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Can I Pre-plan my Own Funeral Without Prepaying?

Published: September 30, 2021


Yes, you most certainly can!  We’re always happy when someone asks this question because it gives us the opportunity to clear up a common untruth about pre-planning, which is that it will cost them.  Pre-planning costs nothing because making decisions and writing them down on paper is, of course, free.  While prepaying for a funeral or memorial service is an option, it most certainly is not a requirement—and definitely not something anyone should feel pressured into.  Now that you know pre-planning does not cost anything, perhaps you are more likely to consider it?

Pre-planning & Prepaying Basics

Pre-planning means figuring out the details of your funeral in advance of your death. Your funeral plan is essentially composed of what we like to call “end of life wishes.”

The reason for having your plans laid out in advance is to spare your family from the added stress of guessing at what you might have wanted.  And having a voice in how your life will be celebrated, and sparing your loved ones from burden, certainly is a freeing feeling!

Prepaying is basically paying for some of the choices you’ve made in your funeral plan.  Funeral home services, a headstone, floral arrangements, the casket, etc. are some of the things you might choose to pay for in advance.  Some people find security in knowing that there will be funds available to pay for their funeral and that their loved ones will not be financially burdened.

What’s Involved In Pre-planning?

Really, the phrase “end of life planning” best describes what pre-planning actually is.  End of life plans can be as detailed or as simple as you want.  Besides making your preferences known on such things as whether you wish to be buried or cremated—there are additional ways to further personalize your end of life plans.

For example, maybe there are certain songs, poetry, or scripture you’d like included. Or you’d like your memorial service to reflect your interest in a favorite hobby. Whatever you choose to include, and how detailed you want to get, is up to you!

Pre-planning is part decision-making, which we’ve already touched on.  But other tasks are involved, such as gathering the details of your life history—those which will be helpful in writing your obituary, such as military service, date and place of birth, marriage information, maiden name, name of parents, etc.

You'll also want to provide instruction on where to find important documents, such as your will, as well as any loose ends needing tied up.  Loose ends include any utility services or subscriptions needing cancelled, bills to be paid, and what to do with your social media accounts, for example.  This is by no means an exhaustive list, we just wanted to give you an idea of the types of things you may want to include.

Ideally, your end of life wishes and essential information should be neatly organized and stored in a safe place in which your family is made aware of.  Keeping a copy at your preferred funeral home might be a good idea.  There is always the option to move it to a difference one, should your preference change.           

It’s Okay to Feel Reluctant

Let’s face it, we really don’t want to think about our own mortality, let alone curate a song playlist for our own memorial service.  But the truth of it is this: the day will come when we are no longer here, so it’s important to prepare for that day.

Perhaps once you start thinking about your own end of life wishes, you may find it to be an opportunity rather than something to avoid or wait to do another day.  The endeavor may be bittersweet at times, but it is also likely to be a positive and meaningful experience.

If you’re not sure where to start . . .

Thinking about starting the pre-planning process might be enough to make your head spin. The best way is to just jump in!  You can start by downloading our free guide here: Pre-Planning Guide

We’d love to help in any way we can.  If you’d like to talk with us about pre-planning your funeral, or if you simply have questions about the process you’d like answered, please reach out to us!  You can call us, Raynor & D’Andrea Funeral Home, at 1 (800) 737-0017.  Or you can message us here.

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