Saying Your Final Goodbyes: The Top Funeral Planning Tips
More than 2.7 million people die in the U.S. every year.
Not all of them have a funeral at the time of their death. But the vast majority of people do have some kind of funeral service, regardless of whether they chose to be buried or cremated.
The funeral planning process can be very difficult on those families that have to go through it. The grief that they feel can make it almost impossible for them to focus on putting the right plans into place.
In a perfect world, everyone would pre-plan their own funeral to lift the burden off the shoulders of their family members. But unfortunately, there are still some people who aren’t taking advantage of funeral pre-planning services.
If your loved one fell into this category and didn’t pre-plan, here are 5 funeral planning tips that can help you plan out a funeral for them.
1. Create a Budget Before Funeral Planning Begins
How much can your family afford to spend on your loved one’s funeral? That’s one of the first questions you should ask when you start funeral planning.
On average, families usually pay a little more than $7,000 for funerals with a burial these days. The median cost for a funeral with a cremation, meanwhile, sits at just a shade over $6,000.
But in reality, you could spend a whole lot more than that or a whole lot less than that based on your loved one’s specific funeral arrangements. If, for example, you spend $5,000 on a casket, that is obviously going to make a funeral with a burial way more than $7,000.
Come up with a budget for your loved one’s funeral and vow to stick to it. You want to pay your respects to your loved one, but you don’t want to put your family into debt for the foreseeable future to do it.
2. Pick Out the Best Funeral Home
There are right around 20,000 funeral homes in the U.S. today. They range from large funeral homes that do a bunch of funerals every week to small funeral homes that only do a few funerals every month.
You probably have at least a half-dozen funeral homes in your city or town. It’s your job to find the best one for your loved one’s funeral services.
A great funeral home should have:
- Plenty of experience when it comes to both burials and cremations
- A well-maintained funeral home with more than enough space for your loved one’s family members, friends, neighbors, coworkers, and more
- Affordable pricing on funeral services
- A location that will be easy for people to find and get to on the day of your loved one’s funeral
- A website filled with valuable resources for families looking to work their way through funeral planning
Many families rush through this part of the process and pay for it later. Take your time when choosing a funeral home and look for the best one for your family’s needs.
3. Find the Right Funeral Director
A funeral home might be able to deliver all of the things that we just mentioned. But if they don’t have a funeral director that you love, they won’t be your best option.
In the days leading up to your loved one’s funeral services, the funeral director at the funeral home that you choose will handle ironing out every single detail. From transporting your loved one’s body to the funeral home to helping you arrange the music for their funeral, they should leave no stone unturned.
If you don’t feel 100 percent comfortable with the funeral director at a funeral home, that funeral home isn’t a good fit for you. You’ll be making a mistake if you continue to move forward with them.
4. Consider Using Grief Counseling Services
Most families are stuck in a state of grief when they first show up at a funeral home. They don’t know what to say or do and struggle to even process the emotions they’re feeling.
Are you experiencing this at the moment? If so, use the grief counseling services available through most funeral homes. They can help you talk through your emotions so that you can get a grip on them.
Think about joining a grief support group in the coming weeks, too. Your funeral home should be able to point you in the right direction and tell you about groups in your area.
5. Personalize Your Loved One’s Funeral as Much as Possible
Families sometimes fall into the trap of thinking that they need to spend a fortune in order to send their loved one off during their funeral. This couldn’t be further from the truth.
While you might want to spend a little extra to get them the casket or urn you know they would have loved, the success of your loved one’s funeral service shouldn’t hinge on how much you spend on it.
Rather than spending more than you can afford to on a funeral, make your loved one’s services special by personalizing them. You can do it by:
- Creating photo and video tributes to your loved one and displaying them at the funeral
- Selecting songs for the funeral that you know your loved one would have liked
- Choosing readings for the funeral that reflect what your loved one was all about
- Asking different family members and friends to share their memories of your loved one during the funeral
It won’t cost you anything to do most of these things. But they’ll leave a big impact on those in attendance at your loved one’s funeral and show everyone how much your loved one meant to your family.
Start Planning a Funeral for Your Loved One Today
The funeral planning process can be challenging and completely overwhelming for some families. They don’t know where to begin and get so overcome by grief that they drag their feet while making funeral plans.
Avoid this by working with the best funeral home and funeral director. They’ll show you the right steps to take to make your loved one’s funeral a memorable affair.
Contact us today if you need help with planning a funeral from start to finish.