Why you should think about your funeral wishes


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Death and funerals are something many people prefer not to think about. They can be depressing subjects to consider, but avoiding them doesn’t make them go away. They’re an important way to honour those who have passed on for most people, whether it’s a sombre occasion or celebrating the life they once lived.

Even though many people agree that funerals are important, they’d probably prefer not to plan their own farewell service. But planning ahead can be a great way to avoid mishaps or catastrophes down the line—and that might include your own funeral. Since death can’t be avoided, you may want to organise as much as possible well in advance to ensure there are no unfortunate surprises for family members when that day comes.

There are two important reasons why you might want to discuss funeral wishes with your loved ones: to help them better manage their emotions and to help cover the expense.

Removing the emotional burden of a funeral

The subject of death is often avoided in discussions, especially family ones. It might be upsetting to think about losing someone you love so much or difficult to explain why what happens at your funeral is so important to you. However, taking the initiative yourself could help remove some of the burden of responsibility from others, so that they can carry out your plans and honour your funeral wishes.

Your family may be at its lowest point when you pass away, fighting to come to terms with the sadness of losing someone they cared about deeply. Setting that aside temporarily to plan a funeral is no easy feat, even for the mentally toughest of us all.

Talking about your funeral wishes in non-threatening, unemotional terms could help family members better handle some to the pain and mental anguish when you eventually pass. That way, they can get on with the real business of arranging the service when the time arrives, without added stress or confusion from wondering if they’re making the right choices.

By sharing your funeral ideas and preferences (or even making arrangements well in advance), your family may be able to grieve a little easier. Knowing that all or even just some of the plans for the funeral are taken care of could help them start saying goodbye sooner, rather than having to pause the grieving process to focus on the funeral and burial.

Removing the financial burden of a funeral

While some might argue that planning for your funeral is a morbid fascination with death, the opposite is true. It’s not that you want to think about it, it’s that you don’t want to burden others with the costs—both emotional and monetary.

Funerals can be expensive, especially if you’ve not given any thought to how others might pay for yours. Families often need to come up with thousands of dollars on short notice when somebody dies, as few likely have that kind of money just lying around. Loved ones may scramble to sell items, empty bank accounts or rack up credit card debt to pay for even a modest funeral.

Funeral insurance is one option to help pay for this final expense. This insurance is like others, where you regularly pay an amount (known as a ‘premium’) and the insurance company pays a set benefit to your family after you pass away. This money could be used to cover costs like the coffin, flowers and transportation to and from the event. It could be a godsend to those arranging your funeral, helping keep them out of debt and able to continue paying their own bills.

Helping the ones you love the most

As difficult as it can be to consider your own death, it might be even more difficult for your family to plan the entire day without any guidance or financial support. Thinking about your funeral wishes is about helping to remove some of the burden placed on your family as they set about planning it. Doing whatever you can now to help, whether that’s taking out funeral insurance or writing down your general preferences, could mean the difference between a stressful event or a calmer celebration of your life.  

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