7 Funeral Arrangements You Can Make Now

The average funeral now costs close to $10,000. Part of the reason funerals are so expense is because decisions are made quickly. You don’t have much time to compare costs, make selections and choose service providers. Add heightened emotions on top of that and it’s easy to see why people simply accept the high prices.

Making funeral arrangements may not sound all that fun, but there are a lot of upsides to planning in advance. That’s why the National Funeral Directors Association says advanced funeral planning is a growing trend.

Here are seven funeral arrangements you can make now to ease the burden on your family and maybe even save money in the process.

Get Final Expense Insurance

The first thing you should do is get final expense insurance. It’s an alternative to life insurance, which is good if you’re worried about the results of a health exam or the cost of a plan. As the name suggests, final expense insurance is designed to cover the costs of a funeral.

You may receive final expense insurance offers through the mail, however, most people sign up for a plan online or meet with a licensed pre-need specialist to determine which policy is the best option. PolicyZip is a good resource for comparing providers and finding current plans.

Some people like to get a policy first and let that dictate the costs and funeral arrangements. Others prefer to make arrangements and research costs first and then get a final expense insurance plan that can cover all the expected expenses.

Traditional Burial or Cremation?

One of the biggest decisions you can make right now is whether to be buried or cremated. This is something that most people feel very strongly about, but try not to let the opinion of family and friends sway your decision.

If cost is the top concern, cremation could be the way to go. Typically, cremation costs less than a traditional burial. It’s also becoming more commonplace. As of 2016 just over half of Americans were cremated and 43.5% had a burial. However, if you plan to have a religious funeral service (another arrangement you can make in advance) you should check with your church about cremation services. Some places of worship only offer funeral masses for a traditional burial.

Pick a Funeral Home

The funeral home is going to impact how smoothly the entire process goes. Your family members will have to interact with the funeral home directors, which can make things easier or add to their anxiety. You can rest a lot easier knowing that the funeral home of your choice will be handling matters.

Take the time to visit funeral homes to tour their facilities and meet the people who work there. You may even want to bring along a few family members since they’ll be the ones dealing with the funeral home in the end.

Plan Out the Memorial Service

The memorial service is a very personal part of the funeral. It’s when loved ones gather together to remember your life and share memories.

After you select a funeral home, discuss what type of memorial service options they offer. But keep in mind the memorial service doesn’t have to be handled by the funeral home.

Today, memorial services come in all forms and the body does not need to be present. When the memorial service is held, where it takes place and what occurs is really up to you. Just make sure to put your wishes in writing so that family members can host the memorial service you envisioned.

Find a Final Resting Place

Where would you like your final resting place to be? Out of all the funeral arrangements, this is one that most people figure out well in advance if they need a lot. For many people, it’s a matter of being close to the resting place of other family members at a specific graveyard. Others may want to be buried on a family-owned property.

The burial lot is something that should be lined up well before it’s needed since space may be limited in some locations.  

Pick a Casket or Urn

Caskets and urns are a necessary part of any funeral. The options are literally endless, and you can even get a custom casket or urn if you plan in advance. Selecting a casket or urn now will also help you save money since you can purchase one from a wholesale supplier. You may need to find a place to store the casket, but at least you’ll get the one you want for a good price.

Gravestones, Monuments and Markers

Another significant funeral expense for burials is what sits on top of a burial lot. Gravestones, monuments and markers serve as a final remembrance. They tell the world who you were and what was most important in your life.

Decide what type of gravestone or marker you want placed at the gravesite as well as what you want it to say. You may also be able to include imagery or artwork.


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