Morning Mix


5 tips to plan making final arrangements in advance

Posted at 1:42 PM, May 13, 2019
and last updated 2019-05-13 13:42:58-04

It's a topic many people aren't comfortable discussing, but planning final arrangements is something that shouldn't be put off.

Kim Tomac with Reyers North Valley Chapel, A Dignity Memorial® Provider, shared five tips to share for those looking to plan their final arrangements in advance.

  1. Be Informed About the Choices Available
  • A funeral or cremation service should be personalized to reflect one’s wishes and should bring comfort to family and friends. Using videos, photographs, music, special readings and the involvement of family and friends are all appropriate and encouraged.
  • Prearranging gives your loved one the opportunity to become informed about their options in an unpressured environment and gives them time to think things through. They can select and specify the services that truly have meaning to them and those they love.
  • A funeral professional is a great resource to explain all of the options available – and can accommodate your loved one’s wishes to make the celebration a truly unique and personal experience.
  1. Document Your Wishes
  • Many people think they have taken care of everything by writing a will, establishing a living will or even purchasing their cemetery plot. But that’s not all.
  • A will simply leave instructions for the handling of an individual’s financial affairs, while a living will usually clarify certain general wishes regarding medical treatment. The funeral or cremation service still remains to be planned and paid for.
  • Make sure that you or your loved one’s wishes are recorded in writing and shared with family members and an attorney. Keep a copy with important papers in a place that is easily accessible to family members.
  1. Talk About it with Your Family and Incorporate Their Wishes
  • A funeral or memorial service is an important part of the grieving process. Prearranging is an excellent time for families to discuss and make objective decisions calmly and rationally together, away from the pressures and stress that often occur at a time of sadness and loss. Also, knowing their loved one’s wishes and carrying them out can bring great comfort to surviving family members and friends.
  • To help people with the planning process, we’ve developed our Imagine Book, which is a free guide that helps families with the planning process. You decide what type of service is most fitting for the way you want to celebrate your life. The guide walks you and your family through all the details, some you may not have thought of, like catering or unique favors for guests.
  • We encourage you to start with a story, passion or pastime to provide inspiration. Think about the things that bring you joy and make you unique. Then, we encourage you to speak with one of our trained funeral professionals to help you weave those special memories into a beautiful service with personal touches and lasting impressions.
  1. Consider Planning and Prepaying for Arrangements to Lock in Pricing
  • Planning a funeral or cremation service in advance can take care of the details. But only prearranging (prepaying for services) can take care of the actual expense of the funeral or cremation service ahead of time, easing the future financial burden on surviving loved ones.
  • Prepaying for funeral or cremation services makes good financial sense. When one prearranges, they benefit from purchasing at today’s prices for an event that may not happen for many years. The cost of the products and services selected may never be lower.
  • Many people like the idea of pre-arranging but hesitate because they are not certain where they will live in the future. If this is a concern for you, look for a funeral provider that provides portability. Dignity Memorial® has a network of more than 2,000 funeral home and cemetery locations in the United States and Canada and offers the National Transferability of Pre-arranged Services Program to its clients. This ensures your pre-arranged funeral services are fully transferable and will be honored at any Dignity Memorial provider throughout North America if you move more than 75 miles from where your original arrangements were made.
  1. Have a Conversation with Your Funeral Provider and Ask Questions
  • Arranging a funeral or cremation service can seem overwhelming and complicated. Have a conversation with your funeral provider and ask any questions you may have. Whether you have questions about insurance, veterans’ benefits or Medicaid assistance, their knowledge and experience can help guide you through the process.
  • Trained funeral professionals can be a vital and supportive resource for you and your loved ones. With years of experience, they can explain all the options available and help one make informed decisions. They can also guide your loved one step-by-step through the process of prearranging their funeral or cremation service.

To request a free imagine book or to find the provider nearest you, visit