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A Gift to Your Family

Planning a funeral immediately following the death of a family member can be a difficult process. Death is a time of great sorrow, but it can also be a time of emotional confusion and financial strain. Arranging your funeral ahead of time is a caring gesture and creates a legacy that your family will appreciate. While most families choose to take advantage of the economic benefits of prepaying for their funeral services, prearrangement does not have to cost a dime. In addition to taking the burden of making arrangements off of your loved ones, by preplanning your services, you control exactly how your final arrangements will be presented.


The Why's of Pre-Planning and Pre-Funding

Why Pre-Plan Your Funeral?

  • Saves your family the strain of trying to determine what you would have wanted

  • Allows you to make decisions without being governed by emotions

  • Creates a caring legacy for your family and personalized service to celebrate your life the way you wanted

  • It costs nothing to simply preplan, and leaves a clear set of instructions outlining your wishes

Why Pre-Fund your Funeral?

  • The average cost of a funeral doubles every ten years, no other investments increase as quickly

  • People that pre-fund their own services spend 30% less than their families would spend at the time of need, because there is no “emotional overspending”

  • Locks in today’s price of the funeral so your family owes nothing at time of death

  • Affordable options and interest-free payment plans are available to meet any budget

  • Prefunding of your funeral is Medicaid-Approved and protects your assets

5 Basic Questions

to Consider as you Begin Planning

1. How do you want to be remembered?

Your life has been marked with achievements and relationships...What are your passions? Your greatest loves/relationships? Your most treasured accomplishments? Your final services should reflect YOU and THE LIFE YOU HAVE LIVED!

2. Where do you want your service(s) to be held?

At your church, the funeral home, the cemetery, the country club, your home? Services can be held literally anywhere.

3. Do you want to have a public service where family and friends gather to celebrate your life?
By choosing a planned public service you can control when your family will need to be prepared to receive friends and begin the healing work of remembering your life and its meaning to others.
4. Burial or Cremation?
This fundamental choice often helps direct your service options, though they can be identical because cremation families frequently choose family viewings and ceremonial cremation caskets to be present at a public funeral.

5. Which funeral home do you want to use?

Take the time to visit the funeral home in person to see how the staff treats you, how the facilities look, and whether you believe the sta there will treat your family and friends with compassion and professionalism.

Choosing Your Services

Family Viewing

Provides psychological closure for your loved ones.

Public Viewing

Allows friends and the larger community to have closure.

Public Visitation

Provides time for family and friends to gather and remember your life through stories and expressions of condolences.

Funeral Service

Casketed body is present...puts your life in a spiritualbased on your faith traditionand emotional context.

Graveside Service

Casket or Urn is present...puts your life in a spiritualbased on your faith traditionand emotional context.

Memorial Service

No casket present, but possibly an urn... puts your life in a spiritualbased on your faith traditionand emotional context.

Friends Reception

Following the service (possibly catered)

Final Disposition of Remains

Will your casket or urn be buried in the family plot, your urn placed in a church columbarium niche or your cremains scattered at the beach or some special place? Do not leave this FINAL decision to your loved ones...make it clear where you wish your remains to be permanently placed.

Selecting Personalizations

Choose a clergy person, family member or friend to officiate at your service

This person will set the tone for your service and make sure it includes the scriptures, music, personal remembrances and other details you outlined.

Select the Music

This includes any music that is pre-recorded or performed live that will be used as part of the service or services. Special hymns or songs can help insure that your service reflects your life, interests, and beliefs.

Choose the Flowers

Outline whatif any flowers you would like to be present at your services.

Allow for family photos or videos to be shared

Many families appreciate having photos or videos from happier times present at visitations and services since they help initiate conversations remind everyone of a life well-lived... Some locations may have restrictions concerning videos or other equipment and this should be taken into consideration.

Choose Mementos to Exhibit

For persons with a much-loved hobby or pastime, displaying fishing gear, musical instruments, quilts, motorcycle gear, or other items really creates a feeling of who the person was and makes the service feel more individual.

Select Clothing

This can be important if the service is one that provides for a viewing. You may have a specified outfit that has meaning for you. Also, consider accessories like your wedding ring or jewelry that you might want to include and whether it is to come back to the family or stay in the casket.

Write Your Obituary

More than merely a good-bye, it can be considered a farewell that allows us to read, in chronological order, details of the life of the deceased. Obituaries are also records that will aid future generations in the reconstruction of family histories.

Learn more about writing your own obituary

Next Steps in Making Advanced Arrangements

Once you have begun thinking about these choices, it’s time to meet with a Pre-Planning Specialist to help you finalize your arrangements.