Funeral Planning, Part 1

There are two very different avenues of thought for discussion when looking into funeral planning services. The business of passing from this life requires planning and preparation financially, long before that time comes, while the social or human participation in the actual details of the family planning services is done much closer to the funeral itself. 

Funeral Planning Services are beginning to be understood and fortune 500 companies are offering the planning service as a part of their employee insurance. ING has teamed up with Everest Funeral Package LLC, which is based out of Houston. They offer what they term as “End of Life Planning,” with employer based group life plans. They’ve allowed employers to add funeral planning services and resources as part of their group life benefits. The planning service will actually negotiate prices of the burial costs with funeral homes.  This is new direction for employers, and is expected to continue to become more popular. 

The second avenue of funeral planning services more directly involves the ones responsible for making necessary decisions. What does this mean? The most obvious would be the planning and taping or printing of a will. Loved ones that are emotionally paralyzed with grief and anger over the loss of family or a friend often feel they know best what those that have passed on would want.  However, due to  emotional issues at such a difficult time, disagreements often erupt as individuals take out their pain and anguish on each other. Observers can misjudge this to be a greedy battle of self-interest and some families never recover from the anguish. Had the deceased party simply prepared a will in advance, the family wouldn’t have been burdened with undue strain.  

On that same note, a written description of one’s wishes regarding the funeral or memorial service itself may make the task easier for those left behind. Knowing they are carrying out someone’s last wishes is cathartic and actually helps to channel grief in a positive fashion. This takes out all the guesswork and indecisiveness which is seen in infighting as all are trying to do what they think their loved one would want. 

Perhaps one of the most critical planning choices facing all adults is cremation versus burial.  If burial is chosen, burial plots may be purchased well in advance. If cremation is chosen, a columbariam niche may be  purchased or directions may be left for how the ashes will be scattered.  
Major decisions can all be made in advance and both the emotional and financial burden on already grieving people may be lessened.  People often make the mistake of waiting until illness or disaster comes and what could have been simple funeral planning becomes a crisis decision, weighing on family and loved ones.