5 Tips for Effective Funeral Planning


Death isn’t a conversation any of us like to have. That’s especially so in our sunset years when the day of our demise feels pretty close. However, as long as humans aren’t immortal, death is an inevitable event for all of us. Ergo, it’s prudent that we overcome our fears and plan for this transition in advance. The following tips would come in handy in this regard whether you’re planning your own funeral or planning for a departed loved one.

1.   Know What’s Involved

You cannot effectively plan a funeral if you do not know what the components of a funeral are and the options available to you. A funeral typically involves three elements—the preparation of the corpse, the funeral ceremony and the interment handling. Each of the three elements comes with various options you could choose from.

Would you consider embalming? Do you want a DIY ceremony, a graveside service or a full service at the funeral home? Who will attend? Will there be a viewing of the body? Will the body be buried in a tomb or in the ground? If you go for cremation, will the ashes be scattered somewhere meaningful or will they be handed to a loved one for safekeeping? Contact cremation services Sydney for additional advice on post-mortem care.

2.   Advance Planning Doesn’t Mean Advance Payment

Many funeral homes sell funeral plans at a discounted rate if you buy the plan well before your demise. The discounted rate can make the plan seem quite attractive. Don’t fall for it though. While funeral homes are experts in managing funerals, nothing really prevents you from planning a funeral on your own.

Prepaying commits you to a plan without taking cognizance of changes that could occur in your later life that make it difficult for the plan to be executed. For example, you may move to a different state or country from the one you took up the plan in. Changing or canceling a prepaid plan may attract substantial cancellation fees.

3.   Shop Around

A funeral is an expense. Like any other expenditure, you have to make sure you are getting value for money. That begins by recognizing there is a wide range of products and service providers for whatever aspect of the funeral you are paying for. Don’t pay for anything before you have some reasonable level of comfort that the price is competitive. You could save thousands of dollars by simply choosing a funeral home a few miles away from where you are.

Call, email or visit several funeral homes for quotes. When comparing funeral package plans, make sure you have a breakdown of what each home’s package plan is comprised of. A package deal that seems to be much cheaper than other plans in the market could be excluding things you’d really want to have for the funeral. Before you pay for a package deal, ask for an itemized list showing the constituent items.

4.   You Don’t Have to Go for a Package Deal

Package deals are marketed as the most cost-efficient yet comprehensive approach to funeral planning. But you’ll often find that you are buying products and services that you don’t really need or that you can get at a far cheaper price elsewhere.

Even before you start shopping for a funeral plan, develop a list of what you want for the funeral. That way, you can zero in on the packages that are a good match. Better yet, many funeral homes allow you to craft your own custom plan by picking the goods and services you need.

In addition, you don’t have to buy everything from the funeral home. You could enjoy substantial savings by buying certain items such as the casket or flowers from elsewhere (you can find especially lucrative bargains if you shop online).

5.   Discuss It With Family

A funeral is a multi-person event. So whereas it’s the prerogative of the person to determine how they want their sendoff to look like, it’s important that those closest to them know. After all, it’s those who remain who will be tasked with ensuring everything is done in accordance with the dearly departed’s wishes.

Therefore, after creating your plan, discuss it with your family or close friends. It’s a difficult conversation to have but a necessary one. Still, remember that funeral planning isn’t an edict left to those who remain. They may not be able to do all that you want to be done so make it clear that they shouldn’t be overcome with guilt if there’s anything they’re unable to do.

By applying these funeral planning tips, you will save yourself, your family and friends plenty of money, time and trouble.