Funerals are an important part of our culture. Planning your own is a process that can be both comforting and overwhelming, especially when you’re the one who has to lead it. We’ve broken down everything from funeral etiquette to what options are available so you know exactly where to start in this comprehensive guide on planning a funeral.
Planning a funeral is an important process. It can be difficult to know what steps to take, so we’ve compiled a list of things you need to do when planning your own funeral.
Nick Welch, a pastor who has worked in a funeral home doing removals (picking up the deceased from the place of death), assisting in embalming, preparing the deceased for burial and cremation, and meeting with families to make final arrangements for their loved one’s funeral, has written this guest post.
“Only death and taxes can be considered to be certain in this life.” Benjamin Franklin is credited with coining the phrase “Benjamin Franklin is credited with coin
Men from different walks of life enjoy a variety of challenges. Going on safari, going on a climbing adventure, or constructing a home are examples of extreme activities. Some are more commonplace, such as paying the mortgage, splitting and stacking a cord of wood, or scoring a superb poker hand. All of these challenges, on the other hand, provide a feeling of success and excitement when they are overcome. The burden of arranging funeral preparations for a loved one, however, is one of the most difficult jobs any man will ever face, and it frequently produces more anguish and frustration than fulfillment. Making these arrangements has a lot of stigma attached to it, as well as a lot of ambiguity. However, by making a few preparations, you and your loved ones may considerably reduce the stress that comes with coping with this unavoidable tragedy.
“The instant you start caring, there is in the act of preparation.” -William S. Churchill
Making Funeral Arrangements
One of the reasons why making funeral preparations is so tough is that we seldom take the time to talk about our preferences with people closest to us. No one wants to speak about the day they’ll die, but if we don’t, we’ll leave some of the most crucial choices we’ll have to make in life (or death) to chance, burdening our loved ones needlessly. So lead by example by preparing your own funeral and discussing your plans with people who matter most to you. Here’s everything you need to know to get started with funeral planning:
1. Pay a visit to your local funeral director.
The internet may provide a wealth of knowledge, but it cannot sympathize with you or share a cup of coffee with you. Make an appointment to chat about funeral alternatives with a service counselor, funeral director, or pre-arrangement professional in person. It will be really beneficial in making decisions. Funeral houses are divided into two categories: locally owned mom and pop stores and nationally owned, locally managed funeral homes. Which one to choose is a personal decision depending on your own impressions. Many individuals in the death care field disagree whether which is preferable, but it ultimately boils down to personal preference. However, there are a few things you should check for:
- Instead of the funeral home “keeping” the money for you, you may use an independent insurance holder. This essentially implies that you can count on the money to be there when you need it.
- Pre-arrangements may be transferred. This implies that if you relocate from California to Florida, or even just a few hours away, your plans will follow you.
- Finally, and perhaps most crucially, be sure that once everything is said and done, you feel confident in the persons you chose to handle your final preparations. Sometimes it’s simply a matter of trusting your instincts.
2. Don’t Make a Decision…Yet
There’s no need to make a snap choice. Take the information, pricing lists, and service catalogs you collected from the funeral facilities you visited to your wife, and if suitable, your children. Set aside some time to discuss the various possibilities, ask questions about the “what-ifs,” and arrive to a conclusion that your family feels is the best. You don’t need to wait long, maybe a couple of weeks, but just long enough to flesh it out, talk it over, and make a choice.
3. Speak Your Mind
This is not the time to be cautious. Make certain that individuals closest to you are aware of your intentions. In fact, most funeral home pre-arrangements include legal documentation as well as a package of information to be shared with people closest to you. Of course, each family’s degree of comfort with these topics is different, but is there ever an appropriate moment to discuss about when dad dies? There’s no better time than now to take the sting out of the inevitable by laying it all out on the table and discussing your intentions. While it may be uncomfortable to discuss now, understanding your preferences ahead of time helps ease the burden on your loved ones when you die away.
Pre-arrangement, according to Bruce Preston, a family service counselor who spends his days helping individuals prepare for their death, answers the two most common questions people have when a loved one dies away. “Did I do the right thing and do what my loved one wanted?” Guys, make sure you put in the effort to make these difficult choices simpler on your wife and children. Thousands of dollars, hours spent filling out paperwork, and a truckload of anxiety and shame might be the difference between doing it and not doing it. To conclude our topic on preparing ahead, I’ll give you three reasons to do so, as suggested by Bruce Preston:
- It effectively freezes the price.
- It keeps you from overspending emotionally.
- It relieves your loved ones of the strain.
Funeral Planning for Someone Else
“Until they are hit in the mouth, everyone has a plan.” Mike Tyson is a boxer who has won a number of fights.
What if you’re not the one who passes away? What if you’re the one who needs to make plans for someone who hasn’t planned ahead of time? What if you thought you had everything planned out just to have the rug ripped out from under you? I’m happy you inquired. First and foremost, do not be alarmed. No one expects you to know everything, but as a man, you will be expected to find out. Some of the answers you’ll need are listed below.
Depending on the way of death, you will most likely be working with a number of different specialists, each with their own set of responsibilities. The days of the undertaker on Main St. measuring your suit, building your box, and placing you in it are long gone. You will be required to call the police, who will contact the coroners, in the event of an unexpected death. This isn’t because they believe you’ve done anything wrong; it’s merely standard operating practice. The corpse will subsequently be released to the funeral home of your choosing, depending on the coroner’s decision. It’s crucial to understand that just because the corpse has been given to Bob’s funeral home, you don’t have to employ their services. You have every right to walk down the street to Jim’s funeral emporium. Don’t be pushed into a scenario you don’t want to be in. The funeral home’s main job is to serve you with compassion and honesty while caring for your loved one with respect. If you have any doubts about any of those things, just explain that you will be making the arrangements elsewhere and would want to know what papers you will need to complete in order to do so.
After you’ve chosen on a funeral home, a funeral home representative, most often a funeral arranger or director, will call you to schedule an appointment. You will discuss everything from the form of disposal (burial or cremation) to the music and flowers you want during the funeral at this meeting. Take it from someone who spent every day meeting with families and making funeral arrangements: there are a few things to keep in mind during the process. They are as follows:
Make sure there aren’t too many chefs in the kitchen. It’s crucial to have a tight support system, but when it’s time to go to the meeting, figure out who has to be there for legal reasons, designate who will be the representative, and have everyone else remain at home. The appointment will go lot more smoothly as a result of this.
Make sure you finish your assignment. Even if no pre-arrangements have been made, there may be insurance documentation, financial records, or even military discharge papers that will be useful during the meeting and give much-needed information to the funeral organizer. Furthermore, having such goods on hand reduces the likelihood of needing to return to the funeral home for whatever reason.
There is no such thing as a free lunch, and surely no such thing as a free funeral. Whether you like it or not, a funeral is one of the most significant single costs you will face in your lifetime. While the services provided vary greatly, there are a few commonalities. Fees are charged for transportation, refrigeration, and clerical services, as well as fees levied by state and municipal governments for items such as disposal permits, death certificates, and other such services. These fees alone might cost hundreds of dollars.
“Do it or don’t do it.” There is no such thing as a try.” -Yoda, Master
The Body’s Situation
So you’ve arrived at the stage when you must make a choice on disposition. The option here is usually between a conventional burial and cremation. One of these possibilities may be forbidden in many spiritual backgrounds, cultures, or even social influences, in which case the solution will be straightforward. But, for the purpose of argument, let’s pretend that either is a feasible option. This choice is a slam dunk if you were lucky enough to have had a chat with your loved one. But let’s pretend you have no idea what, if any, desires they may have had. There are several choices, but the following are the most common:
Burial in the traditional manner. This generally includes embalming, a viewing, a chapel or church ceremony, a cemetery service, and a celebration afterward. This is the archetypal funeral that many of us associate with literature, television dramas, or movies we’ve watched. In actuality, for a variety of reasons, not the least of which is costly, this kind of funeral is becoming less common. These funerals may be expensive, very pricey. A regular funeral including burial costs, on average, between $10,000 and $12,000. These rates, like other funeral prices, climb by an average of 17% every year, with the East coast being more costly than the West.
Cremation/Burial. This approach seems to be a good match for families that wish to save money and avoid the formality of a more elaborate ceremony while still maintaining a feeling of tradition. It may involve a visitation and, in certain cases, an open coffin, with cremation after the ceremony. The urn may then be buried in the same manner as a typical casket burial, with the same ceremonial significance and value.
Cremation in its most basic form. The name is rather self-explanatory. A modest cremation is often selected for budgetary reasons or simply because of the desire for simplicity. Embalming, a viewing, and burial are usually not included in this choice. The ashes, or more officially, the cremains, are often preserved at home or disposed of in a more personal manner. In most cases, a chapel ceremony is foregone in favor of a less formal and traditional service conducted by the family in their home or church. This is generally the cheapest choice, but it is by no means the least useful. In fact, in many parts of the nation, this choice is the most popular for both pre-planning and on-the-spot funeral arrangements.
Burial on the green. Green burial is a relatively new concept that is gaining traction as a viable alternative to many of the more conventional funeral arrangements. Bodies are buried without embalming fluid in a biodegradable coffin or simple shroud, with the burial space left natural, unlandscaped, and unmanicured. It’s an ecologically beneficial means of returning the body’s organic components to the earth in a dignified and respectful manner, as well as a “return to old and time respected burial traditions,” according to proponents. While this strategy is becoming more popular, it still has a limited availability and will need a little more study and analysis on your side.
Remember, the two most crucial guidelines in all of these scenarios are: Did I do what my loved one wanted? And did I make the proper decision? Rest certain that if you feel secure and content with your answers to these questions, you have done your job successfully and honorably honored the memory of your loved one.
Rest & Peace, Nick
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Planning a funeral is never easy, but it’s one of the most important decisions that you’ll ever make. This article will help you plan your loved one’s funeral. Reference: how to plan a funeral for a loved one.
Frequently Asked Questions
How much does it cost to plan your own funeral?
A: To plan your own funeral, it would cost about $3-4.
How long after death do you plan a funeral?
A: In the US, funerals are scheduled within a few weeks after death.
What is a simple funeral plan?
A: When someone dies, their relatives need to decide whether the persons body should be cremated or buried. This decision is usually made by a funeral director who will help plan for services and burial/cremation costs.
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