Have you ever had the difficult task of making final arrangements for a loved one or family member when they passed away? If you haven’t, most people have no idea of how much there is to do and how many decisions there are to make until they’ve been forced to sit in that chair. Also, until you’ve been in those shoes, most people have no idea what final arrangements cost. The best way to protect your loved ones from that difficult task is to plan your arrangements ahead of time. That day will always be difficult, but it would be much less difficult if your family knows what you want, and the plans are in place.
There are 2 major benefits of pre-planning. Not only are the decisions made, but the price is locked at the time of the pre-plan and payments can be made over time rather than in one lump sum. People often tell me “I have plenty of insurance to cover it.” The tough part of that is that they still must pay for the services at the time of need and wait to be reimbursed by the insurance when it finally comes to the beneficiaries. There is a much better way!
One of the tools we use to help with this process is called a FREE Personal Planning Organizer. It allows you to answer most of the questions that a funeral director will ask your family. This workbook contains a lot of practical information as well as great information on your assets and accounts. The practical information is helpful for the funeral home, but much of the book will serve as a roadmap for your family when they come to the overwhelming job of settling your estate.
The practical section of the book contains information that the state will need to generate a death certificate. I felt confident I would know all the information needed, but when I came to the place where it asked where my mother was born, I was stumped. Her dad, my grandad, was a pastor and they moved around a bit when she was young. I literally had no idea where she was born. Fortunately, I was able to pick up the phone and ask her, but as I was writing in the answer, I realized if I didn’t know the answer, how would my kids know that? I recognized on the very first page that this would be helpful for my family – hopefully, no time soon, but it would be helpful. The book continues to walk you through financial accounts and such so your family will know where to find important documents and includes a section on funeral preferences. You will be able to choose the music, who would speak and even what clothes you choose and whether to keep your glasses on. We’ve tried to think of everything! Once you see this book, you will recognize that it will be a literal piece of gold on the day that it’s needed!
The pre-planning process also allows you to choose where you would want to have your service and you can choose what type of casket or urn you would like.
I tell people all the time that if you wait until there’s a diagnosis, the tone of the conversation changes drastically. If you would be brave enough to start the conversation before that time comes, then the tone will be much more lighthearted and much less stressful. A decade ago, my family lost my sister-in-law who had never married. She was very healthy up until the last 3 months of her life when she found that she had an aggressive and incurable cancer. While the situation wasn’t as frantic as it might have been with a tragic car accident or something similar, there was still much to do and many decisions to make. That’s when this process became very personal for me, and I decided this would be a passion of mine to help families prepare for that difficult day.
We see so many families that struggle to agree on some of the little details, but when the choices were yours and you took the time to document those decisions, your family will be relieved to know that they are giving you exactly what you wanted. It’s the greatest gift you could ever give to your spouse or your children! To contact Texarkana Funeral Home please call (903) 794-1200, or visit Texarkanafuneralhome.com for more information.