Life is full of things we need to do and want to do… work, family, friends. Some provide us with a sense of joy and others are just part of life and need to be done. For many, planning for or wishes when we pass is one that we just keep putting off. Based on a survey Funeral and Memorial Information Council, most Americans over 40 feel that a discussion about their wishes would be helpful to their families, but only a small percentage made arrangements. So, what is it that keeps us from making these plans??
5 Reasons Why People Don’t Plan Ahead for Funeral Wishes
1. I’m too young.
While it is true that you may be healthy and have many years left, this is not a good reason to put off planning. None of us actually know how long we have. Even if you don’t sit down with a funeral professional to go over all your options or set up a plan, you can: write down your wishes and let a family member or friend where they are, and start saving for when the need arises. This ensures that your family knows your wishes.
2. I don’t have the money.
Did you know that it costs you nothing to preplan for funeral wishes? If you choose a funeral home partner, a staff member can sit down with you and review your options. As you review your options and determine what’s right for you and your family, you can get an accurate idea of what the funeral will actually cost. (However, keep in mind, costs will increase over time.) This information will help you when you determine how the funeral will one day be paid for. Even if you decide not to pre-pay for a funeral service, understanding the costs allows you to come up with a plan to budget.
3. I’m too busy.
Planning for funeral wishes is a valuable use of your time. It gives you a chance to figure out how you want to be remembered while also giving your loved ones a special gift of love – the knowledge that they have honored and remembered you as you desired. Knowing your wishes takes a lot of pressure off surviving family members during a time of pain and distress.
4. I don’t want to think about my own death.
In our everyday lives, we don’t really want to think about death, and that is natural. However, we can’t avoid the inevitable. Someday, each of us will die. Isn’t it better to be prepared? We plan for many life events – weddings, parties, vacations, family visits, and so on. Many of us even prepare for the possibility of unexpected things by purchasing auto, home, or fire insurance. Doesn’t it make sense to plan ahead for an event that you know will happenand give your family members peace of mind that everything is taken care of?
5. Someone else will do it.
You could leave everything to your surviving family members. But, ultimately, you’re the one who knows you best and can make the best decisions. Making these decisions while mourning a loss puts an emotional strain on surviving family members. On top of that, they will never know if they did the right thing. Yes, someone else could do it, but doing most of the decision-making for them is a much better option.
The Value of Planning Ahead
The reality is that by putting together a full plan – or just by putting your general wishes in writing – you increase the likelihood that your family will find peace of mind during a trying time. Not only that, but you create a personalized service that honors your life the way you want. After all, one of the key aspects of a healing and meaningful funeral is personalization. Your life is unique and worth remembering. Help your family do it well. It’s never too early to plan ahead, though it could be too late.