10 Most Frequently Asked Questions About Preplanning

Husband and wife thinking about preplanning their funeral as they take a sunset walk.

“Why would you plan your own funeral?” It’s something we hear all the time. It’s just one of many questions we’re asked about making final arrangements in advance. French Funerals & Cremations has been providing preplanning services to Albuquerque families for decades, yet the majority of the public knows little about the benefits of preplanning and exactly what it entails. Below we’ve answered some of the most often asked questions about advanced planning.

1. Why should I preplan my final arrangements?

Planning your funeral and final arrangements in advance frees your family from the financial and logistical stresses of having to do it themselves while dealing with the loss of someone they love—you. There are other benefits too:

  • You can say goodbye exactly how you want to, in a way that uniquely expresses your personality and style.
  • You lessen the financial burden. French offers financing and easy payment options, so your family won’t have to deal with the expenses later. Plus, it protects you from the inflated prices that time inevitably brings.
  • Preplanning minimizes disputes amongst family members because they’ll know exactly what you wanted.
  • Preplanning minimizes “emotional overspending.” Loved ones often spend more money out of grief or guilt over not having seen their loved one more often.
  • Preplanning is an act of love. By removing the burden from your family’s shoulders, you give them a priceless gift of time and space to grieve.

2. Isn’t funeral planning for older people?

The best time to preplan your funeral is when you’re vibrant and healthy. It allows you to make decisions with a clear head, without the pressures of illness or circumstance. In fact, the best time to preplan is now, regardless of your age. The truth is, no one knows when they are going to die. Having your affairs in order today is always a smart thing to do.

3. How can I be sure my wishes will be carried out?

When you complete your Final Wishes Organizer paperwork, a permanent file is kept safe at French. Upon your death, a funeral director will share your detailed wishes with your family.

4. What if I move after making arrangements?

Changing over a preplanning policy to another funeral home in town or another state is simple. The policyholder owns their policy, and they only need to inform the new funeral home that they have an existing plan and apply for a transfer. Every plan is protected by insurance, so you can have peace of mind knowing your investment is safe.

5. How much does a funeral cost?

The cost of a funeral varies widely because the wishes of individuals are unique and differ from family to family. Services to consider include:

  • Cremation or burial services
  • Professional services of French staff
  • Preparations
  • Embalming
  • Visitation or viewing
  • Funeral or memorial service
  • Transfer of the deceased to funeral home
  • Hearse
  • Memorial cards
  • Casket
  • Urn
  • Vault
  • Clergy
  • Catering services
  • Etc.

By planning ahead of time, you can save your family a significant amount of money, whether it’s a small service or a large community gathering.

6. Are there payment plans for preplanning?

Yes. There are several options for payment, and a member of our preplanning team can help you select the best financial option for you.

7. What if I’m not sure what I want?

A member of our preplanning team will guide you through your options and help you select options that are right for you, your family, and your budget. If you need more time to think about certain details, you are never rushed to make those decisions.

8. Does preplanning cover cremation?

Yes. We encourage people who wish to be cremated to make advanced arrangements. Even simple cremation plans include important decisions that need to be made. Preplanning will make sure the financial responsibilities are taken care of, as well as ensure your final wishes are clear.

9. Won’t my veteran's benefits pay for my funeral costs?

Possibly, although it’s not guaranteed that all funeral costs are covered. We often find that many veterans only qualify for basic benefits, leaving the rest of the funeral costs to be paid by the family. Our staff is extremely knowledgeable about veterans' programs and qualifications. We will help you understand your benefits and work hard to ensure you get the benefits you are entitled to.

10. Won’t life insurance pay for my funeral costs?

Life insurance policies exist to help families shoulder the financial burden that can come with losing a loved one. When using a life insurance plan for funeral costs, most funeral homes will use a third party to extrapolate the funds, thereby incurring additional fees from the third party. Other unexpected complications can arise with life insurance policies as well, such as a lapse in payments over the years, beneficiaries listed who are now deceased, and date or cause of death limiting benefits, to name a few. Such complications can delay or cancel benefits being paid to families. By preplanning and prepaying for your funeral, your family never has to pay out of pocket, and payment for your funeral is guaranteed.

If you have any questions about preplanning we haven’t answered here, we are more than happy to talk to answer them. Please reach out to us at 505-275-7200.

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