The Answers to Your Funeral Preplanning Questions

Planning a funeral can be difficult for newly bereaved family members. They may be exhausted, emotional and ill-equipped to make decisions. At the same time, they want to do what their loved one would have wanted. But do they know?

To eliminate this layer of stress at an already unbearable time, many people are opting for a more proactive stance on their final goodbye and planning their funerals themselves. 

Kelly Carey, who oversees operations at Codey and Mackey Funeral Home in Boonton and Codey Funeral Home in Caldwell, has seen this trend become more popular in recent years. 

“There are several reasons why people are preplanning their funerals,” Kelly says. “They have ideas of how they want their funerals to be and want to make sure their wishes are carried out. Or, they want to save their families the overwhelming task of handling the details, especially after they’ve experienced doing it themselves for a loved one.” 

Kelly helped answer some common questions about preplanning.

Who Should Preplan Their Funeral?

While anyone who wants to proactively prepare their funeral details can do advance planning, Kelly says they consult mostly with older clients. 

“We meet with several clients every month who want to go ahead and firm up their arrangements,” Kelly says. “Sometimes they are handling other aspects of life planning like drawing up a will. Funeral planning naturally fits with getting your affairs in order.” 

However, even younger folks and single people can benefit from handling their funeral arrangements in advance. 

What Is Involved in Preplanning a Funeral?

Decisions include whether to be buried or cremated or to donate your body to a local medical school, for example. Depending on your choice, you might need to select a casket or urn or make other arrangements in advance. Other decisions include the type of service, your final resting place, songs, speakers/readings, prayer cards and any other aspects of the arrangements. Some people even choose to write their own obituaries. And clients often pay for their final arrangements to remove one more burden from their surviving loved ones. 

“Some of our clients choose a traditional service, while others prefer a celebration of life,” Kelly notes. “The best thing about planning your own funeral is the peace of mind it offers.”

How Should You Broach the Subject with Family?

Sometimes loved ones avoid any topic related to death, feeling it’s too sad, morbid or even superstitious to discuss. However, it’s often beneficial for everyone to have the conversation. 

“Individuals who are interested in handling their own funeral details should gently introduce the subject to their spouse, children or other loved ones. Explain the practicality of it all, and then take the initiative to meet with the funeral home and line up the details,” Kelly says.. 

How Long Does It Take to Preplan Your Funeral?

Preplanning your funeral is typically easy and, according to Kelly, can be done in a single visit or phone call. Most people have certain ideas already, and the funeral home can help clarify the details.

“Visualize what you want, meet with the funeral home to review your choices, get the plans in writing, and rest easy knowing your wishes will be carried out. And if you change your mind down the road, it’s as simple as making a phone call to revise the plan,” she says.

Once your funeral is planned, inform your loved ones of the details. That way, they can also have peace of mind knowing the important decisions have been made, and they can focus on helping each other through a difficult time.

For more information on preplanning your funeral, call us at (973)-334-5252. It is our privilege to help you get started.