Ignoring the inevitable will leave your loved ones confused and scrambling during one of the saddest periods of their lives. Here are five solid reasons to plan ahead and avoid placing this unnecessary burden on their shoulders.
Planning your own burial or memorial service in advance not only allows you to design and specify the type of service and burial merchandise you’d like, but it also provides peace of mind for you and your family – who should be celebrating your life and joyous memories, not worrying about which casket you “might” like and how they’re going to afford it. If you’re unsure about whether burial pre-planning is right for your individual situation, consider these five reasons to start the process today:
1) You will be in the driver’s seat.
Who wouldn’t want to have more control over their lives and their deaths? Pre-planning literally puts you in the driver’s seat for deciding how and where you’ll be laid to rest, what type of burial merchandise will be used during the ceremony, burial, and/or cremation, and a myriad of other considerations that would otherwise be left up to mourning-loved ones to decide.
2) Mourning-loved ones aren’t in the position to make smart financial decisions.
Adult children and surviving spouses who are forced to make critical decisions about a parent’s burial while experiencing one of the saddest moments of their lives can easily be swept into emotional overspending—purchasing costly burial merchandise driven by sorrow or even guilt. By pre-planning, you can ease those tensions that can cause long-lasting familial rifts, minimize grief, reduce the overall cost of the arrangements, and take the burden off your children – allowing them to celebrate your life and enjoy the memories you’ve created as a family.
3) Generational shifts are impacting how we view death and burials.
According to a recent Funeral Service Foundation study, Baby Boomers tend to be more individualistic than previous generations and are looking well down the road. Generation Xers and Millennials may be even more individualistic. Also, the environmental movement carries implications for shifting attitudes towards traditional burials. “Attitudes are changing about death,” said James Forr, director of Olson Zaltman Associates, which conducted the study. “Traditional funerals are about death; [today’s] consumers want their ceremonies to focus on their life story.” Burial planning ensures the ceremony you desire will not be altered by changing trends.
4) You won’t put your children into debt.
Cash-strapped families facing the death of a parent or spouse have in recent years increasingly been making funeral arrangements based on the cost rather than what their mother, father, or spouse would have wanted. The choice frequently has been between going deeper into credit card debt or a less costly cremation – an option that might have been unthinkable in a better economy. And if you think your life insurance policy cover the costs of your arrangements, think again. In many cases, life insurance coverage could falls short of funeral and burial costs or could arrive well after the event. Moreover, this coverage is meant to fund life for your surviving loved ones–not your death.
5) Death is a lifecycle event – just like a wedding, birth, or college.
When it comes to burial arrangements, better financial planning is definitely in order. A service like MemorialPlanning.com can help individuals set a budget and select burial options offered by the company’s national network of cemeteries.
“Buying your plot, casket, vault, and headstone today will allow you to maintain control of your burial costs and spare your children added expenses,” says StoneMor spokesman Ken Kilpatrick, “and purchasing at today’s prices as opposed to the time of need can result in a significant savings especially when you consider that costs double approximately every ten years.”