Pre-planning your funeral and discussing it with your family may initially seem like an uncomfortable topic, but it is becoming more acceptable, especially with the current Covid-19 pandemic.
Under normal circumstances, funerals are usually held one to two weeks after the passing of a loved one, depending on your religion. However, there may be a delay should an inquest into the death be necessary, or during pandemics – such as the one which we are currently experiencing. Whatever time your family may have, arranging a funeral is always a very challenging undertaking to manage during a period of grief.
Although you may feel that you do not want a big fuss made on your passing, it is important to remember that your family and friends may need some form of ritual to gain a sense of closure and peace of mind.
There are also many benefits when planning your funeral in advance.
Easing the burden on your family
The death of a loved one always brings grief and is, unfortunately, often accompanied by much confusion and many disagreements stemming from a lack of direction during this period of mourning. One way to alleviate the confusion and avoid the resulting family conflict is to pre-plan your funeral to leave your family with relative peace of mind about what is needed to honour your life after your passing.
There are many details that go into the planning of a funeral, which is why your funeral wishes should take the following into consideration:
• Would you prefer a traditional funeral service with your coffin/casket present or a memorial service only?
• Would you prefer to be buried or cremated, or do you have an eco-friendly burial in mind?
• Where would you like to be buried or cremated?
• What type of casket would you prefer?
• What type of tombstone would you prefer?
• Would you like a viewing to be arranged prior to your funeral service?
• Who would you like to speak at your funeral or memorial service?
• What music would you like played?
• What readings would you like recited?
• How will your funeral be financed?
Allowing time for proper grieving
By pre-planning your funeral, you can take care of many of the smaller details that may be a burden to your grieving loved ones during a time where they want to mourn and not be bothered by burdensome tasks. It also allows them to concentrate on the funeral duties at hand without feeling rushed to make a hasty decision.
Providing financial peace of mind
Aside from the trauma experienced by your family with your passing, the costs involved with a burial, cremation or memorial service could become an unexpected financial burden to your loved ones if it has not been planned for in advance
Prevent additional family stress
Pre-planning your funeral not only involves ensuring that your funeral wishes are met, but also that any unnecessary stress is removed from your family’s shoulders with regards to locating all the documentation needed for the cumbersome administrative tasks that follow a death.
Some of these important documents that need to be readily available in the event of your death include:
• Your Last Will and Testament
• Your ID Document
• Your Marriage Certificate and Contract / Divorce Order and Settlement Agreement
• Contact details for your heirs and their certified ID documents
• Original Title Deeds in your name
• Original Motor Vehicle Licences
• Original Firearm Licences
• Policy details
• Retirement Annuities/Pension Fund documents
• Banking details
• Insurance details
• Online login and password details
• SARS Tax details
These are a few examples of a long list of documents that will need to be available. Sonja Smith Funeral Group has a downloadable Life File on their website that serves as a useful checklist against which you can confirm that you have filed all your private documents together. This Life File should be easily accessible to your loved ones when the time comes.
Finding the right funeral home
Pre-planning a funeral allows you more time to properly prepare and to find a funeral home that appeals to both you and your loved ones. It also enables you and your family to build a relationship with the Funeral Director so that, when the time comes, your family will have the assurance that they are dealing with someone they already know.
By pre-planning your funeral, all the arrangements can be made without any pressure and calmly discussed with your loved ones. You will also be able to have your final wishes made known, as well as to control the costs of your funeral, and make provision for any unforeseen circumstances.
Contact Sonja Smith Funeral Group to assist you with putting your affairs in order, so that you do not leave matters for your loved ones to sort out during their bereavement. Sonja Smith Funeral Group will ensure that your final farewell is both personal and memorable and a celebration of the life you lived.