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For some, funeral planning can be a welcome distraction following the painful loss of a loved one, but for others, the planning process can feel burdensome and bring about extra worry during an already-difficult time in their lives. Whether it’s therapeutic or overwhelming (or somewhere in between), these 5 easy tips can help you successfully facilitate funeral arrangements in this often unchartered territory.
#1 – Plan ahead whenever possible
Although making your own funeral arrangements can feel uncomfortable, planning ahead can serve several important purposes: 1) knowing the details are covered can give the person facing end of life peace of mind, 2) it can ensure your loved one’s wishes are honored, and 3) it can allow them to plan financially for the service. Sometimes the best way to start this conversation is by simply asking, “Let’s talk with somebody about your wishes so we can make sure we honor them.”
#2 – Choose the funeral home early
Choosing a funeral home to handle the arrangement may not feel like a priority when your loved one is still in a hospital or under hospice care, but it can ease many burdens and doubts by selecting one before you need to. One advantage will be knowing what information the funeral home will need to file with the county’s Vital Records Office and when filing for permits and other documents. Parent’s full and maiden names, place of birth, and what the last or current occupation are common questions that are easiest answered by the loved one that will hopefully be recovering.
#3 – Work with a local funeral home if possible
Choosing a local, family-owned funeral home usually means choosing somebody familiar and trusted. These funeral homes often also lean towards keeping you and your loved on in the care of a single funeral director with multiple licenses. As opposed to larger or corporate owned funeral homes that may have you meet with an arrange, have an embalmer or cremation specialist care for your loved one, and a funeral attendant assist with a visitation or services. Knowing a single person can always be reached by office or cell when you have a question is a gift of accessibility and convenience.
#4 – Know your loved one’s desires so you can communicate them effectively
If the services weren’t preplanned, make a valiant effort to collect your loved one’s thoughts and feelings about end of life. What interventions do they want? Where do they want their celebration of life to be conducted? How do they want their remains to be handled after they pass? These little questions bring a big sense of peace while arrangements are being made.
#5 – Ask about expenses up front
Ask about expenses up front and be sure you understand what’s really included in the package and how much you can expect to pay in total. Unexpected fees you may encounter include transportation, refrigeration, and use of a third-party crematory. Having prices explained, and knowing what is necessary by law or what you can pass on, will allow you to budget accordingly and give you more time to focus on family.
To learn more about facilitating funeral arrangements, contact us at Mountain View Funeral Home and Cemetery today.