While it may sound a bit bizarre, more and more Americans are now planning what they want their funerals to be like and even making payments towards them. While in the past this was something some people might consider doing in old age or if a serious illness befell them, there is now a whole industry around funeral pre-planning, with some of its customers relatively young and healthy. So what would cause someone to start thinking about how they want to be sent off, and is it something you should consider doing?
Image credit: Matthew Smith
Doing It Your Way
One of the main reasons people from all walks of life and of all ages start thinking about funeral pre-planning is the fact they want to leave this life on their own terms. You may have a very traditional family, but hate the idea that if you were to die suddenly your funeral would be a somber affair – you might prefer to be buried in a bright pink cardboard casket and have Lady Gaga played rather than hymns. You might have different religious views to those who might be left to arrange your funeral, and want to be sure these will be understood and incorporated into the service. Or, you might have strict beliefs on whether you want to be buried or cremated and feel you need to pre-plan your own death care to ensure these are not overlooked.
Saving Your Family Money
Another reason why people sometimes pre-plan their funerals is that they can also take steps to pre-pay for them. Funerals and death care can be expensive, and while you can take out things like life insurance that can help your family pay for them when the time comes, some people prefer to think that their survivors won’t have to make a dent in their insurance pay outs or inheritance to pay for a funeral, so they go with plans that allow them to pay while alive. Cremation is cheaper than burial, so often people who have their heart set on being laid to rest in a traditional burial at a specific location (for example next to their spouse or in a family lot), will buy the plot they want in life. Even if you would prefer an affordable cremation, it can still be reassuring to make some plans in terms of where you would like your ashes to be scattered or kept and make your family aware of this.
Pre-planning a funeral isn’t for everyone, and some people either find the idea a bit too morbid or just aren’t really that fussy about what happens to their body after they die. However, it can be a really good way to ease the stress of making tough decisions about what you might have preferred, and also take away any financial strain, if you do decide to do it. There are plenty of companies who can help you with your pre-planning, but the first thing to do is talk about your wishes with your family.
Author Bio: James Lawson, the author of this article, is a freelance blogger, currently working for Abbey Cremation Services in Connecticut. James is a culinary enthusiast and enjoys hosting dinner parties.