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Pre-planning and when to start

Mark Bailey

Special to Village News

One of the primary reasons for pre planning final arrangements is to alleviate the burden and stress on loved ones during an already difficult time. By taking the initiative to plan ahead, individuals can ensure that their wishes are known and respected, sparing their family and friends from making potentially difficult decisions on their behalf. This preparation can provide a great sense of peace and comfort, knowing that their final wishes will be carried out according to their desires.

Preplanning for final arrangements refers to the process of making decisions and arrangements for one’s own or a loved ones’ funeral or memorial service in advance. It involves considering various aspects such as burial or cremation, location of the service, type of ceremony, how you want to pay for all the services and other specific details that can be decided upon well before the actual need arises.

In the context of event planning, pre planning is a step in organizing any successful gathering, whether it’s a wedding, a conference or a birthday party. It involves determining the budget, selecting the venue, creating a guest list, and arranging for catering, entertainment and transportation. By carefully considering these aspects well in advance, event planners can address any challenges or obstacles that may arise and make the necessary arrangements to ensure a memorable occasion for all. Substitute the word “event” for a “funeral service,” and all the same things apply as to what goes into making a great plan for funeral arrangements.

Additionally, pre planning allows individuals to personalize their final arrangements, tailoring them to their preferences and reflecting their unique personality and values. It can include choosing specific readings or music, opting for a particular location or venue and selecting the style of their memorial marker or urn. By taking control of these decisions, individuals can leave a lasting legacy that accurately represents who they were.

Pre planning also provides an opportunity to consider the financial implications of final arrangements and make necessary arrangements to cover these costs. Funeral and memorial services can be expensive, and pre planning allows individuals to explore different options and make financial arrangements in advance. It can help prevent loved ones from facing unexpected financial burdens at an already emotionally challenging time.

Furthermore, pre planning final arrangements can help ensure that all important documents and paperwork are in order. It allows individuals to gather and organize important legal and financial documents, including wills, insurance policies and beneficiary information. It can facilitate the settlement of their estate and help streamline the administrative processes after their passing, reducing stress and additional workload for their loved ones.

Overall, pre-planning for arrangements is about considering the future and making preparations to ensure a smooth and successful outcome. By thinking ahead, identifying potential challenges and taking necessary actions early on, individuals and organizations can save time, resources and energy in the long run. Whether it’s organizing events, managing projects, or handling personal affairs, pre-planning is an essential skill that facilitates efficient decision-making, improves outcomes and reduces unnecessary stress. So, next time you have an important event or project coming up, remember the value of pre-planning to set yourself up for success.

Pre-planning for final arrangements is a thoughtful and proactive step that allows individuals to make decisions about their funeral or memorial service in advance. It offers peace of mind, personalization, financial considerations and the organization of important paperwork. By taking the initiative to pre-plan, individuals can ensure that their final wishes are respected and relieve their loved ones of unnecessary burdens during an already challenging time and plan financially to alleviate the burden being placed on any other loved one.

When is the right time to start finding a counselor to put your own plan in place? The answer depends on your personal circumstances and preferences. Here are some factors to consider.

Age

While there’s no hard and fast rule, many experts recommend starting preneed planning in your 50s or 60s. If you have significant health concerns or a family history of health problems, however, starting earlier may be wise. Family situation

Do you have a spouse or partner who will be involved in your end-of-life planning? Children or other family members who may need to be consulted or included in the process? Depending on the complexity of your family situation, it may be wise to start the conversation and planning process earlier rather than later.

Financial situation

Pre-need planning can involve significant financial decisions, such as deciding whether to prepay for funeral expenses. If you have the means to do so, prepaying can be a wise decision to ensure that your wishes are carried out without burdening loved ones with unexpected expenses. If you’re not in a position to pre-pay, however, there are options to spread the payments over as long as 10 years while still locking in the prices and guaranteeing the services desired.

Planning counselor

Once you’ve decided that pre planning is right for you, the search for a counselor can begin. Look for someone who is licensed and experienced in preneed planning, and with whom you feel comfortable working. They should be able to answer any questions you have about the pre-need planning process and provide guidance on making key decisions about your end-of-life arrangements.

There's no set timeframe for when to find a preneed planning counselor. It’s all about your individual circumstances and comfort level; however, it’s important to start the preneed planning process sooner rather than later to ensure that your wishes are carried out and your loved ones are not left with difficult decisions or financial burdens upon your death.

Mark Bailey is the chief operating officer of The Burial Plan.

 

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