Talking about death is often difficult. Yet a death in the family may create problems for survivors which can sometimes be alleviated by discussion and pre-planning. Funeral and burial arrangements are an important consideration and should be discussed openly and frankly. Pre-arranging and sometimes pre-financing a funeral is a method some people choose to assist their survivors after death occurs.
In many things which are pre-planned, there can be unforeseen developments between the time of planning and of putting the plans into effect. This is especially true in the pre-arranging of funerals since there is no way of knowing beforehand exactly when, where, how and under what circumstances death will come. And these unknown factors could alter original plans substantially.
Careful counseling with an experienced funeral director can avoid unwise planning or even fraudulent schemes involving particularly the financing of funerals in advance of death. There are many different reasons for pre-arranging a funeral. Some people, especially those who are alone in the world, may want the assurance of a funeral and burial which meet their personal beliefs, standards or life-style. Others feel a responsibility to assist survivors by arranging approximate funeral and burial cost guidelines. Still other have moved to distant places, or maintain both summer and winter residences. They may want to make sure that certain recommendations are heeded as to where the funeral and burial or other final disposition will take place. Actually, there are almost as many explanations for pre-arranging funeral as there are people requesting them.
Advantages or disadvantages of funeral pre-arrangements depends upon the individual circumstances and cannot be generalized. What may be satisfying for some could be impractical for others. Pre-arranging a funeral is often a tentative plan contingent upon the belief that circumstances will remain relatively stable during the remaining lifetime of the pre-arranger and of those whom he or she involves in the arrangements.