One thing humans haven’t been able to solve so far (or the most significant anyway) is how to escape death. No matter how much science has developed, humans still didn’t figure out a way to avoid extinction.
We know that death or funeral services don’t make the best topic for a conversation, but all of us will have to deal with it sooner or later. The later, the better, for sure. Which is why you may as well start getting all the information you need asap.
For those of you who like taking care of every single detail of their life, planning their funeral service is almost natural. It's not the best thing to consider, but it's part of the accepting process of death.
Like with everything else in life, a list of things to address when preparing for the end is more than handy. Here’s the list of things to address when arranging your funeral (should you forget about something, don't stress. Give people around you something to do when you're done too!)
1. Take care of the paperwork
Most of us hate doing paperwork, but it's the best way to make sure everything will run legally and smoothly. You should make the legal documents that authorize someone in your family/friends to take care of the funeral preparation.
Typically, the legal spouse comes first, as there's an order of priority for people to take this sort of decision. Your kids can take care of it, also when you no longer have a spouse.
If need be, there's an established hierarchy to follow to the cousins.
Doing the paperwork is easier than it sounds, and you can give all the details you want for the funeral service. a Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care is the most dependable document for it.
Once you have your documents, don’t forget to let the designated person know about future responsibilities. Moreover, the material has to be signed and authorized, as well. Once it's signed and notarized, the document becomes official. Don't forget to make some copies too.
2. Look into the funeral choices
No matter the jokes and the pragmatism, people are never truly prepared for the death of someone they care about. Grief is incredibly heavy, and people struggle for a long time when someone they loved disappears for good.
You don’t want to make it even more difficult for the people around you, so make sure you decide about the type of funeral service you want.
There are three main options: burial, cremation, and donation. It may sound simple, but there are, in fact, several choices for each of them too.
It's the priciest choice in terms of funeral services. The most important investments are the burial plot and the casket. Some numerous materials and interiors can be chosen for a coffin, so make sure you take your time before deciding. With the prices going up year after year, some families prefer immediate burial with smaller more affordable service.
Some cemeteries also require customers to buy a vault. Don’t forget that a lifetime upkeep fee has to be paid too. should you want to hire a funeral home, casket and embalming will add up to the list of spending.
To give you a number, burial arrangements can get as high as $10,000. If your money is tight or you worry about the impact on the environment, don't forget to look into a natural burial. You won't have to buy a funeral casket or vault, nor pay for cremation. Your family may have to pay for upkeep on the cemetery grounds.
Since it's a lot more affordable than a burial, cremation becomes more and more popular. The body will be burned, and the cremated remains will get to the family.
It’s rather easy to plan memorial services if cremation is involved, as it's flexible in terms of timing. The family can scatter, burry, or even keep the remains. Some may also want to turn the remains into diamonds.
Even with cremation arranged, viewing is still possible. However, the cremation isn't necessary, also though it makes the body look different.
In all fairness, body donation confuses people as there are so many options. Moreover, people don't know how and where to donate the body.
Should you live near a medical school, you may donate the body to helping the students learn about physiology and anatomy. You can also choose to give the body to specific research. Please make sure you look into it before donating as many forms may be required to be signed.
3. Begin saving for the funeral
Planning a funeral is stressful, and, on top of everything else, you also have to manage the budgeting. Costs for cremation begins at $1,000 (give or take), whereas traditional burials can go as high as $20,000. There are simple ways to start putting some money aside.
Don't forget that you can also purchase funeral insurance from the local funeral home. It works just like house insurance. In a nutshell, you're paying every month on the policy that will be paid out once you’re dead. Some choose to pay as low as $25.
Should you decide to go ahead and buy a policy, you can have a talk with the funeral director about the details of the funeral services. Due to inflation, you may have to cover only a bit out of your pocket, but most of the spending will be covered. It’s also good that you can transfer the policies, in case you’re moving to another location.
4. Tell your loved ones about your plans
We cannot stress enough about the difficulty of handling death and everything related to it. Even it's going to be hard to talk to your family, and it's going to be even more difficult for them to speak with a stranger (the funeral director).
Which type of funeral service you want will be the essential part of the talk. What will happen to your body is something you want to talk about with your family and friends, especially if it's something out of their comfort zone.
It’s a wise idea to include your wishes in the DPOAHC for easing out the process. The family has to know if you want a burial or cremation, or any other form of disposal of the body.
The more details you're going to give your family, the easier it will be for them throughout the funeral service. When someone dear to you dies, dealing with realistic aspects of funerals is extremely difficult and painful. You want to comfort your loved ones and spare them the trouble of having to select between so many options related to a funeral.
One last thought
Death is a natural thing, and we will have it in our life, sooner or later. Even if it's not easy to deal with it, it also makes perfect sense that we talk about it.