As family and friends face the loss of a loved one, they are also often thrust into becoming instant funeral service consumers. The choices can be overwhelming and the costs significant. I talk with my clients about the gift of making pre-need arrangements – funeral, cremation, burial, etc. I describe pre-planning as a gift because it leaves loved ones being able to just grieve and not having to focus on making decisions. Depending on the extent of the pre-planning done, when there is a death loved ones may simply need to only set a date and time rather than trying to figure out what you would have wanted, how much to spend, and on what.
Knowing that funeral arrangement decisions are difficult, the Federal Trade Commission has produced two publications – Shopping for Funeral Services and Your Rights When Buying Funeral Goods and Services.
If you decide to pre-plan your arrangements, be sure to contact an estate planning attorney to discuss what you can do to ensure your wishes and directions are followed.