Considerations about Pre-Planning a Funeral
The U.S. Department of Health and Human Services reported that 2,513,171 people died in the United States in 2011. That averages out to over 688 people each day; in other words, over 688 families are affected by significant loss in this country each and every day.
A portion of those people had chosen to make their funeral arrangements ahead of time, but even more (for a variety of reasons) had no such plan in place at the time of their death. In short, their families were forced to deal with making funeral arrangements on their own, when they were in the depths of grief. It may be commonplace, but it's easily avoided by taking the necessary steps to pre-plan your funeral services with a trusted funeral home.
Pre-planning your funeral isn't as difficult as you might imagine; especially if you have the assistance of our experienced funeral directors and pre-planning experts. We know how emotionally hard it can be to face the probability of your own passing, and will gently guide you through the process; engage you fully in a conversation about your personal preferences, family dynamics, and any financial issues which may affect your decisions. We will work together to arrive at the perfect funeral pre-arrangement plan for your needs.
Extending Your Watchful Care
Let's face it, you love your family; you care deeply about their welfare. Certainly, you have always been there to protect them throughout your life; so why not do everything you can to continue that level of care after your death? Pre-planning your funeral is truly an act of compassionate care; you simply don't want to leave them with the burden of making difficult decisions when their hearts and minds are consumed by grief.
It's Also about Finding Balance for Those You Love
In pre-planning a funeral with us, experienced professionals can help you design a funeral pre-need plan which will honor both the emotional and spiritual needs of your surviving loved ones; and if you choose to pre-play, you are protecting their financial interests as well.
Certainly, their lives will be deeply impacted by your passing; you can imagine how the loss will be emotionally very difficult. It may call their spiritual beliefs into question, and cause them to doubt much about what they know (or thought they knew) of the world around them. Let's not forget the financial impact of having to pay for hastily (and perhaps mistakenly) chosen funeral services. It's far better relieve them of these potential burdens by turning to experienced funeral pre-planning specialists before the need becomes immediate.
But with the large number of funeral service options available today, it is important to speak with someone you can truly trust. Here at Charles Verheyden Funeral Homes, Inc., we are deeply familiar with a wide range of related topics, such as organ and tissue donations, embalming, and cremation. And of course, we're experienced with visitations, traditional, time-honored funerals as well as memorial services. We'll help you explore your funeral pre-planning options, including your pre-payment options.
Additionally, if you're still undecided about the value of pre-planning a funeral, we encourage you to read Funeral Pre-Planning Options. And here's something you should know; in fact it's so important, the Michigan Funeral Directors Association places this information very prominently on their Planning Ahead page: Michigan law allows your surviving next-of-kin (the person considered responsible for overseeing your funeral arrangements) to change your pre-plan as they see fit; however, they cannot altogether cancel your pre-funded contract.
Questions to Ask When Pre-Planning Your Funeral
In "Pre-Paid Funeral Contracts", Bill Schuette, currently Michigan's Attorney General, provides consumers with a set of 10 empowering questions to ask when pre-planning your funeral (see complete source citation below):
1. Exactly what are you are paying for, and exactly who will provide the services and merchandise you plan to purchase? (All these details must be listed in the funeral pre-need contract.)
2. Are you dealing with a licensed funeral director, or registered and credentialed insurance broker? Michigan permits individuals to sell funeral goods and services on a pre-arranged basis, but only if he or she is registered as a seller with the State of Michigan, and receives a stated level of certification.
However, our Attorney General has cautioned Michigan consumers: "The providers of these goods and services are not all the same", in that "funeral directors in Michigan are tested, regulated, and inspected by the state; but funeral pre-need sellers are not required to be similarly licensed (and are therefore not tested, regulated or inspected). Here's a list of questions you
3. If you choose to pre-fund your funeral expenses with a trust or escrow account, be sure to ask "what will be done with the interest earned?"
4. Is your funeral pre-arrangement plan transferable and refundable without a penalty?
5. Can you cancel your funeral pre-need contract? (Will you be financially penalized for the decision to cancel?)
6. If you opt to purchase funeral insurance, ask for all details regarding the insurance company issuing the policy. ("How many years have they been in business?")
We whole-heartedly agree with the Attorney General when he advises consumers to "check-in" with their feelings throughout the funeral pre-planning conference. He suggests you ask yourself (and anyone who accompanies you) if you feel hurried or otherwise pressured to finalize your funeral pre-need arrangements.
If your answer–or the consensus of those involved–is "yes, we're being pressured", the best move would be to postpone the pre-arrangement conversation until after you call 313.881.8500 to speak with one of our experienced and knowledgeable funeral pre-planning specialists. He or she will address any concerns you may have, and candidly answer any or all of the above questions about pre-planning your funeral.
What's the Next Step?
It's an easy one to take: simply call us at 313.881.8500 to set an appointment with one of our pre-planning specialists. No worries about having to come into one of our locations, as we will be pleased to advise you in the privacy and comfort of your home.