6 Mistakes to Avoid When Preplanning

Sunset beaming on field of grass.

Being prepared is always a good rule of thumb. When it comes to planning your final arrangements, being prepared comes with benefits that have a positive impact on your family for years after your death. Planning before that day comes frees your loved ones from the stress of making difficult decisions. Also, relieving the added financial burdens when they are dealing with grief can be a priceless gift. If you’re not familiar with preplanning, you could run into some mistakes. Here are some of the most common ones, along with how to avoid them.

1. Procrastinating

We always say the best time to plan your final wishes is now. Putting a solid plan in place while you’re healthy and can think clearly and rationally, ensures your wishes will be met. We never know what the future holds or when we will pass. Funeral preplanning should take place as soon as you feel you are ready to begin the process.

2. Not having enough information

The best decisions are educated decisions. Planning and paying for a funeral is a big decision that affects people you love in the future. It’s important to know all your options and how the process works. Working with a funeral director who can answer all your questions thoroughly and provide you with all the knowledge you need to make the best choices for you and your family is critical, and an important benefit of preplanning with French.

3. Not including your family in the conversation

It’s your funeral—but you’re not the one who will have to experience it. Be sure to talk to your closest loved ones about your wishes and what their needs will be when the time comes. That way you will all have a better understanding of expectations and how to plan final arrangements that make your loss easier on the ones you love while paying tribute to your life the way you want.

4. Deciding not to pre-pay

Paying for your funeral in advance has many benefits. One of the biggest is ensuring your family won’t have to when the time comes. But there are other advantages of prepaying as well. By paying ahead of time, 80% of your funeral expenses are protected from inflated prices in the future (The remainder are costs such as taxes, death certificates, flowers, and other fees associated with vendors outside the funeral home).

Prepaying also frees up the funds immediately. Most life insurance and final expense policies take up to eight weeks (and sometimes more) after a claim is filed to release funds to the family. In accordance with New Mexico state law, your funeral plan policy is protected and held by an insurance company until the time of your death, guaranteeing that it will be available at the time of need.

5. Planning for cremation or burial, but not a service

Any pre-arrangements are more helpful than none. But many individuals make the mistake of only taking care of the details of their final remains. Although this does alleviate some burden from their families, it still leaves the details and costs of a service in the hands of the bereaved. If you think not having a gathering that allows your loved ones the opportunity to share their grief in the company of family and friends will save them trouble and sorrow, think again. Gathering together, whether at a traditional funeral or informal celebration of life, has profound healing benefits to the grieving. By taking care of those arrangements in advance, you not only save your family time and energy, you give them the gift of a healthier grieving process.

6. Not making any plans in advance at all

We’ve helped countless families navigate the funeral planning process, both in advance and at the time of a loved one’s death. We’ve seen first-hand the difference preplanning makes with those dealing with loss, and have heard numerous families express the relief they feel to our funeral directors when their loved one took care of everything ahead of time. Again, you’re never too young to think about preplanning. Begin by talking to your spouse or adult children, and get a conversation started. If you’d like to know more about the preplanning process or what your options are, we are always here to answer any questions you have. Call us at any time at 505-275-7200.

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