5 Tips on How-To Talk to Loved Ones About Pre-Planning Your Funeral
You may have heard already about the positive benefits of pre-planning for your own funeral. While this is certainly true, the biggest challenge sometimes isn’t addressed: the difficulty of discussing pre-planning with family members.
Making such plans can lift the burden off grieving loved ones, but it can also be hard to discuss end-of-life arrangements with your family. We understand just how hard this is, but discussing your funeral with your family can better prepare them.
We have counseled thousands of families over the past 150+ years, and we’ve discovered that as difficult as it is to bring up the subject of death and final arrangements, your family will be grateful you did when the time comes. It gives them the opportunity now to ask questions, offer ideas, and find peace with your wishes.
If you’re ready to talk to your family about pre-planning your funeral, here are five tips that could help make it easier:
- When you know what you want: If you are certain of your final wishes, have them organized and well-thought out before starting a discussion with your family. Take the time beforehand to research funeral plan options in your area. Record what type of service you’d like performed, what you want done with your remains and what your budget is. Having all this information organized will make it easier to share these wishes with your loved ones. Let your family know where they can find necessary documents and information for when the time comes. You want to ensure that your family understands exactly what to expect.
- When you’re not sure what you want: If you’re not sure what kind of funeral plans you’d like, then invite your family to be involved in the pre-planning process. Ask questions about details that might spark conversation and ideas. Perhaps there is a certain flower or song that comes to mind when they think of you or reflect on memories. This is an ideal time to make your family aware of the importance and benefits of pre-planning not only for you but for their family as well.
- Be prepared for an emotional discussion: Your family may have a lot of emotions to process about the thought of your funeral. They could be angry, sad, or even refuse to think about it, so be open in letting them work through these feelings. If things get too emotional, it’s a good idea to end the talk and revisit the subject another time.
- Listen and be available to answer questions: Even though pre-planning your funeral is about your final wishes, your family will probably have many questions for you. Try to be understanding in listening to their concerns. You are welcome to reach out to our staff in advance and ask for resources on how to talk with your family about pre-plan options.
- Stay firm in your plan: While it’s respectful to listen to your family’s wishes, keep in mind that this is ultimately your plan for how you want to be remembered. Let your family know that although you appreciate their feedback, these decisions are yours. If you’re concerned they may not honor your plans, you can legally put them in writing to avoid conflict in the future.
We understand that pre-planning conversations can be stressful and even scary, many people find it helpful to talk to trained and qualified family service advisors. Feel free to reach out to our advisors for assistance in walking you through the steps of pre-planning your funeral.