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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 about your wishes with someone who will be there at the end, such as a child, spouse or friend. Writing down basic information to capture those wishes is a great way to begin the process. That’s a casual approach. You can make it more formal by making arrangements with a funeral home, and then by paying for those arrangements in advance (which may also lock in today’s prices, no matter when you pass).

Here are some resources to get you started.

Our My Life, My Wishes workbook is designed to ease you into the planning process. To begin, you simply add your basic biographical information. Then, the workbook guides you through questions that may require a little research, additional thought or conversations with loved ones. You can fill out the workbook online and either print or save the guide to your computer. Or you can print it out and fill it in by hand.

Our Funeral Cost Estimator is a great early step in the planning process. Choose your preferences to generate an itemized breakdown of the estimated cost of a funeral whether for a cremation or burial.

Here are some educational posts on planning:

Re-engagement - Need to plan - Phaneuf

Demystifying reasons for not planning ahead

Knowing that plans exist relieves a great deal of stress from loved ones who are already reeling from your death. During a recent meeting with the distraught son and daughter of a woman who passed, they were told, “Your mom had the forethought of mind to make these arrangements years ago.” Relief instantly rose on their faces. Their mother never told them that she had made arrangements in advance, and a huge burden was taken off the two children.

Re-engagement - Need to plan - Phaneuf

Helping a loved one begin funeral planning

We created a free, downloadable e-book called the Talk of a Lifetime  to encourage a pleasant conversation about your or your loved one’s life. The goal of having the Talk of a Lifetime is opening the door to meaningful conversations and eventually discovering your loved one’s wishes for saying goodbye.

Senior couple discussing plans

The importance of making our end-of-life wishes known

While we may not like to admit it, we all know that we are not invincible, and that our time on this earth is limited. We know logically that our lives will come to an end one day, and in many cases, without warning. Despite this fact, we often put off having conversations about death, because it is uncomfortable, and asks more questions than it answers.