The Peace of Pre-Planning
When discussing end-of-life matters, prioritizing funeral pre-planning is crucial. By gathering all essential information in advance, families alleviate some of the challenges during an already challenging period. Once the pre-planning is finalized, organizing all the specifics in a file folder or on a computer ensures easy access when needed.
Items to Include:
- A high-resolution photo to be used for programs, bulletins and newspaper or social media. If you do not want a photo used, make that known.
- Photo of the outfit and jewelry to be worn during services. If a specific hairdresser is preferred, be sure this is noted. Designate items that should be worn during the service but removed before burial. A common example of this is a wedding ring.
- Write the obituary beforehand or agree to key life points that should be remembered.
- Decide on a final resting place. If there is a pre-arranged burial plot or columbarium, all contact information should be contained in the folder. If cremation is preferred, clarify the intent for the ashes beforehand.
- If organizations like the Free Masons, the Shriners, the Eastern Star, etc., are involved; be sure this contact information is also available. The funeral director may have this information.
- Plan the service. Decide if it will be in a church, funeral home, or gravesite. Are both a memorial service and funeral desired? All additional special service requests should be known and should include a list of songs, readings, speakers, and casket open or closed. Are flowers desired? Note that as well.
- Have a list of who and how to contact your friends and family. Emails and phone calls are best.
While these are some of the most notably difficult moments in the lives of families, pre-planning can help ease the burden and add peace to the experience. Taking these extra steps ahead of time ensures the life of your loved one is honored in a way they would want and allows you to focus on the experience in any way that suits you.
Webster, L. C. (2022, August 26). How to plan your funeral far in advance. AARP. Retrieved December 13, 2022, from https://www.aarp.org/home-family/friends-family/info-2020/planning-your-own-funeral.html