This month’s post comes from Craig Meadows, the creator of Surviving Day One. Having dealt with three life-changing challenges in his life, he created the site to offer support to anyone going through a traumatic or difficult experience. When he isn’t working on his website, he works as an accountant and enjoys spending time with his family hiking and enjoying the outdoors.
Life is finite, which makes living all the more beautiful. And just as beautifully as you live yours, so should it be celebrated when you get to the end of the road. Thankfully, there is such a thing as pre-planning your funeral. From I Want a Fun Funeral, here’s everything that you need to know about planning a funeral that celebrates a life well lived:
It’s Your Funeral
The idea of your own funeral may give you the heebie-jeebies, but with a change to your mindset, it doesn’t have to be that way. When you pre-plan your funeral, you can get the celebratory service you want, while also giving yourself peace of mind that your loved ones will be taken care of.
No doubt, the biggest concern you will want to put to rest is the burden your death might impose on your family. By taking on the responsibility, though, you ease much of that burden. There will be no family tension when you make your own post-life plans. More importantly, if you’ve taken steps to cover the costs, they won’t have to worry about the financial details. As a bonus, it also keeps you in control so you can be certain that your preferences are met.
Make It Count
Luckily, when you are able to look beyond the somewhat morbid idea of planning your own funeral, you might be pleasantly surprised to find that it’s actually easy, and even fun, to do. It all starts with knowing what your goals are, as well as what you want. It also helps to have a checklist to keep you on track as you embark on the following steps.
Consider your options.
Know that planning your funeral encompasses a number of elements. For instance, you’ll need to decide how you want your remains handled, with cremation, burial, and donation as options. Other factors to also consider are your casket, type of memorial service, and even flower arrangements — the list could go on and on. Needless to say, it’s a very good idea to know what options are available so that if you want a funeral with some flair you can get it!
Of course, the financial aspect of your funeral will inevitably be your largest and most important concern, both to ensure that your wishes are met and also to take a huge load off your family and loved ones’ shoulders. Again, there are several options on how to go about this.
Possibly the best way is by investing in burial insurance. Depending on your level of coverage, it could be sufficient to cover your funeral arrangements and even have extra to take care of other standing obligations that you might leave behind, such as loans and medical bills. This is an important consideration, therefore, when choosing a burial insurance plan — on top of the final arrangements that you have in mind, of course.
Your life insurance policy could also serve to cover your funeral expenses, which is why it’s also a good idea to have one. However, you likely acquired this type of insurance to take care of the people you leave behind, so it’s just as likely that you don’t want to put this toward your own whims. Lastly, an old-fashioned savings account works, too. It’s good practice to set up a separate account for this purpose, preferably a joint or trust account with a family member.
Make your wishes known.
Finally, make sure to communicate your wishes and preferences to your family and loved ones. You can either sit down with your family and discuss specifics or, better yet, put them in writing, preferably in a legal document. This is, indeed, the best way to prepare for your funeral as it leaves no room for questions or disputes. Things you might want to discuss include a color scheme, decorations–e.g. If you only want bright flowers, what type of bulletin you want and so on. It’s also important to decide on what music you’d like. If you aren’t sure what you’d like or your loved ones want guidance on how to book musicians, you might get some help from a freelance music promoter–they can guide you all through the music booking process.
Indeed, planning your own funeral is the best way to show your family you care. So, take the opportunity to ensure your final sendoff is a celebratory one. It’s a privilege not everybody can enjoy.