What Are the Most Important Reasons for Funeral Planning?


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Advance funeral planning is a rising trend among families. According to a survey done by Harris Poll for the Funeral and Memorial Information Council (FAMIC), 69% of adults over the age of 40 said they would prefer to prearrange their own funeral service.

Why are people choosing to prearrange their funerals? We asked funeral planners to rate their most important reasons for prearranging in our 2015 policy owner survey and published the results in the fourth edition of Pre-need Motivators.

Here are a few key takeaways: 

1. To eliminate emotional burden from their children.

91% of Homesteaders policy owners cite “eliminating an emotional burden from their children” as an “extremely important” motivator in their decision to prearrange. The passing of a loved one can be a stressful time. There are a lot of decisions to be made when planning a funeral. Because of heightened emotions, those decisions can be clouded by grief. This added stress can sometimes lead to disagreements among surviving family members when planning the funeral.

Many people want to rid their surviving loved ones of this burden, helping their families to focus on supporting one another instead of funeral planning tasks. Planning a funeral also takes a tremendous emotional toll on grieving family members. Those who prearrange may feel as though they are still caring for their loved ones after they are gone.

2. To eliminate financial burden from their children.

89% of Homesteaders policy owners cite “eliminating a financial burden from their children” as an “extremely important” reason they decided to prearrange. By prearranging, parents are able to save their family members from paying for all of the funeral expenses out of pocket while also saving them time and stress.

3. To lock in prices.

85% of policy owners cite “locking in prices” as an “extremely important” motivator in their decision to prearrange. Most funeral homes in the U.S. will freeze the price of a funeral at the time it was prearranged.* Like all other products and services, the cost of a funeral is likely to increase with inflation. For many families, it is hard to come up with the required amount of money in such a short amount of time.

By prearranging and prefunding their funerals, client families can freeze the cost on guaranteed services and often end up paying much less than they would five, 10 or 15 years in the future.

4. To choose their desired arrangements.

85% of Homesteaders policy owners cite “choosing desired arrangements” as an “extremely important” motivator for prearranging their funeral. A funeral is a celebration of a loved one’s life, and every life is unique. In a study done by FuneralOne, 62% of respondents said they wanted some sort of personalization in their funerals.

By prearranging, client families can choose exactly what they want their funerals to be like. They can make it as specific as they want. They can personalize their funeral to reflect the unique aspects of their life, by showcasing their passions and hobbies, along with their most precious memories.

People prearrange their funerals for many different reasons – to leave one last gift for their family, to take care of the financial responsibility or to let their final wishes to be known. No matter what the reason for funeral planning may be, it’s important to talk with your loved ones and local funeral provider about your options and final wishes.

*Freezing the cost of a funeral varies by state and by funeral home. Talk to your funeral director about locking in the price of your funeral.

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