Pre-Planning Information

Pre-Planning Information


Click on the links below for helpful pre-planning  information. 

We've had the privilege of assisting many families with their funeral pre-planning. During the time we've spent with them, we've learned more about the reasons behind their decision to take funeral pre-planning seriously.

What We've Heard Over the Years

  • Pre-planning my funeral was my way of showing my family just how much I love them.
  • In pre-paying for my funeral arrangements, I've lessened the financial burden on those people I leave behind.
  • I'm very independent and have always made all my own decisions.
  • Some say I like to be in control of everything and they're right!
  • This way my family knows exactly what I want. No one has to get angry or fight, and no one has to feel guilty about making the wrong decision. When I'm gone, they will know what I want.
  • I remember when my mother died. None of us kids knew what to do and absolutely none of us knew what she wanted. No one bothered to ask! I'm just not going to wait for my kids to ask me what I want. I'm going to tell them.
  • I guess it's because I want things done my way. I want to provide my funeral pre-arrangements to our local funeral home to make sure I get what I want.

These are just a few of the comments we've heard during funeral pre-arrangements. Chances are pretty good that some of these statements are true for you as well.

There are many benefits to end-of-life planning. Here are the top ten reasons why you  should consider making your funeral arrangements ahead of time:

  1. It means there will be fewer opportunities for argument and indecision about your funeral arrangements among family members after you're gone.
  2. Your survivors will never have to worry about doing the wrong thing when finalizing your funeral arrangements. You will have told them exactly what you want.
  3. No mistakes and no oversights. After you're gone, everything will be done your way.
  4. You have peace-of-mind now knowing that we will follow through with your wishes.
  5. After your death, no one can make any decisions you wouldn't want.
  6. Funeral pre-planning is the responsible thing to do. It removes the burden from family members.
  7. You can make complex decisions ahead of time when you have the time to think things through.
  8. Funeral pre-planning can involve pre-payment. This will save your family money and avoid any financial burdens.
  9. Funeral pre-planning involves an awareness of the reality of death.
  10. You are almost guaranteed to get what you want.

Get It Done...and Then Relax

We've put together this funeral pre-planning checklist to help you.

Taking Care of Finances and Property

  • Create a contact list of everyone who should be notified in a medical emergency or death including the name of your funeral home.
  • Give your executor(s) a copy of your will and the contact list.
  • Give your executor(s) a list of bank and investment accounts, creditors, mortgage or lien information, insurance policies, retirement plans, safe deposit boxes, real and personal properties of value, and all related telephone numbers.
  • If you are receiving benefits from Social Security or the Veterans' Administration, your executor needs that information to suspend benefit payments.
  • Select someone you trust to deal with your online accounts: email, online memberships, and social media. Include all relevant information and whether or not they should delete, close, or keep any of the accounts.

Taking Care of Funeral-Related Details

We suggest the following:

  • Make note of all the details you want mentioned in your obituary. You could even take this one step further and write your own obituary.
  • State, in writing, your preferences for burial or cremation.
  • If burial is preferred, provide the details of the cemetery arrangements. If you have not purchased a burial plot, this is the time to do so.
  • If you have chosen burial, what type of casket would you like? Should it be made of wood, metal, or composite materials?
  • If you choose cremation, what do you want done with the ashes?
  • Would you like a traditional funeral, memorial service, or celebration-of-life?
  • If you'd like a celebration-of-life, what location would you suggest for this event?
  • What special activities would you prefer at a celebration-of-life?
  • What music or special readings would you prefer?
  • What type and colors of flowers would you prefer?
  • Would you like to select a charitable organization to receive donations in your name?
  • If you're a veteran, would you like to receive full military honors as part of your service? Would you like to be buried in the grounds of a veterans' cemetery?

Taking Care of Your Pets

If you share your life with animal companions, you should think about who you would like to take care of your pets. Consult with the person to see if this is something they are interested in doing for you and then write down your intentions and include all contact information. This should be signed and witnessed, and then given to your executor.

Final Tasks in Funeral Pre-Planning

In addition to your will, the contact list, and the list of all your online account login details and related documents should be provided to your executor.

Finally, you may want to consider paying ahead of time for your funeral choices. Speak to us about how your pre-payment monies will be handled.

Before You Leave

You will have the peace-of-mind knowing all the details are written down and there can be no mistaking your wishes. If you need help - we're here for you. Call us today at (740) 335-2590.

We spend a lot of time talking about the importance of living responsibly, which involves preparing for the realities of life. While we believe making the decisions involved in funeral pre-planning is one reflection of a responsible mindset, we also know the critical importance of completing an advance directive.

What is an Advance Directive?

Sometimes called advance care directives, these document ensure that your wishes will be carried out in the future.

Defined as "a written statement of a person's wishes regarding medical treatment," advance directives, when properly signed and witnessed, will provide guidance for medical and health care decisions in the event the individual becomes incompetent and can no longer make such decisions.

Other Things to Know about Advanced Directives:

  • Advance directives are legal throughout the United States.
  • Governing laws vary so be sure to obtain an advance directive that complies with your state's laws.
  • You do not need an attorney to complete an advance directive.
  • If you reside in more than one state, you should complete an advance directive for each state where you spend a significant amount of time.
  • There are no time limitations on advance directives. A signed advance directive remains in force until a new one is completed.
  • Periodically review your advance directive to make sure it still reflects your desires. If it doesn't, don't try to amend it; simply complete a new one.
  • Paramedics and emergency medical technicians cannot recognize or honor a living will or medical power of attorney. They are obligated to do their best to stabilize the patient and get them to the hospital. When you are in the care of hospital personnel, your advance directive becomes valid.
What's Involved in Preparing an Advance Directive? 

It requires thoughtful introspection and conversation with family members. The American Bar Association describes the process this way: "Good advance planning for health care decisions is, in reality, a continuing conversation about values, priorities, the meaning of one's life, and quality of life."

There are many resources available online to assist and guide you in writing your Advance Directive. 

Where to Obtain an Advance Directive Form

It's fairly easy to get a copy of the advance care directive form for your state. Your local hospital is a reliable source, as federal law requires every hospital to not only provide information about advance directives to people in their service area, they are also required to share valuable information about the related laws in your state. Contact your local hospital to learn more. Your family physician may also have advance directive forms available for patients.

You will need to have the advance directive witnessed and notarized. If you do not have access to a notary, you can find one using either of the following websites:

Once your advance directive is completed, signed, witnessed, and notarized, you may wish to upload a copy to your state's advance directive registry. This service allows healthcare providers quick access to your advance directive should they need it. Locate the advance directive registry for your state online or visit the website for the U.S. Living Will Registry.

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