We plan for every aspect of life. Having a family, vacations, weddings, retirement – all are planned. We prepare for what might happen, such as fires, accidents or floods. But, because most of us do not like to think about death, we avoid making important funeral decisions in advance.
Family members making funeral arrangements immediately following a death often are confused and upset. Just when they are struggling to cope with their grief, they must also attend to the details of a visitation and funeral and begin adjusting to life without the person who died. It is often difficult for families to make all the decisions necessary when the moment is so charged with grief and trauma.
Planning your funeral ahead of time can remove some of the emotional burden from your family. There are many decisions to be made when arranging a funeral. We often have special wishes as to where to be buried, who is to receive our personal effects, and how we are to be memorialized. Making these decisions today, with the help of those close to you, permits you to tend to every detail and allows you to make logical, well thought out plans, which your family will appreciate.
It’s easy to say, “Don’t make a fuss. I don’t want a ceremony. Just bury me and be done with it.” But it is important to realize that the ritual of a funeral and/or memorial service isn’t for the deceased but for the living. It is a time when friends and family can gather together to grieve openly and to provide support for one another. Pre-planning can be a great act of consideration for every member of your family …and leaving your requests flexible can allow survivors to make appropriate arrangements for the fulfillment of their own emotional needs.
Pre-planning your funeral can be very informal such as following our pre-planning check list and sharing your wishes with a family member. More formal arrangements in the form of a pre-need contract can be set up with a Heritage funeral director and can be pre-funded. Pre-planning, when done properly, can give you peace of mind knowing that your arrangements are ready and pre-funded.
In addition, there are sound financial reasons for planning ahead. Many people pre-fund their arrangements in order to relieve loved ones of a future financial and emotional burden. By fully funding the funeral, the benefit to you is the ability to freeze funeral costs at today’s prices, and avoid future price increases due to inflation. Pre-funding protects your assets to be sure you have funds available to pay for your funeral. Funds used for advance funeral planning can be considered exempt assets when applying for Medicaid or SSI benefits. Every year more and more families choose to make their funeral arrangements in advance at Heritage Funeral Home. If you would like more information, please call (845)526-3000 or E-mail us.