One Thing That Stands in the Way of Prearranging

Prearranging is a service that many consumers have demonstrated they want – for example, Homesteaders’ policy owners indicate high levels of satisfaction with their decision to prearrange, and they’re very likely to recommend it to someone else.* But even though consumers have many good reasons to make advance funeral plans, it may take some time for them to take action.

One third of the respondents to our 2015 survey of policy owners told us that more than a year passed between when they first thought about prearranging and the time when they completed the paperwork. This is similar to the results of our 2013 survey, in which we collected additional responses to learn more. So what prevented these policy owners from completing the paperwork sooner? Here’s what they had to say:

  • “I just kept thinking about it, and I just didn’t finish it.”
  • “It’s one of those things you just don’t do for a while and then you decide you might as well go ahead and do it.”
  • “Just putting it off.”

The common thread between these responses is that advance funeral planning just wasn’t top of mind. It’s natural for us to get caught up in more pressing matters, and long-term planning gets put off for later. Here are a few ways you can help families take the next step in completing advance funeral plans.

Increase Awareness

Unless they’ve recently experienced the death of a loved one, it’s unlikely that consumers are thinking about funeral planning on a regular basis. Funeral service initiatives such as FAMIC’s Have the Talk of a Lifetime™ are making strides toward bringing these topics to the forefront, however, and additional resources are being made available to help facilitate discussions among family members. You can do your part by hosting events where members of your community can learn more about advance funeral planning. In addition to increasing awareness of your preneed services, you’ll provide a chance for people who have already thought about prearranging to get their questions answered before completing the paperwork.

Explain How It Works

Think about the last situation in which you, as a consumer, felt you didn’t have enough information to make the best decision. It likely left you frustrated and might have even discouraged you from making a purchase. You can avoid this frustration on behalf of your client families by explaining exactly how prearrangement works at your funeral home. When your families fully understand the process, they’ll feel better prepared to finalize their advance funeral plans.

Ask How You Can Help

If a person has already expressed interest in prearranging but hasn’t completed the paperwork, find out if there’s anything you can do to help. Are they unsure about how to talk to their loved ones about their plans? Do they need more information about funding options? Are they worried that they won’t be able to change their plans later? You may find that the person simply needs additional resources to help complete the advance funeral plan.
*Statistics and quotes in this article based on results of 2015 and 2013 Homesteaders policy owner surveys.


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