service are placed into an Irrevocable Mortuary Trust account, in accordance with state law. The Trust is insured and the funds gain interest, which is maintained in the account to offset future price increases. All taxes and administrative fees are paid each year for you. No one can access these funds or cancel the Trust. By law, the funds can only be used to perform the service you selected and withdrawn only at the time of death.
Pre-planning provides peace-of-mind for you and your family
Once someone passes, there are only a few days after the death when final decisions must be made. These are challenging times for those who have just lost a loved one. Making tough financial decisions — and not knowing exactly what your wishes were — can add a lot of stress to an already-stressful time.
Many people consider this the final, gracious gift you can offer your family members. You are granting them time and headspace to focus on their grief and celebrating your life. They are not left wondering — or arguing — about what each of them thinks you would have wanted.
Much can be said for knowing that everything has been “taken care of,” allowing for time to grieve and comfort one another.
It’s important to know that just by having a conversation about funeral pre-planning or getting some things on paper is a step in the right direction. One other thing to note is that you can pre-pay for your chosen services in full or you also have the the option of making payments. This allows you to reduce the amount of money that would be required upon your passing to fulfill your end-of-life wishes.