There is a new trend in funerals: Plan your own. Susan Boyle, the Scottish chanteuse who was discovered on Britain's Got Talent back in 2009 wants to leave mourners at her funeral laughing. What is her plan? She wants to have 'Nellie the Elephant' played during the service. Whether you applaud her approach or find it appalling, there is a new trend in the funeral industry: preplanning, prepaying, and personalization. Here are a few of the reasons people are choosing to plan and pay for their funerals ahead of time:
Control. When you plan the funeral, you have a pretty good idea about what will happen. You can decide whether there will be a viewing and how your life will be celebrated after the service. You can also create a file with personal information for your obituary, as well as any instructions you have for burial, cremation, or
organ donation. Just make sure you leave it with a loved one so they know how
Negotiate. Grieving family members are rarely good negotiators. Planning ahead gives you a chance to negotiate and secure a guaranteed price on a prepaid plan offered by a funeral home. Make sure you find out answers to questions such as: What happens if prices increase? What happens if you move? What happens if you change your mind?
Goodwill. If prepaid plans leave too many questions unanswered, you may choose to fund your funeral through a trust or an insurance policy. Regardless of the payment method, providing instructions with your wishes and funds to cover the expenses can relieve some of the anxiety and stress of a funeral.
Personalize. There are many new and unusual options available for funerals and memorial services. Whether you opt for traditional burial, cremation, green burial, mummification, cryonics, a memorial space flight, a memorial reef, or having your ashes compressed into a gemstone, there is a business willing to help.
Funeral preferences are changing. Alternatives to traditional funeral home services are becoming popular, especially among Baby Boomers. If you would like to learn more about the options available, visit the Funeral Consumers Alliance web site (www.funerals.org) and the National Funeral Directors Associations web site (www.nfda.org).
Weekly Focus - Think About It
"Live as if you were to die tomorrow. Learn as if you were to live forever."
Mahatma Gandhi, philosopher
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Please be sure to visit the Parks Wealth Management website at www.parkswm.com.
James T. Parks, CFP®, AEP, AIF
President and Wealth Advisor
Parks Wealth Management
216 East Ridgewood Ave., 2nd Floor