Death is a nightmare for everybody.
It creeps, unannounced, and most times, unexpected. It’s a cold feeling knowing that no one walks out of this world alive.
What’s much worse is watching how families are burdened with burial arrangements after losing a loved one. Asides from the shattering experience, they might not be financially or emotionally ready to perform one. Planning your own burial will be a relief to those you leave behind.
6 tips to prepare for your own funeral
Make legal arrangements
This is the first and most crucial step when preparing for your own funeral. Who would take responsibility for organising your funeral arrangements? This decision is essential as there is a hierarchy that you must follow. For instance, your legal spouse comes first, followed by your family. Get a lawyer to prepare the paperwork if you want someone else to handle it.
The document of a power of attorney for health care (DPAHC) is the best document to cover your legal arrangements for your funeral. Ensure you’ve discussed your plans with the person in charge of your funeral. The last thing you want is to choose someone that isn’t interested or emotionally strong to handle it.
After finalising the paperwork, ensure that the appropriate bodies sign it. Remember to make copies of the original document for your agent, doctor, family members and family hospital.
Choose your funeral home
Each funeral home offers various packages and options, so you might want to explore them to know which is a perfect fit for you. Consider the location; is it close to where you choose to be buried? You can’t predict when or where you’ll die, so make the most convenient option.
If you are religious or have customs that you’d like to observe during your burial, check if it’s included in the offers. Also, don’t decide without asking about the price. A reputable funeral home will give a detailed breakdown of every expense. Ask for quotes from three-five funeral homes, compare the prices and make the best decision for yourself.
Talk about what you want with your loved ones
This may be a painful experience, but it helps your loved ones feel better knowing that they fulfilled your last wishes after you are gone. Discuss everything, from the basic to the most important. For instance, you may choose to be a tree after death instead of being buried. Make your loved ones understand why you make your choices and how important they are to you.
Talking about your funeral plans is vital because it can be challenging for your family to choose once you’re dead. They might debate which option you’ll love the most, so you should make it known now that you’re alive. However, if it’s uncomfortable for you, you can include it in your DPAHC. Or visit your funeral home and tell the funeral director your plans. It should be appropriately documented for reference purposes.
Choose the type of service you want
Knowing they fulfilled your last minute desires will excite your loved ones after you’re gone. Whether you want a graveyard service or memorial, the funeral service or reception should have every detail clearly outlined. Here are three options you can choose from:
- Memorial service: this happens after the cremation, and the urn may or may not be present. This type can be held weeks or months after increment or inurnment in memory of the deceased.
- Cremation service: this is one of Australia’s most popular funeral services. In this option, the body of the deceased is burnt to ashes. The remains can be preserved in an urn or disposed into the sea.
- The green options: this is one of the newer options available. Sometimes, the deceased can choose to be a tree after death and is buried in direct contact with the earth.
- Traditional burial: The body is placed in a metal or wooden coffin. A ceremony is held in honour of the deceased at the church or Chapel.
Have a financial plan
Having a financial plan helps your family save funeral costs after you’re gone. While they’re mourning, it will be unfair to add the burden of covering all your funeral expenses. The best way to be prepared is to start saving. You can’t predict when you’ll die, but saving at least $1oo every month will go a long way.
Open a savings account and stash out your funding. If you like, you can make the withdrawal details in your DPAHC. Or you can inform your loved ones of the plans you make.
Another option is opting for a funeral insurance plan. You can choose a permanent plan that covers your entire lifespan.
Also, you can prepay your funeral expenses. For instance, if you choose to be buried, you can buy your casket beforehand. Or, you can pay for your funeral arrangements from your funeral home. To save funds, you can choose to be a tree after death. This eco-friendly method keeps you closer to your family after you’re gone.
Choose the place where you want your funeral to be held. You can check the packages from the funeral home if they have this option available.
Also, would you like a eulogy or poem you’ll love to be recited at your funeral? You can choose what you value and what will make the day meaningful for your loved ones.
Planning your own funeral can be an emotionally disturbing process. But the perks are having your loved ones fulfil your last wishes without breaking the bank. You can start and finalise at your own pace.
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