Funeral planning can be a daunting task. While it may be tough to think about when you are young and healthy, planning ahead is the key to ensuring your loved ones are not left with the burden of making decisions and guessing at your final wishes. To make this process as easy and painless as possible, we have put together this planning guide with 3 easy-to-follow steps.

Steps for Funeral Planning

1.) Plan Ahead

While it may be difficult to think about what you want your funeral to look like, those responsible for planning your funeral will thank you for planning ahead. Your plan does not need to be elaborate or complicated, but the more detailed the better. However, even a simple plan will help your family immensely. Start with the basics.

Interment Choices



Donation to science

Mausoleum entombment

Burial at sea

Funeral Service Choices

Traditional service

Memorial service

Graveside service

No service

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A funeral is the ultimate celebration of life, so there is no bad time to plan. The more detailed you are with your wishes, the less stress and anguish your loved ones will experience when it it time to memorialize you. Planning ahead gives you the opportunity to decide what you want, how you want it, and when you want it. Best of all, you aren’t locked in. If you change your mind, just update your plan. For more information on Funeral Pre-Planning, click here for an article by FuneralWise.

funeral planning

2.) Estimate your funeral costs

One of the benefits of planning your funeral in advance is that you assume the financial responsibilities, rather than your loved ones. Funeral costs can vary based on where you lives and what components you want to include in the service. Based on our research and industry studies, average funeral costs are as follows:

  1. Burial with a traditional funeral service: (visitation and the casket is present) $15,000
  2. Burial with a memorial service: (no casket, no visitation) $10,000
  3. Cremation with traditional funeral service: (casket is present and you have a visitation) $10,000-$12,000
  4. Cremation with a memorial service: (service takes place some time after the cremation, no casket, no visitation) $8,000-$10,000
  5. Cremation with no funeral or memorial service: $2,000
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Several things contribute to the cost of funerals, from the casket to the viewing. For example, a quality casket can be as low as $2,000 or more than $10,000. Cremation has recently been on the rise, as its cost can be significantly less than that of burial. While direct burial (no service) or cremation can be arranged for less than $1,000, we recommend that you consider having a memorial service (of some kind), to acknowledge the passing of your loved one. Ultimately, the best way to manage funeral costs is to plan ahead.
It is hard to create a budget for a funeral when you are unsure of how much the several aspects of a funeral costs. FuneralWise, an industry leader, has created a “Final Expense Calculator” to provide you instant estimates for end-of-life expenses. Click below to try it out.

For more information on funeral insurance, trusting, pre-purchasing cemetery space, and pre-need contracts, click the above links.

3.) Share your funeral plan

The best-made plans are no good if no one knows what you want. We suggest picking a trusted family member, friend, or advisor to be primarily responsible for carrying out your wishes. Organize and document your wishes, as this will be essential for helping those who are wrapping up your affairs. It’s ok if you don’t have it all figured out at once. Start with the basics and keep them updated as you add details gradually.

We hope that you find this funeral planning guide helpful and will consider making your plans ahead of time. Leaving behind a legacy is a special thing for future generations, and you have the power to start that now.

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