Pre-Planning a Cremation

By pre-planning a cremation with your loved ones or as part of a cremation society, you’re making sure that your wishes are going to be fully and appropriately carried out. In documenting these wishes, you’re helping loved ones as well as those at the crematorium and funeral home. The process of what happens before, during and after can be overwhelming in multiple ways to all those involved, so the more that can be worked out prior, the better.

What is Involved

In pre-planning, first one has to choose where to be cremated. This step involves talking to local or regional services and making the choice that’s right for you and your loved ones.

One also has to consider the type of memorial service they want, be it a typical funeral service, a small private gathering, or an otherwise customized event. In doing so, you need to decide on things like where to hold these events and the size of the gathering.

Then, one has to decide what to do after the cremation and service has finalized. Whether to be preserved in an urn (and if so, what kind of urn), have the urn buried, have ashes scattered, and so on.

Steps to Take

In the pre-planning process, include any family members, friends, or other loved ones. Communication is key in pre-planning, and the more everyone knows about the process, the easier it will be. Loved ones can help make the difficult decisions of where to be cremated and have memorial services. They can help choose a funeral director and the form of the funeral itself.

In working this process out with loved ones, document what you decide, either in your will or with the crematorium/funeral home you’ve selected.

Funding the Process

To avoid hang-ups in the cremation and funeral processes you’ve selected, it’s best to go ahead and fund the arrangements so that mistakes aren’t made afterward. In doing so, the life insurance company (if applicable) should be contacted. Although they won’t explicitly begin funding at this point, it’s best to make sure you and your loved ones understand how insurance is going to cover the events. With this information in mind, it’s easier to plot out the entire process.

If family or loved ones are providing the funding, coming to agreements with them is a crucial part of the pre-planning process. Make sure everyone understands who is covering what, what kind of budget you’re looking at, and go accordingly.

Additional Help

Cremation Societies often help with planning. These societies are membership groups (usually local, regional, or based on a specific demographic) that have information on cremation, funeral services, and so on. Some even offer “packages” as they’ve struck up deals with local businesses. By using one of these services, you can also talk to people who have planned out similar processes before and learn what to expect and receive advice. Joining one of these societies with your family while in the beginning planning steps can provide help emotionally, financially, and logistically.