Even though 62.5% of people feel preplanning is important, only 21.4% have done so, per NFDA. Death is inevitable, so no one can ignore the topic. However, people may not know where to start when it comes to funeral planning. It also may be a difficult subject for them to start actively thinking and talking about, however, it can actually be a great way to grow together as a family and put together a beautiful celebration.
There are many benefits to preplanning a funeral. A plan relieves your family of the need to make difficult decisions at a time of loss, saves money, and gives you time to plan a meaningful and healing funeral service. Most of us have never had to plan a funeral. This fact makes planning a difficult process when everyone is under stress and grieving a loss. That is why it’s a good idea to plan ahead of time – when you can consult with a funeral professional who can educate you on all the options available to you.
The Boyd Funeral Home staff, right here in Marion, Ohio, can help give you or a family member some guidance on the dos and don’ts of funeral preplanning. To start, below are some common mistakes to avoid.
1. Not Preplanning at All
Not doing any preplanning is, by far, the biggest mistake. There are many reasons that people may choose to not preplan. They may think that they’re too young to think about it or that it’s too sad to think about. Or they simply may have never thought about funeral planning. Whatever the case, Boyd Funeral home can help inform families of the benefits of funeral planning.
One major benefit is that it prevents the burden from being put on family members who should be grieving. If there’s little to no funeral planning done, it’s very stressful for those who need to plan it. They now have a short time frame, inability to ask the deceased their opinions, and it’s taxing on their wellbeing. They’re already grieving a loss and possibly still coming to terms with it, so adding funeral planning doesn’t help. It will help ease everyone’s minds if there’s a plan that reflects the person’s life.
2. Making a decision based solely on price
Price is important, but the old adage “you get what you pay for,” is also true. When you are comparing packages, make sure that you know what’s included and what’s not. In other words, make sure you are comparing apples to apples as you search for the best value. It is also good to remember that here ate Boyd Funeral home, we have a caring, knowledgeable, professional staff that will help you and your family throughout the entire process. If you can, take time to tour our funeral home facility and meet the staff.
3. Not paying in advance
Keep in mind that funeral expenses rise at a relatively high rate. The cost of steel, materials, energy, and wages contribute to a steady rise in costs over the years. By paying for a funeral in advance, you can sometimes reduce the cost of the funeral and alleviate the stress of paying for a funeral at a time of loss and emotional stress. By prefunding a funeral, you can save hundreds, or even thousands. If you decide not to prefund your funeral, make sure that you or your family have enough life insurance and/or cash on-hand to pay for funeral expenses at the current cost. Keep in mind that even if you have a life insurance policy or a final expense policy in place, the proceeds will not be paid for 6-8 weeks (or even longer) after you put in your claim, which is long after the funeral takes place.
4. Underestimating the loss in your family’s life when you are gone
Most of us don’t like a lot of attention. We hide our birthdays and tell everyone we don’t need any presents for Christmas. We are humble. This is not the time to be modest. In fact, it is time to be an advocate. For your family! Set them up to be able to celebrate your life, but more importantly, to learn how they are going to survive without you. The funeral is the first, and in our eyes, the most significant step in this process.
5. Rushing through things
Nobody wants to dwell on the thought of their own funeral. Unfortunately, rushing through the pre-planning process can lead to frustration, indecision, and anxiety. Don’t be afraid to ask questions to ensure you understand exactly what you are planning.
6. Not Balancing Everyone’s Needs
Another mistake is either only thinking of yourself or only thinking of others. There needs to be a balance of everyone’s wants and needs when funeral planning. The funeral should reflect how you want to be remembered — but you also should remember that the service also is for those who are grieving the loss. Consider how your funeral can best provide them with what they need to heal, grieve, and honor your life.
To do this, it’s best to have a discussion with your loved ones. Families can start the preplanning conversation through the Have the Talk of a Lifetime cards, creating Pinterest funeral boards, making ICE books, or simply discussing the topic over dinner.