6 reasons to pre-plan your funeral


“Just because you plan your own funeral, doesn't mean you're going to drop dead the next day.”
-Elizabeth Meyer, Funeral Guru

People are understandably reluctant to plan their own funerals. Unlike graduations, weddings, and babies, a funeral tends to be be seen as a decidedly depressing milestone. That being said, there are a host of benefits that come with pre-planning, and you might be surprised at how fulfilling (and uplifting) the process can be.

1. You're in charge

In the flurry of activity that takes place following a death, people often forget to consider what their loved one would have wanted. Take away the guesswork by making your final wishes known. Do you prefer cremation or burial? Do you want a huge send off or a subdued ceremony? Are you committed to a certain casket? These are the kind of important details that need to be discussed. By outlining your final wishes while pre-planning, you're ensuring that the values that you held in life are reflected after death, which goes a long way when it comes to peace of mind. 

2. Family first

Nobody wants to arrange a loved one's funeral. While pre-planning won't take away your family's pain, it will absolutely help make dealing with their loss a lot easier. At the time of need, there are a lot of things that have to happen. By having assembled all of the information ahead of time, you're saving those that you care about from having to take on a significant burden. Instead of having to devote time and resources to the funeral details, they'll be able to focus on the grieving, remembering, honouring, and celebrating. 

3. Money matters

Pre-planning your funeral is a smart financial decision, period. Paying for your funeral ahead of time saves your loved ones a huge financial strain. It also ensures that you're covered, regardless of price increases. When you pre-pay for your funeral, the funds are placed directly into a trust or annuity account and stay there until they're needed. Should you decide to go with another funeral home (or if the funeral home that you've pre-planned with goes out of business) your money is safe and easy to move. The funds are always yours, always portable, and always refundable.

4. Expert advice

In Canada, licensed funeral pre-planners must undergo rigorous training and pass licensing examinations before qualifying. They take courses covering ethics, critical thinking, practice, and theory. They've got their finger firmly on the pulse of what's happening within the industry and will ensure that you're presented with the best options. You'll be working with someone who lives and breathes funeral pre-planning, who is committed to ensuring that you're able to make informed decisions, and who will offer you guidance every step of the way. 

5. No stone left unturned

So you've decided between cremation and traditional burial. You've outlined your wish for a specific ceremony. What about the details? During the pre-planning arrangement, you'll get the chance to talk about the fine points that mean the most to you. This is where you can discuss things like what kind of music you'd like played, who you think would deliver the best eulogy, and whether you'd like flowers or donations to a charity you hold dear. This is the kind of thing that tends to get pushed aside when funerals are arranged at the time of need so outlining it ahead of time will leave your family singing your praises - and isn't that what a great funeral is all about?

6. Lessons learned

During the pre-planning process, chances are you'll discover a few things that you'd never considered. Maybe you've always thought you'd want a traditional service but now think that direct cremation is best. Did you know that Bronte Creek Provincial Park has a scattering garden for cremated remains? Or that there are ways to incorporate ashes into jewelry? One of the best things about life is the fact that we're constantly learning. Funeral arrangement is no different. 

Visit Basic Funerals and Cremation Choices for more information.