By Andrew Stratton
Dealing with the death of a loved one is never easy. In addition to emotional shock, loved ones are often forced to handle funeral planning – a process that can be overwhelming at an already difficult time. Although it might seem morbid, making arrangements prior to death can lighten the load for any family. With that in mind, here are six things you can do ahead of time to make things easier for your loved ones after your passing.
1. Prepare For Burial Or Cremation
Decide whether you want to be buried or cremated after death. If you prefer the latter, it might be a good idea to call a crematory to check their availability. If you prefer the former, and most people do, it is important to contact a few local funeral homes and ask about their availability. In particular, you should find out how much time they need to arrange services at their establishment.
2. Find A Funeral Director
An experienced funeral director can be a godsend during a difficult time. From filing certificates, permits, and authorizations to arranging the actual funeral service, a good director does his utmost to ensure that everything goes according to plan. If you have never arranged a service for a family member before, the best way to find a good director is to simply ask around.
3. Choose A Casket Or Cremation Container
People make bad decisions when under emotional stress. That’s the main reason folks overspend on funeral planning. Selecting a casket or cremation container in advance will help you stay on budget, which should reduce the risk of family members fighting over shared expenses.
4. Pick A Headstone Or Marker
If you want to be buried, selecting a headstone and having it inscribed will take time. When this process is completed after death, odds are your loved ones will be charged extra fees for expedited service. It may also be harder to find the perfect headstone at the last minute. It is for these reasons that we suggest shopping for a stone or marker early.
5. Plan Transportation
Although most of the cars in the procession will be driven by attendees, the family of the deceased must make arrangements for transportation of the body to the cemetery or final resting place. In most cases, the funeral home will provide this service in their total package. However, it may be a good idea to call ahead to make certain hearses are included.
6. Select Music And Songs
Though it may provide comfort with the passage of time, hearing a loved one’s favorite music shortly after they die may be too much for survivors. We recommend that you pick out a few top tunes in advance and include them in a mixtape that can be played at a ceremony, service, or reception at the family home.
Completing these simple tasks in advance should save your loved ones time, money, and emotion while funeral planning.