With all of the emphasis on getting your estate into shape and having a will or trust, the idea of preplanning and prepaying for your funeral and associated costs, like the casket, is often overlooked. However, this is an important part of planning for your future because your death has a very good chance of being unexpected, and paying now locks in many costs. But saving money isn't the only reason to plan and pay now.
If you hope to be buried in a particular area of the cemetery, or if you want to be sure that your headstone matches those of the family members buried nearby, you really have to preplan and prepay. Headstone styles, for example, can change drastically, with engravers discontinuing certain designs. Prepaying now ensures the engravers will be able to produce the headstone design that you want, even if they are no longer offering it for new funeral plans at the time of your death.
If there's anything special you want in your memorial service, at your funeral, on your headstone, and so on, preplanning gives you the chance to find it and state that it be included. Especially if you prepay for items like your casket by purchasing it through a place like Elmwood Casket Company, you know those are going to end up in the service or be on your headstone, for example. If you leave the planning up to your heirs, they could plan something that you hate or that you think is overemotional. If you want your say, you need to preplan and try to prepay.
Credit (or Lack Thereof)
Once you die and your heirs have to arrange for your funeral, they are going to find there are expenses they have to pay for immediately. By arranging for and paying for your funeral early, you eliminate many of those expenses. That can be a great relief to heirs who don't have a lot of available cash or credit. Even if your heirs seem to be doing well now, you don't know what their financial situation will be at the time of your death. There are some costs that your heirs will have to pay as they arrange for your funeral no matter how much you try to prepay, but these costs can be limited to a very small amount with your help.
Contact the funeral home you plan to arrange your funeral with and see what options they have for every aspect. Remember that you don't have to make it an ornate funeral or have tons of accessories, so don't feel pressured to arrange for a lot. See what's on offer and take your time choosing.