Planning Ahead

Most of us have said, “I want to be cremated” or “I want to be buried at ___ Cemetery.” Or maybe we’ve even said, “When the time comes, Mom’s going to buried next to Dad.”

Let’s face it, planning what will happen when we or someone dear to us, dies, is not on anybody’s list of favorite things to do. It can however, be a very gratifying thing to do.

There are a few reasons to do this –

  • It gives a strong sense of peace that it’s taken of.
  • Most people say it was easier to do it ahead of time, than when the death actually occurs.
  • It helps ensure that things are done according to YOUR wishes.
  • It lessens the choices and responsibilities of those left behind.

When you choose a funeral director, call and say that you would like to plan ahead of time. He/she will try to make it as comfortable and easy for you as they can. Ask them to come to your home if that’s better for you. Don’t hesitate to ask questions and do whatever feels good for you. Your funeral director will help you with as many, or as few, of the details as you’re comfortable with.

Some people may say, “Well, I’ve told my kids where I want to buried. Isn’t that enough?” It may be, but to ensure that everything is done properly and according to your wishes, there are two things you need to do –

  1. Go to the funeral director of your choosing and discuss your wishes, however simple you may feel they are. He/she will listen carefully, ask questions, and also document the details. Having everything in writing is important.
  2. Tell someone else that you have gone to ___ Funeral Home and have planned the arrangements ahead of time. This is important whether they’re your own wishes or that of a relative or someone for whom you’re legally responsible. It’s important for someone to know that it’s been done ahead of time so there’s no confusion when the time comes.

You also have the option of prepaying for what you’ve arranged. It is not necessary to prepay but there may be reasons that make it important for you.

It may be that the knowledge that it’s paid for and not left for someone else to do. Keep in mind that New York laws require that the funeral home deposit any funds paid in advance to be placed into an interest-bearing account in the person’s name, until the time that the person dies and the funeral home performs the services promised. Many times, the funeral director will stress to you that any interest in the account will help offset an increase that may have occurred in their prices from the time of deposit to the time of death. Some funeral homes may offer some type of guarantee.

Regardless of whether you pay or not, just talking to a funeral director and getting your wishes documented and heard, is an important part of having peace of mind in this matter.

As with any issues on our website, or any death or funeral-related issues, please don’t hesitate to call any funeral director and ask questions, or email us at