Who you are matters…
Why is pre-planning your funeral care a good thing? It is simple – because you matter. Pre-planning is a gift to yourself, your loved ones and most especially the people your life has touched. Pre-planning helps you focus on what is meaningful in your life now.
At the time of your death, the people who love you will want to honor you and will need to grieve. Pre-planning recognizes these needs and is your final gift to them. Some people think pre-planning is morbid; others fear that it costs too much, some are not sure what they believe about the afterlife and so don’t feel ready to pre-plan a celebration of their life. Whether you want cremation or burial, a ritual that honors your life story is crucial to those you leave behind who have shared that story with you.
The Funeral and Memorial Information Council (FAMIC) has created Have the Talk of a Lifetime, a program to help families have important conversations about the things that matter most to them and how a person can be remembered and honored in a meaningful way. Visiting their website, http://www.talkofalifetime.org/ is a good place to start thinking about your funeral care. There are also several good YouTube videos with sample conversations families have had to begin talking about their funeral care.
Miles Funeral Home pre-need specialist Maureen Monahan says, “the biggest hesitation to pre-planning is because people don’t like to come to a funeral home, most people think of the sadness that happens here.” She continues, “people don’t know pre-planning is a laidback, enjoyable, story-telling time.” True, making an appointment to arrange for your funeral, makes you think of your death, but it should also make you think of your life and that you matter. I like the Talk of A Lifetime program because it recognizes the hallowed nature of a life before and beyond death.
Preplanning involves a number of things. According to Maureen, the most important is to provide the vital information needed for funeral care. “Basic information like family names, educational and work background, information needed for an obituary or to process a death certificate, are all recorded in the pre-planning process. This makes it so much easier for survivors arranging a funeral, as they often do not have that information readily available.”
Maureen sees pre-planning as a gift you give your family, who are relieved the decisions have been made. Whether the survivors are emotionally exhausted, or a strong-willed family member tries to control the process, having the decisions made by you, can eliminate a great deal of difficulty at a stressful time. Pre-planning your funeral care expresses you desires, paying for it gives the extra protection of having your desires met. It also locks in the price, so you will buy a 2021 funeral, that will not be needed say until 2031. When you pre-pay, the money does not go into the funeral home bank account – it goes into an escrow account. You remain the owner of the money, the funeral home is only the beneficiary. If you move to Florida and want to be buried there, the beneficiary changes to a funeral home of your choosing. You are the owner of your money and your money moves with you. A funeral home does not “get your money” until the time of death.
Pre-planning isn’t for everyone, but for those who have been thinking of it, previewing some of the Talk of A Lifetime videos or a call to Maureen at Miles (508-829-4434) will help you decide if it is something you would like to do.