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Featured FAQ: Should I Pre-Plan Funeral Arrangements?

June 1, 2015

We encourage advance planning for funeral arrangements as a loving way of reducing stress for grief-stricken loved ones; making sure that end-of-life decisions will be respected; and alleviating financial concerns.

blogjune1For most people, planning funeral and cemetery services in advance – called pre-planning or pre-arranging – is a difficult topic to discuss, whether it is for yourself or a loved one. But as difficult as the advance planning may be, pre-arranging provides you the opportunity to compare services, facilities and prices during a time when you are thinking clearly and have the time to consider your choices without pressure.

What are the benefits of pre-planning?

There are both financial and emotional benefits for pre-arranging funerals. Pre-planning alleviates concerns about leaving behind grieving loved ones who will not know what you or a loved one would have wanted, and it can relieve financial concerns as well.

While pre-payment is never required, many people find it helpful to get an idea of costs in advance. You can choose to pre-pay the funeral home in which the funds are held in trust.

Pre-paying can be helpful for several reasons – it eliminates the stress of coming up with the funds during a difficult time; it eliminates overspending by keeping your family from purchasing unnecessary additions; it can lock in prices for merchandise or services that will most likely be more expensive in the future; it can set aside funds when qualifying for Medicaid; and it can help provide a sense of control over an inevitable cost.

What happens during the pre-planning conference?

During the pre-planning conference, you will meet with the funeral director who will record your preferences, wishes and desires, and note the information that will be required at the time of death so that family members will not have to worry about those details during a very difficult time. You will also have the opportunity to discuss how to create a personalized memorial that will hold special meaning for those in attendance.

The funeral director can also assist the family in considering payment options by providing a cost estimate for the services the family is considering. While prepayment is never required, knowing what the costs will be can help you plan accordingly. If pre-paying is the right option for you, the funeral director can often help you consider the benefits of payment plans, which are usually not available after a death has occurred.

In addition, many people wish to pre-pay as pre-paid funeral contracts are not considered a countable asset when applying for Medicaid. Another reason people pre-pay is to take advantage of price-guarantees that can prevent inflation over time. Whatever your particular situation may be, pre-planning will help you gain a sense of control over an inevitable cost.

If you have any additional questions about pre-planning or would like to make an appointment to meet with one of our experienced funeral directors, please call Joseph Reardon at 617-773-3551 or email at joe@keohane.com.

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2 Comments

Luke Yancey

12/15/2016 at 8:49 am

I agree-- pre-planning your own funeral has a lot of emotional benefits. For one, it allows you to come to terms with your own future passing. It also, like you said, gives you the opportunity to take a lot of stress off of your family members and friends.

Jane Fox

07/16/2015 at 11:03 am

I've heard a lot about the emotional benefits of pre-planning a funeral, but I haven't heard much about the financial side of things. That's an interesting perspective. My family is trying to help my grandfather pre-plan his own funeral right now. He's got most of his wishes worked out, so now he just needs to go to a funeral home and discuss them with a director. I hope it's a positive experience for him and the rest of the family too.

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