Five Reasons You Should Consider Pre-planning Your Memorial
You won’t be around to see it, but planning can give you the assurance that your memorial will be a perfect reflection of the person you are
Saying goodbye to a member of your family can be a difficult process to be sure. Experiencing feelings of deep grief and loss is only natural, and it's the same no matter who in your family has passed away — even the loss of a beloved family pet can be just as devastating as a human member of your family. Below you'll find important reasons to consider pre-planning your memorial to lessen the burden on your family and loved ones.
1. Relieve Financial Stress
Planning your memorial may feel like something you can postpone. It is not an immediate need, and it can feel daunting to some people. You could reframe the idea of memorial planning as not a future burden, but instead a current financial savings opportunity. The cost of food, clothing, cars, housing and just about everything else could rise each year. The cost of planning your burial could also rise.
You can visit websites that help you estimate the cost of your burial in five to twenty-five years, or you could be proactive and lock in your price at today's rate. It does not matter if you want a traditional burial, cremation or something unique to you for your memorial, prices will continue to rise. It's possible that by the time you or your loved one passes away the nest egg allotted will no longer cover the cost. Planning today may not only provide a cost savings but also the peace of mind that you could be financially covered.
2. Plan a Memorial that Reflects the Life You Lived and the Legacy You Want to Leave Behind
Your memorial should be very personal. It should be a celebration of the life you lived, your values, and the community you created. Pre-planning your memorial will provide the opportunity to incorporate what is most important in your life.
Unsure where to start or how pre-planning will help you to personalize your memorial? Answer the following questions:
- Do you want a religious funeral?
- Do you want a specific person to perform your funeral services? This person could be a priest, deacon, pastor, reverend, minister, rabbi, funeral director or someone close to you.
- Is there a funeral home that you would like to handle your arrangements?
- Do you want a traditional burial? Do you want to be cremated? Have you looked into other options like a private or public mausoleum or possibly a natural burial?
- Have you thought about details such as the type of casket or urn you would like? Do you have a preference on headstone and the wording associated? Do you have a particular flower that you would like displayed at your memorial?
- Would you like a loved one to read a passage or poem at your memorial? Would you like a specific song such as “Ave Maria,” “Danny Boy” or “Wind Beneath My Wings?”
- How do you want to notify the community of the memorial? Would you like an obituary? Do you have a picture that you would like to accompany it or have it displayed at the memorial?
These are just a few of the details that you can specify when pre-planning your memorial.
3. Start a Conversation
There are so many components that go into pre-planning a memorial. It's not just choosing burial or cremation, religious funeral or secular ceremony — it also includes important documents and plans.
- Will — legal document that defines how your assets (money, property, etc.) should be divided up among family, friends, loved ones or charitable organizations.
- Power of Attorney — a person legally responsible, as defined in the will, to make decisions pertaining to a persons assets, finances and at times their medical care.
- Living Will and Advance Directives — legal document that contains instructions for medical care if a person is unable to make decisions independently.
- Executor — person legally responsible to carry out the wishes of the deceased as previously defined in the will.
- Trust — a third party that has the fiduciary responsibility to manage or hold onto assets on behalf of trustees until a predetermined time.
These are just a few of the legal decisions you may need to make and documents you may need to create. It may feel uncomfortable, but you need to talk to your loved ones about your wishes and their potential responsibilities. This will remove any surprises if the situation arises and will give them time to ask you pertinent questions.
4. Pre-planning is a Gift to Your Loved Ones
Pre-planning is not just a financial savings and an opportunity to create the memorial that you feel best represents your time on earth — it is also a gift to your family, friends and loved ones.
The passing of a loved one is a very difficult time. It is one of the number one causes of physical and emotional stress. By pre-planning your memorial, you are relieving them of the duty of worrying that they are honoring your wishes by the decisions they have made. You are also allowing them the opportunity to grieve as well as celebrate your life instead of running around stressing and planning.
Whether you leave behind friends, children, siblings or a community of likeminded individuals, they will be thankful that you took the time to plan your memorial and gave them the opportunity to focus on their memories of your time together and the beautiful life you lived.
5. Pre-planning is Also a Gift to Your Future Self
Finally, pre-planning your memorial is a gift to your future self. You will not be around to see the memorial, but you will know that it was a perfect reflection of who you were as a person. It will also relieve you of the worry that you may not have enough money to cover your memorial.
Give yourself the gift of reducing your stress knowing that your memorial plans are taken care of. Click here to learn more about memorial planning and download a free information kit.
MemorialPlanning.com By StoneMor Inc.
Honoring your family is our life's work. As a family-first network of cemeteries and funeral homes, we aim to be an industry leader in celebrating and honoring a person's life in a way they want that story to be told. MemorialPlanning.com, an on-line resource provided by StoneMor Inc., has everything you need to plan end-of-life services at both a time of at-need as well as in advance to secure the comfort of peace of mind.