When Should You Plan Your Own Funeral?

Close up of purple flower blooming in dirt to signify choosing an eco conscious funeral.

For people who don’t work at a funeral home or who aren’t in the medical profession, death can be an uncomfortable topic. And it’s probably safe to say that most people prefer not to think about their own death, funeral directors or doctors included. In our experience serving New Mexico families for over a century, most people would rather talk about almost anything else than the day they will cease to breathe. But, as we all know, humans have a 100% mortality rate. None of us are immortal, and every single one of us will leave this earth—and our loved ones with a funeral to plan.

To get back to our original question, when should you plan your own funeral? Well, the answer is now. It’s never too early to make your final arrangements. Here are a few reasons why:

You don’t know when you will die.

While it’s never too early to plan your funeral, it can be too late. “But I’m young, spry and healthy!” you say. “I go to spin class!” As much as some of us would love to believe we’ll live to the ripe old age of 100, that is unfortunately rarely the case. Even the young and healthy cannot know when they will die, nor prevent it from happening. The longer you put off planning your final wishes, the more likely they will be left to chance. Or worse, your sister-in-law.

If you don’t plan, your family will have to.

All joking aside, if you don’t plan and pay for your arrangements ahead of time, your family will. When they are grappling with their loss and grieving, they will have a long list of things they will have to do, such as contacting your family and friends, closing accounts, and meeting with a funeral director to arrange every detail of your service, burial or cremation, type of flowers and casket or urn, etc. It’s a lot to do in a little amount of time, and can be overwhelming and exhausting. On top of that, they’ll have to pay for the oftentimes unexpected costs of a funeral.

Not having a funeral is not the solution.

“I’ll just save my loved ones the burden of planning a funeral by not having one,” you may be thinking. But that can have more negative repercussions. When you die, your family and friends will want to gather with one another to share in their grief, pay their respects and say goodbye as a community. Memorial rituals, such as funerals, wakes, rosaries, graveside services, and receptions are all ways to come together with the people we love to share the burden of grief and to reconnect—to be reminded of the preciousness of life. If this gathering is skipped, the bereaved are deprived of this healing step, and are often caught unawares in the months following a death by people wanting to express their condolences. This can be quite taxing. Gathering is the first step to moving forward without the person you love, together.

How do you begin to preplan?

The first step to planning your funeral is to think about what you’d like your final arrangements to be, and to have a conversation with your loved ones about it. Let them know you want to plan ahead so they won’t have to deal with it when the day comes. The next step is to reach out to an advanced planner. French Funerals & Cremations has a dedicated staff of experienced advanced planners who will explain your options, walk you through the process and help you secure your plan by paying for it ahead of time. If you ever feel like changing your plan, all you have to do is call us and tell us what you’d like to revise.

Planning now saves you and your family money in the future.

By prepaying for your funeral arrangements, you lock in 80% of the cost of your services and avoid having to pay the inevitable inflated prices years or decades down the line. (The other 20% are costs that are associated outside of the funeral home, such as flower vendors and cemetery costs.) We also offer flexible payment plans, making advanced planning a more convenient option. Your money is held in a secure trust, and the funds are released upon your death.

You can’t predict the future. But you can prepare for it, and help protect your family. Reach out to us at 505-275-7200 or visit one of our locations in Albuquerque or Rio Rancho to learn more about preplanning or to start planning your own meaningful goodbye.

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