Five Mistakes to Avoid When Planning a Funeral

Preplanning a funeral can be a tough process. Nobody gets excited about it and that is ok. However, remember the reasons for making the effort. You are assuring that your wishes are followed. You may want a burial or cremation and by preplanning, you know you will get what you asked for. You can request certain things or arrangements that are important to you. You may or may not want a service. You may or may not want to be interred. You can involve the people who know you the best. You can control the money spent on your services. You can decide the material decisions and the investment in those necessities.

By remembering your reasons for preplanning, you may focus on the important matters and get through tough questions more easily. Usually, there are a few things that seem to be overlooked. Here are some things to be sure you cover.

  1. HAVE YOUR BUDGET FIRMLY IN MIND. If you don’t want to spend a lot of money, you shouldn’t have to. Conversely, if you want to spend the money for a beautiful casket or urn, it is your money. Either way, don’t let anybody else put a load of guilt on you. Many people plan their own funerals simply to control costs. If you know your children will over spend out of guilt, then taking that load off their shoulders now is a great way to absolve them of the decision. It is always hard to make decisions based on “what they might have wanted.” The one who can best plan your memorial is YOU.

  2. KNOW WHICH AFTER-LIFE CARE YOU DESIRE AND START WITH THAT. If you want to be cremated, then preplanning will lock that in, regardless of your children or grandchildren or heirs. You may want your ashes scattered somewhere special to you. If you would rather be buried, then picking your casket, vault, and burial plot will give you completion.

  3. PUT SOME TIME AND THOUGHT INTO THE PLAN FOR YOUR SERVICE. You know what music you would like played. You know who you want to speak. Whether that person is a minister or not is irrelevant. What is important is that the person in mind knows you well. It is very hard to memorialize someone that you don’t know on a deeper level. Many funeral homes have a minister on staff, but if you plan, you can have a loved one remember you in ways that nobody else can. If there are organizations or friends that you want to be involved, or if there is a message for those left behind that you would like to relay, this is where you can make that known.

  4. SPECIFY YOUR CLOTHING if it matters to you. You know what you would like to spend forever dressed in. Whether it’s a formal suit or a stylish outfit, you get to choose what attire you will wear. If you have something that is special, lay it out in the plans.

  5. YOU CAN FACTOR IN SOME MONEY FOR THE INCIDENTALS IF YOU DESIRE. While it isn’t part of the normal process, we will be happy to add some extra money in for flowers or other things that you would like to help your family out with.

Planning your own services tells those around you that you love them and are taking this part of the process off their shoulders. By tending to those details now, you can enjoy better conversations in the future with friends and family.

Forest Lawn Funeral Home serves the Mobile, Alabama area with funeral and cremation services, grief support, pre-planning, and more. Visit us online at! Call us anytime at (251) 675-0824 or connect with Forest Lawn Funeral Home on Facebook and Twitter!

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