Pre-Paid Funeral Planning Tips

Is your loved one in the last season of their life?

End of Life Decisions

Some call it, “end of life”. So much happens at the end of a person’s life. Decisions that must be made and the information that must be gathered can seem overwhelming. Someone you love dying can be very emotional and stressful.  It is helpful to plan today. Please take an important first in step and consider a pre-planned funeral. When the planning and effort is put forth early, you have the peace of mind that wishes are fulfilled to the best of your ability. This will allow you to grieve and spend time with loved ones as well, and not worry over all the details.  In addition, it can prevent your family from being taken advantage of in your time of grief.

Do your best to ascertain what your elder wants or would have chosen for his/her particular funeral or burial arrangements if they are no longer able to make decisions. Oftentimes people can be uncomfortable or confused with pre-planning funeral or burial arrangements.

Pre-Paid Funeral Planning Items to be Considered:

  • Traditional burial, cremation, or mausoleum interment
  • Specifics regarding a casket or urn
  • Memorial Service  & details, if desired
  • Funeral home choice
  • Memorial Funds/donation suggestions

Discuss the details of what may be in place presently and then meet with other advocates and a funeral director when you are ready. Funeral directors are trained to provide services with integrity and the compassion one needs during such an emotional time. There are variably-priced funeral and cremation facilities: make the choice that fits with your elder’s wishes and budget. Select a funeral home close to your family and support system. Have the funeral director provide written detailed costs.

Funeral Home Services Include:

  • Preparation of the body for cremation or burial
  • Details regarding the facility and equipment- visitation room, chapel, slide show etc
  • Assistance with preparation of obituary
  • Completion of necessary paperwork required for death certificate
  • Coordination with cemetery for plot purchase or placement

Note: It is crucial to understand financial and beneficiary listings: seek counsel from an elder law attorney to make sure plans fit together with the resources available.

If your loved one was a veteran, you or your family member may be entitled to burial benefits. They must have completed the required period of duty honorably. Please check with your local or regional Veteran’s Administration Office for current benefits or procedures as they are sometimes changed by the Administration or Congress.  You can call the Department of Veteran Affairs in Washington. D.C.  (800) 827-1000. As with Social Security, you must apply for Veteran’s Benefits.


Required Military Funeral Documentation:

  • Veteran’s Death Certificate
  • Veteran’s Marriage Certificate (copy)
  • Birth Certificate of Veteran’s Minor Children
  • Veteran’s Discharge Papers
  • Receipt of Itemized Veteran’s Funeral Bill

Three Advantages to Pre-Planning a Funeral:

  1.  Your loved one’s wishes can be preserved and carried out.
  2. Having the details already identified, family and advocates can focus on the work of grieving and receiving the support they need during this challenging time.
  3. The person for whom you are planning the funeral also knows their advocates will have less stress and that their affairs are in order.

More Information & Resources:


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