Six Tips for Funeral Pre-Planning Others Wish They Knew About Sooner

couple discussing funeral pre-planning

Most Americans plan for weddings, retirement, and other important life events. However, the majority of us don’t plan for our funerals.

A 2019 Consumer Awareness and Preferences Study by the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA) revealed that 62.5 percent of consumers felt it was very important to communicate their funeral wishes to family members but only 21.4 percent had done so. Despite the obvious advantages that come with advance funeral planning, there’s often some reluctance to consider our own mortality. In this article, we’ll share some of the best reasons to consider arranging your funeral in advance.

  1. Relieve the burden on your loved ones at a challenging and emotional time.

    Dozens of decisions must be made in the first hours after a death occurs. It can be difficult to think rationally within days of losing a loved one, putting proper decision-making at risk. Pre-planning your funeral alleviates this worry and provides the ultimate peace of mind. It’s one of the most thoughtful gifts you can give to your family members.

  2. Eliminate the debate about what you would have wanted. 

    If you don’t outline your wishes for your funeral, those left behind won’t know your preferences. That can cause strife among family members and create concerns that they may not be honoring your wishes. Pre-planning gives your loved ones direction regarding your funeral wants and desires so they can rest assured they’re giving you the proper send-off.

  3. Enjoy the benefit of time.

    Planning ahead gives you and your family members (if you choose to involve them in the process) time to plan a meaningful, healing funeral service. Without the time constraints that come with an immediate need, you can plan a funeral or memorial service that will fulfill your wishes and meet the emotional needs of your family.

  4. Outline every detail if you wish.

    When you pre-plan your funeral arrangements, you have a great deal of latitude. You can be as general or specific as you would like to be. For example, you can:
  • Decide on burial or cremation
  • Indicate your preference for the casket or urn
  • Choose the type of service you want
  • Select a funeral home
  • Designate pallbearers
  • Choose the music and readings for your service

    Your funeral plan can be as simple as noting your preferences and sharing them with a family member. More formal arrangements can be made with us by phone, Zoom, Skype, UberConference, and a host of other user-friendly virtual solutions.
  1. You can make it deeply personal.

    Pre-planning allows you to choose how you would like your life celebrated and how you want to be remembered in ways that are specific to you. Are you a jazz lover? You might choose to have your favorite songs played in the background during your visitation. Has photography long been a passion? Instruct your family to include some favorite shots in a memorial display. Whatever matters most to you in life can become a key part of the funeral you design.

  2. Involve your family in the planning, if you wish.

    One of the most underappreciated benefits of preplanning a funeral service is that you can talk it over with your family. If you decide to include them in the planning, you can gather their input and create a meaningful ceremony together. This allows you to plan a carefully conceived funeral service that includes the elements your surviving family members will need to cope with their grief.

The future isn’t promised to anyone. Denying the reality of death doesn’t make it less of a possibility. Planning for your funeral alleviates the burden on your family and is a gesture of great love.  

The compassionate staff at Evan W. Smith Funeral Services is here to help you make the most informed decisions regarding your arrangements. If you have questions or would like to learn more about funeral pre-planning, please contact us anytime.


About Evan W. Smith Funeral Services: Since 2009, residents of Wilmington, Dover, and the surrounding Delaware community have relied on the caring staff at Evan W. Smith Funeral Services to help them through their darkest hours. Family-owned and operated, the company offers an array of elite funeral care services, including traditional funerals, cremations, memorials, pre-planning, and more. With decades of experience in caring for families from all cultural backgrounds and diverse walks of life, Evan W. Smith Funeral Services is committed to creating memorable, uplifting experiences that always exceed expectations. For more information, please visit

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