4 ways to prepare for your funeral

Other than politics and religion, there are some things that most people just don’t want to spend much time talking about. Of these topics, death may be the most universal. It's depressing, and it always seems too far off to matter.

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  • Other than politics and religion, there are some things that most people just don’t want to spend much time talking about. Of these topics, death may be the most universal. It's depressing, and it always seems too far off to matter. So why should we spend any time discussing death? Well, because it can have a huge impact on your financial resources.

  • When we lose a loved one, we can become confused. We may feel the need to act in ways that may be contrary to their desires. We might feel like we need to purchase the most expensive casket because anything less would demonstrate a lack of love on our part. We wouldn’t want the people who come to the funeral service to see a cheap casket. We're afraid that someone might judge us, or even judge our deceased loved one. Some funeral directors may even attempt to take advantage of those in mourning, by convincing them that they need unnecessary services.

  • On the other hand, sometimes an expensive funeral is warranted. A close friend of mine recently lost her grandmother. The family gathered together to make the final arrangements. The services ended up costing the family just under $20,000. This was a huge impact on the family resources. Despite the large amount of money that went into the funeral, the family felt good about the decisions that they had made. In their situation, they felt that an expensive funeral was the proper way to show their love for Grandma.

  • So how are you supposed to make sure that your family does the right thing for your funeral? Here are four ways that you can help your family by preparing for the future.

  • 1. If you want to be buried in a cemetery, try to include the expense of a grave plot in your budget and have it purchased well before you need it. Make sure to let your family members know about the purchase, and where the plot is located. Otherwise, they could easily end up purchasing another plot. Not only would this end up costing your loved ones quite a bit, but you also might not end up buried where you want to be.

  • 2. Take the time to write down a brief outline of your funeral

  • It sounds morbid but it will help your surviving family members know how you want the service to proceed.

  • 3. Tell your family whether you want to be buried or cremated

  • If you're to be buried, then pick out what type of casket you want. If you want a headstone, take the time to pick one out, or at least decide upon the style. Making these decisions for your family will make it much easier on them while they are mourning.

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  • 4. Plan your budget to include funeral expenses

  • It is also possible to purchase a prepaid funeral so that your family doesn't have to. Doing so will take a huge burden off of them in one of the most difficult times they will have.

  • Always make sure to talk to your family members about what you want and how it will be paid for. You don’t need to be terminally ill to bring it up. It may not be the most enjoyable conversation to initiate, but it's possibly one of the most important. Sadly, we never can tell how much time we have left, and we owe it to the people we leave behind to prepare.

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Lyman Rose is the author of five books including "Winning the War Against Debt" and coauthor of "The Debt Stacker" software. He is the owner of Creative Promotions.

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