The Joy of Planning Your Own Funeral


Most people don’t want to bring up any funeral, let alone their own, but taking the time to set a plan on paper and share it with friends and family can save them from a world of anxiety, heartache, and grief over-spending.

Dealing with the loss of a loved one causes real and significant stress to those working to acclimate to an absence. Providing a plan that you as an individual set and thought about it removes much of the guesswork in planning a memorial service.

Family members will also not know how much to spend, and what to spend it on. It’s common for grieving people to associate the amount they spend with the degree of love they held for you, and overspend as a result. They may also simply agree to plans provided to them without considering the financial burden on themselves or other family members while living through a haze of strong emotion.

Detailed instructions can answer important but simple questions, and resolve disagreements among surviving family members before they begin. Knowing that your final wish was to be buried in the family plot, or cremated and scattered at your favorite beach, can bring a world of comfort and your own personal touch. Dictating details of the memorial can also help your family to feel that things are done as you want them, for example, music to be played, passages to be read, or photographs to be shown.

You can even include provisions in your will to pay for funeral expenses or travel of distant relatives to your memorial service. An estate planning attorney can help you to set out a specific plan and source for these funds, and even connect you with specific individuals so you can lock in a price for a funeral.

The next step is to share a simple written statement of your desires or even a more formal legal declaration of your funeral plan with your family. To pre-plan your own funeral is emotionally difficult, but it is also fundamentally an act of consideration and care for your family. Be sure your wishes are clear, and save them from preventable heartache and confusion.

Reference: Inside Indiana Business (January 15, 2018) “The Gift of Pre-Planning a Funeral”