When you lose a loved one, you learn firsthand how emotionally painful and financially burdensome planning a funeral is for those left behind. The process leaves you wondering how you can be well prepared to make it easier for your family when you’re gone and how to share your wishes. You can accomplish both objectives by preplanning your funeral.
Our step-by-step guides, How to plan a funeral and 4 steps to preplanning a funeral, will get you started on the right path. But if you’d like a way to easily map out your preferences and fund them, you may want to consider a Preneed Funeral insurance plan. A Preneed plan allows you to decide every detail you want included in your funeral service and set up a payment method to cover your funeral expenses. You simply attend a preplanning appointment with a funeral home partner, who walks you through each step. The funeral home partner totals the costs, and that amount is the basis for your Preneed insurance plan. Upon your death, the funds are used to pay the funeral home for your funeral.
To prepare for the preplanning appointment, read our list of questions to ask at your preplanning appointment and consider the ideas below as you decide how you want to be remembered.
You’ve made your special mark in this world, so why not have a funeral that is as unique as you are? Your Preneed agent will walk you through the first basic decisions, like burial or cremation, but then he or she will ask questions to help you decide what kind of service you want and what tone you want it to convey.
As you think about how to plan a funeral that feels like you, don’t be afraid to incorporate your personality, key achievements, and values that truly reflect your life. Some ideas include:
If you served in the military, you may want your funeral to honor your service to your country. Active service members and veterans are eligible for military funeral honors. If you wish, you can also be buried in a veterans’ national cemetery at no charge and receive a free grave marker denoting your service.
If protecting the environment is an important initiative for you, you can preplan a green funeral. It lessens your ecological footprint by featuring a natural burial, which includes formaldehyde-free, non-toxic embalming products or no embalming process at all. The body is wrapped in a cloth or bamboo shroud and placed in a biodegradable casket or directly into the ground.
If your religion is center in your life, you can provide guidelines for your clergy to lead mourners through a service that honors your faith, complete with prayers and hymns of your choosing.
If a traditional funeral service is too formulated for you, you can plan a celebration of life instead. And if you really want your loved ones to do more smiling than mourning, you can follow one of the latest funeral planning trends and preplan a funeral party — complete with an open bar and disc jockey if you like.
If a large number of happy moments in your life are spent pursuing a hobby, why not reflect it in your funeral service? You can include simple additions, such as showcasing a collection, or plan something more elaborate. For instance, if you love Disney, you can ask mourners to dress as their favorite characters and listen to your favorite movie soundtracks as they say goodbye.
If you’ve always enjoyed pursuing the latest, greatest tech devices, you can add merging funeral planning technology to your preplanning document. You have options for during the funeral and after. Your tech-savvy funeral can be broadcasted online for relatives who live too far away to attend. You can request an interactive headstone that links to a memorial website that features video and audio content honoring your life.
If you’re a very private person, the thought of a public funeral may set you on edge. If you prefer to preplan a quiet, family-oriented event, you may want to consider a funeral in your home. Home funerals have been gaining popularity in recent years. They allow your loved ones to host a family-directed funeral and to say goodbye privately. Some states have special laws regarding home funerals, so you’ll want to research and include your state’s regulations in your preplanning document.
If you’d like to learn how Wellabe’s Preneed Funeral insurance can help you fund your end-of-life plans, contact the Preneed regional manager in your state to connect you with a funeral home partner.
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Search for grief support resources, such as in-person groups, online forums, and phone hotlines, available in your area.
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Kelly Rayburn, AVP national sales and distribution at Wellabe, and Olga Villaverde, from Lifetime TV’s The Balancing Act, explain the importance of preplanning your funeral. While a difficult subject, advance planning can alleviate financial and emotional burdens for your family members.
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