……That’s just one of the questions I was asked last week as I met with a counselor about the benefits of pre-planning your own funeral.
Why even bother at all? After all, don’t our bodies just go back to the “dust”?; and doesn’t the bible say: “…. All are from the dust, and to dust all return (Ecc 3:20b)? Yes, but it also says that “….. God said, Let us make man in our image” (Gen 1:26). And, as you read the bible, especially re the patriarchs in the Old Testament, as my wife and I were reading this morning, you see how much emphasis they put on burying the body with honor.
Well, honestly, I hadn’t given my funeral service, and who is going to pay for it, much thought until I met with the Family Service Counselor, Chad Wood, from McCullough Funeral Home last week at the insistence of my daughter-in-law who had booked him as a speaker for the Houston Healthcare Coalition she chairs each month. She said “Dad, I think Chad would have some good ideas you could share in your “All About Seniors column”. So here I am.
I simply assumed my wife or executor would take the cost out of the life insurance benefits that will accrue to them at my passing; and they might just do that. But Chad mentioned the possibility of funding those services with an insurance policy that would lock in today’s costs and give peace of mind to my family knowing that the costs were already taken care of.
And speaking of costs, Chad gave me a handout that included a cost spreadsheet showing that today’s average funeral cost is about $8,000 here in Middle Georgia but cost is expected to more than double in the next 20 years with projected inflation.
Here are some other benefits of pre-planning that Chad mentioned”
Lets you decide how you’d like to be remembered
Takes the pressure off family and friends
Gives you the option to pre-pay
Allows flexibility to move your plans to another facility if your location or circumstances change.
So, how should you go about pre-planning your own funeral or one for your spouse or other special person in your circle of friends? Chad said it’s a simple 3-step process: First, record information about you and your family; second, discuss and document your wishes with a funeral director and third, determine how you will fund the expenses knowing that pre-pay is an option in addition to funding from your existing life insurance.
I don’t know about you, but I rarely think about death anymore and the details that have to be dealt with when it happens. (I used to think about it a lot almost 20 years ago when I was so sick. But God has given me renewed health a new lease on life with “Unspeakable Joy” and I thank him for it every day! I used to tell my kids that they needed experience in dealing with funeral directors and insurance adjusters because everyday life doesn’t normally prepare us for those needs.
Whatever you decide when your time comes, I hope your family will honor you.
Thanks for reading All About Seniors…..see you next week!
Photo: Chad & Shana Wood with their three beautiful children
Chad works at McCullough Funeral Home in Warner Robins, GA. and is available to speak to all families and organizations about how to pre-plan funeral arrangements. You can call McCullough Funeral Home @ 478-953-1478 or go online @ http://www.mcculloughfh.com
Bill Milby is a Director of Visiting Angels® of Central Georgia, a non-medical, living assistance service for seniors. If you have questions or comments about this column you can reach him at firstname.lastname@example.org