Advance funeral planning is also referred to as preplanning. It basically involves taking care of aspects of your last arrangements ahead of time. For many, this is a logical extension of the process of creating a Will and forms part of estate planning. Having funeral plans in place can go a long way to alleviating the inevitable pain that comes for those left behind, which is why we felt it pretty important to dispel the following myths...
Myth: It’s still a while before death comes knocking – there’s plenty of time for preparations.
As with many things in life, they can become more difficult to do if you leave them until the last minute. This is especially true in the case of figuring out the details of a funeral when end-of-life is imminent. So, while it might feel like a needless conversation today, there is a lot to be said for making your last wishes known sooner rather than later. Having these open discussions with family also means your planning can revolve instead around how you would like to be celebrated. It also removes the emotional and mental weight that would otherwise be present if the loss of a loved one was around the corner.
Myth: What’s the difference once we’re gone? Final wishes won’t mean much then.
It’s easy to disregard the importance of final wishes when we get down deep in the existential trenches of our minds. Get out of there for a second! Consider the difference a preplanned funeral would make for the family members tasked with coordinating an event worthy of their loved one. Unless the family knows exactly what the arrangements are to be, the pressure of making these decisions can lead to disagreements and disappointment at an already difficult time. Starting to plan early for the type of funeral you envisage – whether it be a burial or a direct cremation – can provide invaluable clarity to the people who care most.
Myth: Everyone already knows how I’d like to be laid to rest.
The choice between burial or cremation is only a small part of a person’s final arrangements. Even if it’s obvious because you already possess a cemetery plot, mausoleum crypt or columbarium niche – this just simply answers the question of the ultimate resting place. Plenty of other questions remain;
- Does the person wish to have their remains dispersed or their ashes stored in an urn?
- Do they picture a funeral or memorial ceremony with friends and family in attendance to honour them?
- If the person is to be buried, what kind of coffin do they like?
- What would they like to be wearing, and what would they like attendees to be wearing?
- Are there particular readings they would like to be included as part of the ceremony?
Myth: We’re financially secure, so the money will be there when we need it later down the track.
If the last few years have taught us anything, it’s that unforeseen global, environmental or even personal circumstances can affect anyone’s income or capacity to put money aside for the future. That’s why it makes sense to pre-plan – or even prepay – for a funeral, regardless of financial status.
By doing the advance planning, there is less risk of unnecessary expenditure on unwanted products, services and frills, because the desires of the deceased will have been made clear. By prepaying for a funeral or direct cremation, you can even lock in current pricing (inflation is real!). It goes without saying then that paying removes the further financial burden that usually accompanies the emotional one for families.
Myth: What if we move away? It makes no sense to do the planning now.
This is a valid concern in a world where moving around has never been easier or more common. However it doesn’t necessarily mean you have to delay finalising your plans. If there is a relocation on the cards, the specialists here at Willed can help explore the transfer options that may be available.
Myth: Death is a subject that is too hard to bring up.
Sure, it’s not exactly the vibe most of us go for in our conversations, but that might be because none of us consider the value in talking about it. Part of this value is what can be realised by loved ones later, when they are not burdened by decision making since all the planning has been taken care of. Designating the time to have a chat about the things that you want to happen once you die is actually a very kind and loving gesture.
Advance funeral planning is an important process that many people shy away from. We’ve debunked some of the more common myths about it in this post, but please don’t hesitate to reach out to us if you’ve heard some myths that we haven’t covered.
You can also get started on your pre-planning journey by writing a Will - it’s the best way to make your wishes known. And, if you'd like to speak with a dedicated funeral planner about prepaying your funeral today, please call our team on 1300 945 533 or complete the form below.