1. Who should pre-arrange their funeral services?
Generally, all adults should consider pre-arranging their funeral. However, it is very important for people who will not have survivors available, or that have survivors who are not interested or able to make the funeral arrangements. Another group of people who should pre-arrange their funeral services are those who have a definite preference about one or more aspects of their funeral, which may include the manner of final disposition, the place of burial or the funeral director who will conduct the services. The majority of people who pre-arrange their funeral services today are those people who have the desire to be helpful to their survivors. This group of individuals normally believes that their survivors will want to know what they would have wanted.
2. Is there a local or national trend toward pre-arranging a funeral?
As the baby boom generation approaches retirement and begins experiencing the death of their parents, they are starting to consider their own mortality. Many people have realized that pre-planning a funeral is an important part of estate planning and are as accustomed to this process as retirement planning. As people realize the effect that the inflation rate will have on them and their families, the trend will most likely increase in the future.
3. When a person decides to pre-arrange their funeral, what choices must they make?
There are many choices available for people choosing pre-arrangement. Some people believe they must make choices about every funeral detail, including funding it. Others are only concerned with funding the funeral, and then allowing the survivors to make decisions about the funeral itself. We recommend that people plan as much of their funeral as they feel comfortable; however, we suggest that some decisions should be left up to those that survive. After all, the funeral is for the living and its most important value is in helping survivors adjust to a major life changing event. Funded pre-arrangement is a way to help protect survivors from the financial and emotional burden of at-need funeral planning.
4. Based on your experiences and knowledge of funeral industry projections, how do you think pricing will be affected over the next five to ten years?
Today the average price of a funeral is $5,543. Based on inflation, that same funeral could cost nearly $10,000 in the year 2015.
5. How can pre-arranging a funeral help families avoid paying higher prices in the future?
When a person decides to pre-fund their funeral services, they effectively freeze the rate of inflation. Funds paid for pre-arranged funerals are either placed in an interest bearing trust account or in an insurance plan similar to life insurance. A person who pre-funds today and dies in the next couple of years may not see a tremendous amount of difference; however, someone who pre-funds today and dies in five, ten, even fifteen years from now will definitely see a difference in the price of funerals. Their pre-funded funeral plan must have the guaranteed inflation proof feature to assure that their chosen funeral will be done for the price paid years ago. The Milward Inflation Proof Funeral Plan will do just that.
6. In addition to freezing the rate of inflation, a funded pre-arrangement has many other benefits for survivors, could you explain these benefits?
The main reason people choose to pre-fund their funeral service is financial, that is to prevent having to pay more in the future. As a result, survivors of people who have funded pre-arranged are less emotionally and financially burdened. Survivors do not have to assume what their loved ones would have wanted at their funeral, and they do not have to find the financial means for the funeral services. With the emotional and financial burdens lifted, survivors are allowed time to begin the grief process. When someone dies, people are emotionally and physically fatigued. Survivors require time to cry, talk, sleep, pray and express other actions that are normal reactions to death. People with funded pre-arrangements usually understand the necessity and difficulty of the grieving process. Pre-funding can present several tax advantages as well and should be considered as a part of an overall estate planning tax strategy.
7. How much detail should be included in pre-arrangement?
Some people like to plan for every detail of their funeral service. The amount of detail people put into their pre-arrangement is a personal decision. We recommend that it is not so detailed that it becomes impossible for survivors to abide by your requests. The basic information regarding biographical information, obituary information, clergy, place of the funeral and visitation, preferred cemetery, pallbearers, casket, burial vault and any other merchandise selections are likely to be the most important decisions that will be made.
8. Once a person decides their pre-arrangement plans, are they able to change them?
Once a person has met with an Advance Planning Counselor from Milward Funeral Directors, they are always welcome to contact us to make revisions to their original pre-arrangement plan. This happens quite often. Making decisions regarding your final arrangements is very personal. Decisions often take longer for some people than for others. Milward keeps this in mind and adjusts pre-arrangements accordingly.
9. Why do people choose to pre-arrange their funeral services?
Many people choose to pre-arrange their funeral services because there may not be a survivor capable of making responsible decisions. Others have a strong desire to be helpful to the survivors or definite preferences regarding their funeral service. More and more people are choosing funded pre-arrangement today in order to freeze the rate of inflation for their funeral services.
10. How can a person begin pre-arrangement planning? What qualities should they look for in a funeral home when they are considering pre-arrangement?
The first step is to identify a funeral director that offers pre-arrangement services. Milward Funeral Directors has been offering pre-arranged funerals virtually since our founding in 1825! It is also important that you choose a funeral provider that offers an inflation proof funeral plan. Our plan is the best rated guaranteed inflation proof funeral plan in the country.
Some characteristics that good funeral directors should possess include honesty and the ability to listen. When someone decides to pre-arrange, it is not the responsibility of a funeral director to persuade them to choose one option or another, but rather to inform them of choices available … then let them make the decision.
The funeral home should provide appropriate price sheets. All funeral homes are required by the Federal Trade Commission to provide price sheets relating to products and services offered to all customers inquiring about funeral arrangements.
Most importantly, whomever you choose, you need to feel comfortable working with the funeral director and be confident in their professionalism and the strength of their reputation in the community.
11. Many people are reluctant to discuss death, especially when it concerns the death of someone with whom they have a very personal relationship. When and how should pre-arrangement decisions be discussed with family members and intimate friends?
There is no rule to follow in discussing pre-arrangement plans with your family and friends. The easiest way is to find a private place where you can openly and honestly inform them of your decision to pre-arrange your funeral, and the reasons why you have chosen to do so.
Normally, family and friends are receptive to the news and relieved of the burden it would have placed upon them.
12. If interested in discussing pre-arrangement with a representative from Milward Funeral Directors, how should they schedule an appointment?
They will just need to contact us at either our North Broadway or Southland Drive Funeral Home to schedule an appointment by calling (859) 252-5433 or e-mail us!
13. How much time should each person set aside to discuss pre-arrangement with a counselor?
An initial pre-arrangement normally will take about 1-1/2 to 2 hours. If a follow-up appointment is needed it can be scheduled after the first visit.
14. Will the meeting be scheduled to take place at the funeral home, or will the Milward counselor go to the caller’s home?
Either place is fine. Many people prefer the privacy of their own home, so we’ll be glad to meet them, there.