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Important Questions to Ask Yourself about Funeral Planning

If there’s one thing that we can guarantee in this life it’s that nobody is making it out of here alive. Whether you are thinking about your own future plans or will be helping to plan a loved one’s services, there are many important aspects to consider. Below, we will touch on a few questions to ask yourself and discuss with your loved ones that may ease the burden of making so many decisions at the time of death.

 

Does my family know my wishes?

No matter how well you may know someone, be it your parent, sibling, spouse or even child, when someone dies, you will be faced with many decisions regarding their funeral plans. Will they be buried or cremated? Did they want a full mass, or would they prefer a simple graveside service? Is their wish to have a wake or visitation, or will there only be a service? These are all important conversations to have before someone dies so that you can know as much detail as possible about their wishes. By knowing these answers, this will help you and your funeral director to move in the right direction of planning a meaningful funeral for your loved one.

 

What funeral home will I use?

When someone dies, one of the first decisions that needs to be made is what funeral home will you be calling upon to serve you. To some, this may seem like an obvious answer- “We’ll go to XYZ Funeral Home that has served our family for the last 50 years”. To others, this is the first time that they are encountering death at a close level and must make this decision by themselves. By bringing this up in conversation before a loved one’s death, you can feel assured that you are following their wishes. Choosing a funeral home is very important, and it is always a good idea to research the funeral home you may wish to use one day. It is encouraged to call them, visit the facility and read their reviews to make sure you are choosing a funeral home and staff that is fitting for you.


What is my budget?

The monetary aspect of funeral planning can be a hard subject to bring up when discussing funeral planning but is an important question that needs to be addressed. Each funeral home will have a cost associated with providing their services, and this cost will vary depending on the type of services chosen. Knowing your budget will be helpful in making decisions regarding the funeral and allow you to make choices within you or your loved one’s financial means. This will also help you avoid any unnecessary stress about how the funeral home will be paid. A few questions you may find helpful to ask are: Does your loved one have a life insurance policy intended to cover their funeral expenses? Is there a savings account set aside for end-of-life care? Is there a pre-funded funeral held at the funeral home of choice? All of these questions will help you to plan for the future, no matter when that death may occur.

 

Are my estate affairs in order?

Most people do not plan for when or how they will die, but they do have the option to plan for certain things after their death. Outside of the funeral planning itself, another critical thing to take into consideration is your estate planning. Estate planning can be helpful in the aftermath of a death, when the survivors are working to figure out what is going to happen next with things such as property, material goods and monetary wealth. It may be helpful to meet with a trusted lawyer or financial planner to talk about what you can do to help make this process easier for your survivors.

 

Planning a funeral and dealing with everything that comes after a death is challenging on its own. By taking the time to have some discussion with your loved ones, about their plans or yours, you can ease the burden when a death occurs. The questions above are a simple start that may lead you to more meaningful conversation about your loved one’s wishes. By having these conversations, you and your loved one’s can have peace of mind that your affairs are in order and your final wishes will be followed.

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