Why you should plan your funeral in advance
Whatever your age, any time is a good time to plan your funeral… except at the time of the funeral. Can you imagine planning a wedding in just a few days, or any celebration for that matter? So, why would you leave the ultimate celebration of your life to the last minute?
We don’t know what the future holds. But we can be certain of one thing – none of us are promised tomorrow and denying the reality of death doesn’t make it less true. In many ways, the most loving thing we can do is take care of as much as possible in advance. The future may be uncertain, but by planning ahead, you can make a difference in the lives of your loved ones.
1. You’ll reduce family stress
If your wishes are unknown when you die, they will be faced with making difficult decisions at a trying time. Will they know if you wish to be buried or cremated? Will they agree on an open or closed casket? Will they agree on how much to spend? Confusion and disagreements are common occurrences when there is no plan to follow. The more of your funeral that you plan out in advance, the easier it will be for your family to execute on your instructions and wishes. Instead of calling funeral homes and comparing caskets, they’ll be able to focus their time on supporting each other. Taking care of your funeral arrangements is a thoughtful and caring thing to do for your family. It is comforting to know that you have done all you can do to ease their burden.
2. You’ll help ensure your wishes are met
Many people have ideas about what they would like done surrounding their death. Whether you feel that a burial is important for religious reasons or you’d prefer a lively celebration of your life over a sombre affair, planning your funeral in advance will help ensure that the things you find most important will happen. It also gives you a chance to inject some of your personality into the event and reflect on how you’ll be remembered.
3. You’ll help prevent family conflict
If you pass away unexpectedly and you haven’t outlined your funeral wishes, your family will be left to guess what you would have wanted. If two family members disagree, that can lead to a lot of unnecessary tension in the funeral planning process. Even if you’re certain you’ve mentioned to your family that you’d prefer cremation over a burial or the type of casket you’d like, grief can cloud memory, so the more you can record, the better. This also holds true for smaller funeral decisions, such as the songs you would want played. Each decision that you make (and record) in advance, is one fewer decision that your family members will need to make and one fewer opportunity for family tension.
4. Planning Can Save You Money
It’s quite common for families to overspend when a loved one dies. Often, the family wants “only the best” for their loved one or their financial decisions are clouded by grief. This is why it’s a good idea to plan ahead. You make financial decisions with a clear, rational mind rather than one affected by emotional strain. In this way, you can control the ending budget for the cost of your funeral. By doing this, you can save your family money in the long run.
Below are links to free information and downloadable guides to End Of Life Planning in New Zealand.
Health Quality and Safety Commission of New Zealand
End Of Life Services New Zealand
New Zealand Seniors