6 Facts You Should Know Before Pre-Planning a Funeral
The staff at Redmon Funeral Home wants you to be fully informed and comfortable regarding any pre-planning decisions you make. Increasingly, cemeteries are also offering pre-planning, so you may be unsure of where to begin this very important process or the proper steps to take.
At Redmon Funeral Home, we strongly believe that any funeral planning should begin at the funeral home, not the cemetery; to do otherwise is simply a backwards approach. Unfortunately, we’ve also seen time and time again where families thought they were saving money by making funeral arrangements through the cemetery, but found out later it ended up costing them much, much more.
When planned and pre-paid at the funeral home, the cost of a funeral is protected from inflation and can be transferred to any funeral home in the country. This is NOT true when making purchases at a cemetery that involve caskets or vaults.
Before you begin any pre-planning process, arm yourself with these six facts. By keeping these points in mind, you can avoid regrets or incurring additional expenses later:
- There is no reason you must update your files at the cemetery prior to a death. Very often this is part of a series of sales techniques used by cemetery salespeople to sell vaults, markers and caskets.
- Funeral homes will have a much larger selection of caskets, vaults and urns than what is available from a cemetery. This means greater choice in style and price. You may also find that similar or even lower quality caskets are as much as $1,000 more at the cemetery compared to the funeral home.
- After selecting a casket or vault, you should receive the manufacturer’s name, model number and model name. Funeral homes will ALWAYS provide this to you. This confirms to your family the merchandise you selected is provided later– not a substitute chosen by someone else.
- Make sure you can transfer your complete plan to any funeral home, in any state, at any time in the future. Get this promise in writing before you complete any sales transaction, particularly at a cemetery.
- Is the price quoted only valid at that moment or for a limited number of days? If so, this can be another high-pressure sales technique from a cemetery salesperson that you should avoid. You should NEVER be under time pressure when pre-planning these important decisions.
- Many cemeteries hire commissioned salespeople who might be required to meet sales goals or even quotas. This might shift their focus from “helping you” to “selling you.”
For more information on the process of preplanning, please contact Keith Redmon, Bruce Redmon, Kevin Nelson, Roy Raber or Wayne Heavilin, the licensed, non-commissioned funeral directors at Redmon Funeral Home, at 330-688-6631. These qualified, experienced professionals will guide you through the process and help you make decisions that are right for you and your family, not for the cemetery salesperson.
No one likes to think about death, let alone plan for it. But, while never easy, we can help make it simpler for both you and your family. Pre-planning a funeral can be very informal, and as simple as jotting down preferences and wishes and sharing them with others. More formal arrangements in the form of a pre-need contract can be set up with us and pre-funded through life insurance or bank trust. This option protects the cost of the planned funeral from inflation, and is transferable to any funeral home.
Why Pre-Plan Funeral Services
In many families, discussing one's mortality is an extremely uncomfortable topic, but it is a topic that should be discussed and planned for well in advance of your death.
By pre-planning your funeral, you relieve your family of having to make important financial decisions during a period of great stress and grief, a time when people aren't thinking very clearly and may not know what to do because you never made your wishes known.
It's easy to say, "Don't make a fuss. I don't want a ceremony;" however, it is important to realize that the ritual of a funeral and/or memorial service isn't for the deceased but for the living. It is a time when friends and family can gather together to grieve openly and to provide support for one another.
By pre-planning your funeral, you can:
- Meet the needs of your family
- Make your wishes known
- Control the cost of your funeral and protect it from inflation
- Ensure that personal records are organized and easy for your survivors to locate
- Protect your life insurance so that it provides for your survivors and not for funeral expenses
Information for Pre-Need Funeral Planning
- Vital Statistics
- Full name and complete address
- How long at current/former residence(s)
- Occupation, job title, nature of work, and history
- Location of workplace
- Social security number
- Veteran's serial number
- Date and place of military service, date of discharge
- Date of birth
- Place of birth
- Father's name
- Mother's maiden name
- Educational attainment
Paperwork and Documents to Collect
- Birth certificate
- Social security card
- Marriage license
- Military discharge
- Insurance policies (life, health, accident, property, auto)
- Bank books
- Stocks and bonds
- Property deed
- Cemetery deed
- Auto titles
- Tax returns, receipts, and cancelled checks
Decisions to Make
- Exact location of burial/disposition
- Location of service
- Casket / burial vault / urn
- Items for momento display
- Clothing and jewelry for deceased
- Service type (religious, fraternal, military)
- Selection of scripture and readings (poems, etc.)
- Clergy to officiate
- Register book, memorial/prayer cards
- Casket bearers
- Floral arrangements
- Music selections
- Transportation for family and guests, including funeral procession lineup