Making Your Own Final Arrangements

by Justin on January 19, 2017

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Though this might seem like a grim topic, making your final arrangements ahead of time is quickly becoming the norm in our society. In addition to knowing that you will get what you want, your family will not have to stress about your wishes, and you also have the chance to shop around for the best prices, removing the financial obligation from your family.

Since arranging funerals isn’t as common as organizing a birthday party, many of us don’t know what it entails and where to start. Here’s a guide to calmly and gracefully going through the process so that everyone benefits from your foresight.

  1. Choosing a Funeral Home

The funeral home is the center of activities when it comes to final arrangements. It’s where they body of the deceased person is prepared and kept, the visitation usually takes place, and in some cases where the final service and wake are. The team at the funeral will take the reins on executing the plans that you so carefully put in place, with the help and support of your family of course. When visiting funeral homes, look for one with modern and spacious facilities, an outstanding crematorium where memorable ceremonies are made possible. Observe the team which works there, looking for professional and courteous service while upholding a sense of respect and support for the family of the deceased.

  1. Type of Funeral Service

There are many different types of funeral services, from small intimate gatherings at the funeral home, traditional faith-based funerals at a place of worship followed by a formal burial at a cemetery, or an event with more aplomb and perhaps a procession. On the flipside, you might desire a no-frills approach to your passing, with no viewing, ceremony, nor service. Speak with someone you trust about the best choice for you, and compare the prices of each scenario. If you would like a service in a place of worship, be sure to be specific about which one. It’s something that you should leave in your last wishes and the details of which your funeral home team should have on file.

  1. Choosing your Casket or Urn

Whether you decide for your body to be buried as is or cremated, you will have to choose a vessel in which your remains will be stored in. There are all different shapes, sizes, materials, and price points for your perusal and ultimately, selection. If you are leaning towards a casket, factor in whether you will be doing an open viewing or not, and if you are considering an urn, where it will be stored. These might lean you towards a certain style or model.

  1. Buying a plot or burial place

They say that the land at the cemetery is some of the most expensive real estate that you will purchase in your life, as the price per square meter is truly significant. However, remember all the costs that are rolled into this price, including cemetery maintenance for years to come. Think critically where you would like your final resting place to be. Some choose a location of significance, like the town in which they were born or lived most their life in, while others would like to be buried close to where their family currently lives, for easier access and more frequent visitation. The prices might also differ, so do some research about where you can get good service along with good value. When you do decide, don’t forget to select a headstone and the wording you would like carved into it. In the case of cremation, there are a multitude of options open to where your ashes can be stored. From a family member’s mantel piece to spreading them over a natural area, to resting behind a plaque at the mausoleum at a cemetery, there is more flexibility in where your remains will end up than if you decide to have your body buried as is.

  1. Deciding on the Schedule of Events

Saying goodbye to a deceased friend or family member is usually spread over several days. The prayer meetings, visitation, funeral and wake are just the basics, though every family tailors the events to fit their needs. If you would like to help guide the structure of the events, it is a good idea to give a detailed description along with foreseen contingencies and footnotes. It might take a couple of weeks and several revisions for the plan to sound just right, but remember the more detailed it is, the easier it will be for your family to follow.

  1. Outfit Shopping

Some see this as unnecessary, however, certain individuals have strong preferences regarding the outfit in which they would like to be buried. It might be a uniform, an suit, a particular dress or even incorporate a meaningful accessory like a wedding band, fancy shoes, or a scarf. If there is anything of significance that you would like your family and undertakers to know, writing it out and leaving it with the right authorities would be your best bet.

  1. Deciding on Financing Option

It’s no secret that executing all your final wishes is going to have a hefty price tag on it. One of the benefits of planning in advance is being able to pay in installments, giving you more flexibility with financing and timelines. Another important bonus to preplanning your final goodbye is that the price is locked in at the time of payment. Even if you live for another 20 years, no amount of inflation or price increases will affect the price of your final wishes. Also, everything is done with a clear head, not one overcome with grief, and the relaxed timelines give you the time you need to compare options and prices without guilt or anxiety.

Put the peace in R.I.P by planning your funeral and final arrangements ahead of time. Allow yourself to trust that all will go according to the plan and budget which you made. Your family will be grateful for your proactivity, thanks to which they can fully indulge in their grief and support each other during this difficult time.

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