Planning a funeral can be a stressful and complicated experience. Here are some tips to navigate the process so that you can reduce some of the stress.
Plan in advance
It is advisable for older adults to plan their own funeral before passing. This will save your loved ones from having to deal with the process while they are mourning your loss. Talk to crematoriums or funeral parlors in your area and take the time to get the information and plan all aspects of the funeral. However, it is advisable not to pay in advance. You can set up a separate "payable on death" bank account with funds for the funeral released to your loved ones on your death. This will allow you to set a cap on the amount to be spent on funerals and your loved ones can stick to your budget without feeling guilty or confused. Contact a company like Wiebe & Jeske Burial & Cremation Care Providers to see if pre-arranged funerals is something they offer.
When it comes to funeral homes, prices for the same services can be very different even in the same area. Take your time to look at all the prices offered for services before making a decision. If you are planning a funeral of someone who is very ill, you should start early to avoid the stress of a hurried decision while mourning.
Take someone with you when looking at funeral parlors
Take a friend with you who is not as close to the process. They will be able to offer unemotional advice and help you avoid overspending out of guilt or a sense of loss. An objective voice can be more attuned to the practical elements of the planning and help you with emotional support as well.
Try to avoid packaged deals
Funeral parlors have been known to pad their package deals with services you will not need and not use. If you are thinking of getting a package deal, make sure you ask for a itemized list of services and the price breakdown. This will allow you to see what you are paying for and get rid of the services you do not need. There is a "funeral rule" imposed by the FTC that gives you the right to be presented with an itemized list and to pay for only the services you want.
Don't buy your casket at the funeral home
Funeral homes cannot force you to buy a casket from them, so you can shop around and find a good casket at the best price. This will open up your options and you will be able to find a casket that your loved one will have been happy with. Do not be tempted by "protective" caskets. No amount of protection can stop a body from decomposing once in the ground.
With these tips, you can spend less time and money on the planning process and more time cherishing your loved one's memories.