Funerals help you pay tribute to your loved ones who have passed. However, attempting to plan a ceremony soon after a death can be stressful. Fortunately, funeral preplanning helps you arrange funerals before an individual passes. Preplanning can help eliminate the stress you and your family feel when a death occurs.

At Joseph A. Lucchese Funeral Home, we want to help you understand funeral preplanning so you’re aware of all your options for funeral services. We’ll help you document your or your loved one’s wishes to ensure a peaceful send-off. There are several components to funeral preplanning, so if you’re unsure where to start, we can help.

Here are 20 of the most asked funeral plan questions we receive.

1. What Is Preplanning a Funeral?

Preplanning a funeral is when you make funeral arrangements for an individual before they pass. You can arrange the ceremony days, months or years before a loss occurs. With preplanning, the individual can participate in making their own funeral arrangements so the ceremony reflects their personality. They can also choose what happens with their body after their death. Additionally, having the funeral arrangements already in place takes the pressure off the surviving individuals close to the deceased so they have time to grieve.

2. At What Age Should You Plan Your Funeral?

You can plan your funeral at any age, though it’s common for people to wait until they’re in their thirties and older to begin funeral planning. The cost of funerals adds up quickly, so creating a financial plan to pay for one as early as possible can help you prepare in case of an unexpected death.

3. How Do I Preplan a Funeral Arrangement?

You can contact a funeral home to speak with a funeral director and begin the preplanning process for a funeral arrangement. At Joseph A. Lucchese Funeral Home, our funeral preplanning has three focuses, including:

  1. Preparing the deceased.
  2. Ceremony structure.
  3. Guest attendance.

We’ll help you preplan a funeral arrangement to meet the wishes of the individual. They can decide how they want their body disposed of, the structure of the services and how many people they want to attend the funeral.

4. How Many People Plan Their Own Funerals?

The number of people planning their own funerals varies. While the concept of preparing at an early age is starting to become more popular, there’s still a margin between those preplanning for themselves. A survey by funeral directors associated with CPJ Field found that out of 2,000 people ages 18 to 34 years old who recently experienced the death of a loved one, 19% of them began planning their funerals.

The survey also concluded that 15% of people ages 35 to 54 years old and 10% of people 55 years old and older plan their funerals.

5. Is Preplanning a Funeral a Good Idea?

Preplanning a funeral helps provide peace of mind to you and your loved ones. When you pass, your family and friends who arrange your funeral will have a plan to follow, ensuring they carry out your preferences. They’ll also have more time to grieve without worrying about creating funeral arrangements. Some of the benefits of preplanning a funeral include:

  • Having established costs.
  • Making decisions for yourself.
  • Relieving stress for your family.

6. What Does a Funeral Pre-Planner Do?

A funeral pre-planner will help you determine the funeral arrangements, ensuring you receive the type of service, burial, decorations and music you choose before you pass. Once you’ve made your decisions, a funeral pre-planner will add up the costs and help you make adjustments if you want to change anything.

7. What Is a Funeral Preneed?

A funeral preneed is when individuals enter a contract to prepay funeral goods and services they’ll receive upon death. Paying for funeral expenses in advance can lessen the burden on your surviving loved ones when the time comes. People may choose to have a preneed funeral contract while planning their funerals to ensure their loved ones stay worry-free about expenses.

8. What Is the Average Cost of a Funeral in 2021?

In 2021, the national average cost of a funeral can be between $7,000 and $12,000. Many of the costs cover the basic service fees, the burial plot, cremation services, a casket, headstone and more. The expenses vary from person to person, depending on the funeral arrangements you make.

9. Why Are Funerals So Expensive?

Funerals have many components that add up, causing the arrangement to sometimes be costly. On top of the essential fees, many people may make quick decisions about funeral arrangements while under pressure during an emotional time. Funerals can quickly cost thousands of dollars if you don’t take time to research and find the most affordable options.

10. What Questions Will a Funeral Director Ask?

When you meet with a funeral director to discuss funeral arrangements, they’ll ask you a series of questions that help make the funeral experience more manageable for you while ensuring the deceased receives the honoring they deserve. Some questions may include:

  • Do you want a funeral service, visitation or viewing?
  • When and where do you want services held?
  • Do you want speakers or musicians at the service?
  • Do you prefer burial, cremation or another type of internment?
  • Is there a final resting place you have in mind?

11. How Long Is a Meeting With a Funeral Director?

A meeting with a funeral director varies based on the arrangements you plan to make, but they can typically last between 90 minutes and three hours. During the session, you’ll also provide the funeral director with the deceased’s information. The director will use this info to request death certificates, file for life insurance claims and file veterans’ burial benefits, if applicable.

12. When Should You Contact a Funeral Director?

You can contact a funeral director within 24 hours of a death to prepare the final arrangements. They can help you make arrangements for transferring the body to the funeral home or other care facility. Additionally, if the deceased has a preplanned funeral, the funeral director can help you begin following the plan.

13. What Happens If You Have No Money for the Funeral?

Funerals are often expensive and sometimes people may not have the money needed to pay for one. If you have no money for a funeral, you may need to sign the deceased’s body over to the coroner to let them dispose of the body. You also won’t have the option to choose the final resting place for the deceased. Instead, the coroner may bury the individual in an indigent cemetery, which is a cemetery specifically for those who can’t afford burial elsewhere.

14. What Is the Least Expensive Way to Bury Someone?

The least expensive way to bury someone is through direct burial. Soon after the death, the body is taken to the cemetery and buried without embalming or visitation services. The funeral director or those in charge of burials wait long enough to secure the death certificate before proceeding with direct burial.

15. How Do You Plan a Funeral Checklist?

Having a funeral checklist can help you keep track of everything you need to do before and after a death occurs. To plan a funeral checklist, you need to consider what fundamentals you want present at your funeral and the arrangement costs. Your funeral checklist can include:

  • Setting a budget.
  • Choosing the type of disposition you prefer.
  • Making healthcare decisions.
  • Organizing legal documents.
  • Meeting with a funeral director.
  • Preplanning funeral arrangements.

You can use our comprehensive end-of-life resource to help you construct your funeral checklist. You’ll find resources to guide you through your next steps when planning funeral arrangements.

16. Is it Weird to Plan Your Own Funeral?

Planning your own funeral is not weird. It gives your family fewer decisions to make during a difficult and emotional time. Whether you plan to hold a traditional funeral service or would rather have a memorial service celebrating your life, you can make that decision when you plan your funeral.

17. What Is a Simple Funeral Plan?

A simple funeral plan is an affordable approach to funeral services, providing the basic funeral procedures for service. A funeral director may choose the location, day and time when the funeral happens. There also won’t be additional features a traditional funeral could have, like a limousine or heavily decorated casket or urn. The basic version of a funeral can save you money, lessening the financial strain you may face due to a sudden death.

18. How Do I Plan a Small Funeral?

When you want to plan a small funeral, you can contact your local funeral home to see their options. A small funeral can consist of the simplest funeral features and follow a similar structure to traditional funerals. You can keep the funeral small by inviting only the deceased’s closest family and friends to say their goodbyes.

19. Are There Laws Governing Funeral Preplanning?

There are laws governing funeral preplanning, specifically with the prepayment of funeral goods and services. Many states have laws that help ensure advance payments are available to pay for the expenses when needed. Some states have laws requiring funeral homes to place prepayment percentages into a state-regulated trust or life insurance policy.

20. Does Medicare Cover Funeral Expenses?

Medicare does not cover funeral expenses. If you need to pay for funeral expenses, you could use money in a savings account or, in some circumstances, Social Security survivors benefits. You can ask your state, county or city for help with funeral costs if they have services available.