Planning Your Funeral
By Budda Oliver
It may seem odd, but more and more people are planning
their own funerals early in their lives. The advantages
to doing so include personalizing the event, eliminating
a lot of stress for your loved ones, and paying for it
on your own.
The first thing you should do is open a POD
(payable-on-death) account with your bank, which will
allow your family access after your death. This way, you
don't have to necessarily pay for funeral services in
advance, but you will have enough money set aside for
your family to use on your funeral.
It is important to keep the lines of communication open
when planning your memorial service. Make sure to
clearly state your wishes for your funeral. Having
verbal communication about your interment will keep your
loved ones aware of your wishes and will often work well
in conjunction with a written request. Consult with your
attorney and keep a written record of your arrangements
in a place where they can be easily accessed. Make sure
that a trusted loved one is aware of their location.
Contact several different funeral directors near where
you would like to be buried, and compare prices. You can
take your time in finalizing plans. Keep in mind that
whichever funeral home you choose should be able to
assist your family in obtaining death certificates, and
will assist in preparing and submitting your obituary.
Review any religious or cultural preferences you may
have, and request information on the specific kind of
memorial service you would like. A good funeral director
will help you contact the appropriate clergy member to
assist in your funeral.
If you would rather your guests donate to a specific
charity instead of bringing or sending flowers, be sure
to specify your wishes to your family and loved ones.
Include instructions on where donations should be sent,
and under whose name. You might choose a hospital,
hospice agency, charity that sponsors the sickness you
have, or a charity that you frequently worked for and
Choose where you would like to buried, and make the
proper arrangements. Many couples will purchase their
plot while they are still living. That way, they
guarantee a resting place that is directly next to their
loved ones. Remember that plots, caskets, and grave
markers are expensive, so plan for yours well in
advance. Choose what you would like engraved on your
grave marker, and document it. Many people choose to be
cremated. If this is right for you, you might consider
selecting an urn or a place for your remains to be
scattered. There are legal restrictions on the
scattering of remains, so check with your funeral
director before deciding on a location.
Mr. Oliver is a marketing agent of Morrissett Funeral
Home. The funeral home provides funeral services
throughout the Richmond Virginia area. For more
information on their Funeral Home please visit their