The Fundamentals on Planning
Your Own Funeral in Advance

by Alex Johnson May 12, 2023 4 min read

Man Planning for his Funeral in Advance

Death is a fact of life and treating it as an inevitability allows you to live a worthwhile life free of regrets and full of good decisions. No doubt, one of the best decisions you will ever make in your lifetime is to prepare for eventualities, especially death. It’s also a conversation you should most certainly have with your loved ones. Learning how to broach the topic with them can help make the conversation less emotionally charged and more productive. Here are some ideas about how you can get that conversation started.


Acknowledge the Necessity


Calculating the Cost

Yes, the idea of planning for one’s death may seem fatalistic to many. However, it is a step that’s as smart as it is necessary for various reasons. For one thing, the opportunity to make your own end-of-life decisions guarantees that your final wishes are met. Furthermore, it may even help prevent family squabbles that stem from loved ones with differing opinions on how to handle your death.


But even more compelling are the financial benefits. Today, the cost of a casket alone can run into the thousands, which puts a huge financial burden on the people you’ll leave behind. When you pre-plan your funeral, there are several ways that you can reduce this burden, giving you the chance to leave your loved ones with one final gift that they can wholly appreciate.


Be One Step Ahead


No doubt, burial insurance is one of the best and most foolproof ways to cover your last expenses, which, in turn, ensures that you don’t leave your family in debt just to satisfy your whims. Moreover, with the right coverage, it can even cover other debts you may leave behind, such as loans and medical bills.


It’s important to know your final preferences and take stock of your financial responsibilities before choosing your coverage. This way, you ensure that you not only get the right plan but that it’s also sufficient for you and your family’s needs. It’s a good idea to do your research and compare reviews and offerings from different providers before choosing this kind of coverage.


Beyond burial insurance, AARP notes that there are also other pre-funding options available that you can tap. These run the gamut of trusts to special savings accounts to trusts. Your life insurance policy may also help to cover funeral expenses, which is why it’s important to cover yourself even if you’re self-employed.


Sell Your Home


A Home that Needs to be Sold

If you're in the process of funeral planning, you may be wondering how to sell your home. The good news is that it's possible to sell your home to help cover funeral costs. However, there are a few things you'll need to keep in mind. First, you'll need to gather all of the necessary documents. This includes things like proof of ownership and home appraisal information. You'll also need to determine what you want to do with the proceeds from the sale.


Once you have all of the paperwork in order, you can start working with a real estate agent to list your home. Keep in mind that the sale process can be stressful, so it's important to work with a professional you trust. With a little planning, you can successfully sell your home during the funeral-planning process.


Document Your Wishes

Documenting the Wishes

Of course, when it comes to planning your funeral, it’s not enough to only take care of the financial side of things. Equally as crucial is to make your specific wishes known. This is because you don’t want to leave any ambiguity behind for your loved ones, which may lead to family tension.


The solution is simple: always document your plans. This can be as basic as writing down your preferences for your family to find when you pass. As a general rule of thumb, make use of a funeral-planning checklist to ensure that you leave no stone unturned and no detail unaddressed.


Alternatively, you can also designate a trusted family member or friend to carry out your wishes and make the decisions for you. Fundamentally, there is a legal hierarchy, starting with your spouse and children. However, if it’s your wish to supersede this, it’s only prudent to execute a legal document expressing this wish, such as a Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care.


Organize Documents 

Organize Your Funeral Documents

Keeping funeral-related documents organized can help to ease the burden on loved ones during an already difficult time, streamline administrative processes, and ensure important details are not overlooked. Using PDFs to keep documents organized can provide benefits such as consistent formatting, easy accessibility, and improved readability, making it an effective way to streamline workflows and increase efficiency. If you’d like to merge all your documents into one file, this site could be helpful. 

In conclusion, there’s little doubt that planning your own funeral is a smart course of action, and a thoughtful one at that. So do your due diligence and take this step for the sake of your family and for your peace of mind. By covering key details and costs, selling your home, making your wishes known, and organizing your documents, both you and your loved ones will have a roadmap for the future.

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