Most seniors have a will and take other proactive steps for end-of-life planning. Surprisingly, far fewer seniors preplan their funeral arrangements. There are numerous benefits in preplanning. Seniors who make their own funeral arrangements ensure their final wishes, such as whether they want to be cremated or buried, are followed. This lifts a huge emotional burden off of their family members.
While it is not necessary to prepay for a funeral service that is preplanned, doing so lifts a large financial worry off of loved ones. Another advantage of paying in advance, often referred to as prearranging, is that most funeral homes and cemeteries will lock in the purchase at today’s prices which guards against inflation.
One reason some seniors don’t prearrange their funerals is because they think they may eventually move. Some funeral providers offer portability of plans at no extra charge. For example, many prearranged funeral services are fully transferable and will be honored at 2,000 other providers throughout North America if the purchaser moves more than 75 miles from where the original arrangements were made. Always ask if this is possible and what limitations there may be.
More and more people are choosing to enhance traditional funeral services with highly personalized life celebrations. Personalization can be as simple as requesting certain songs be played. Some people opt to have the procession from chapel to cemetery reflect their individuality. For example, an avid cyclist may have riding club friends escort the procession. Others want to give a special memento to guests. Many families hold catered receptions after the service to celebrate a loved one’s life.
A good first step in prearranging is to pick up a planning guide at a Dignity Memorial® or other provider. It often includes an easy-to-use planner to record final wishes, family heritage, military history estate information and other vital end-of-life information in a single document. Seniors interested in preplanning also can get started at home with convenient on-line tools from some providers.
Proactive seniors who prearrange protect their loved ones from additional stress at a difficult time and choose the funeral arrangements they truly want for their final farewell.
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