Funerals are often arranged after loved ones have passed away. However, a more practical approach is to preplan for your own end-of-life celebration. It’s a great way to make sure your wishes are honored, while keeping your loved ones from having to make difficult decisions during an already stressful time.

What are the basic components of a funeral plan?

A memorial can be as unique as the life it honors. In general, funeral preplanning includes choosing between burial and cremation, deciding what kind of ceremony you’d like and thinking about your final resting place. It’s an easier process than you might think, especially with the help of a good funeral director.

Which details should I include in my funeral plan?

Your funeral plan should reflect your beliefs, but it should also show off your personality. Your plan can be as detailed or as simple as you’d like. There are a few questions you might want to ask yourself before you begin. First, do you want a religious or secular ceremony? Do you want it to be more a celebration than a solemn occasion? What kind of music would you like played? Which flowers are your favorites? What is it about your personality, hobbies, beliefs or other aspects of your life that you’d like to see reflected in your service and memorialization? Your funeral should honor your unique life and give your loved ones a chance to celebrate you.

Do I need to pay up front for my preneed funeral plan?

Many people do choose to prepay for their plan, which is a good idea for a few reasons. First, it locks in today’s rates, offering protection from rising costs in the years ahead. Prepaying your plan spares your family the worry of how they’ll pay for the funeral while they’re already navigating an emotionally difficult time. Most funeral homes offer payment plans so that you can prepay over time. However, if that’s not what you want to do, that’s OK. You can designate a “pay on death” savings account, or take out an insurance policy that will cover your final expenses.

When you’re ready to plan ahead, Chapel of the Chimes Oakland is here to help. Having served the community since 1909, we’re experienced in helping plan services that celebrate each unique life and honor the wishes of every family. Our facility has an expansive funeral home, an on-site crematory, and both cremation memorialization and above-ground entombment options in our historic columbarium. Call us at (510) 654-0123, and request our free Preplanning Guide or visit our website. We invite you to visit our historic chapel and columbarium in Oakland.