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What is Funeral Pre-Planning?

Funeral pre-planning is an investment strategy, and a way of easing the burden of funeral planning for loved ones. The principal advantages to pre-planning a funeral are cost reduction and peace of mind knowing that final wishes will be carried out.

How to pre-plan a funeral

The starting point for planning a funeral before death is to contact a funeral home and set up an appointment to discuss the different aspects of a funeral. Many businesses offer package arrangements or they can create a program tailored made to your specifications.

How to approach preplanning

Since one of the purposes for pre-planning is to save money, the best approach is to have the funeral home present the different funeral packages they offer and what the costs are. Since you are buying now, the contract should be constructed in a way that avoids increases and unexpected expenses. Among the items whose prices should be frozen are:

  • The burial plot
  • Burial
  • Cost for the funeral or memorial service
  • Maintenance of the burial site
  • Fees for viewing rooms
  • Fee for music
  • Embalming costs
  • Price of the coffin or casket

There are also some costs and fees which are difficult to predict, but an interest bearing fund can be established to pay for them. These variables include:

  • Off-duty police for escorting the procession
  • Flowers
  • Transportation
  • Printing costs for programs

When setting up the fund during funeral preplanning for these items, include in the contract who will receive any leftover monies or interest that accrued.

Other considerations

When drawing up the contract, it is important to clarify what happens should the funeral home go out of business or its ownership change hands. If necessary, a small insurance policy can be purchased to protect the investment. In addition, it is important to make sure the contract will be honored if you relocate or die elsewhere. Include a provision to transport the body to the funeral home.

Once you have agreed to terms and made the necessary, it is important to find a safe but accessible location for the contract. Your safe deposit box is not a good location because family members may not have access to it until after the reading of your will, or your property has gone through probate. Also, including the information in your will is not a good idea, since most wills are not read until after the funeral. Let a responsible individual know the pre-planned funeral documents and where they are kept.

Done properly, pre-planning funeral arrangements can be a boon to family members and a cost-saving mechanism as well. Working with a reputable funeral home will bring the results you expect.

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