Smart Money: Funeral pre-planning: Tips for planning and managing costs


Funeral pre-planning is an often overlooked but crucial aspect of life that allows individuals to take control of their final arrangements. This thoughtful and considerate process involves making decisions in advance, ensuring that one’s wishes are honored and easing the emotional and financial burdens on loved ones.

One of the primary benefits of funeral pre-planning is the ability to make decisions based on personal preferences rather than leaving the burden on grieving family members. When individuals take the time to plan their own funeral, they can ensure that their wishes are met, creating a personalized and meaningful farewell. This may include decisions about the type of service, burial or cremation preferences, choice of casket or urn, and other details that reflect the individual's values and beliefs.

Moreover, funeral pre-planning provides a sense of control and empowerment during a time when many aspects of life may feel uncertain. By making decisions in advance, individuals can ease the emotional burden on their loved ones, allowing them to focus on grieving and supporting one another rather than navigating difficult decisions.

One essential aspect of funeral pre-planning is managing the associated costs. Funerals can be a significant financial burden on families, and planning ahead can help mitigate these expenses. Here are some tips for effectively planning and managing the costs of a funeral:

Establish a Budget: Setting a budget is an essential step in funeral pre-planning. Determine how much you are willing to spend on the funeral arrangements and stick to that budget. Communicate your budget clearly with the funeral home to avoid unnecessary expenses.

Consider Cremation: Cremation is often a more affordable option compared to traditional burial. By opting for cremation, individuals can save on burial plot costs and related expenses. Additionally, cremation provides flexibility in choosing the final resting place, whether it be scattering ashes, burying them in a cemetery, or keeping them in an urn at home.

Rick Noel 


Explore Payment Options: Funeral expenses can be daunting, but many funeral homes offer flexible payment options. Inquire about installment plans or financing arrangements that can help spread the costs over time, making it more manageable for individuals and their families.

Prepay for Services: Some individuals choose to prepay for their funeral services. This involves setting aside funds or purchasing a pre-need insurance policy to cover future expenses. While prepaying can offer financial peace of mind, it's essential to thoroughly understand the terms and conditions of the agreement. Make sure the funeral home you choose will guarantee your plan is safeguarded from future price increases.

Review Veterans Benefits: For those who have served in the military, there may be funeral benefits available. Veterans and their spouses may qualify for burial in a national cemetery, a government headstone or marker, and a burial flag. Checking with the Department of Veterans Affairs can provide information on available benefits.

Funeral pre-planning is an act of precaution and consideration that goes beyond individual preferences. It is a compassionate approach that acknowledges the challenges faced by grieving family members and aims to alleviate their burden. Managing the costs associated with funerals is an integral part of this pre-planning process, and the tips provided can guide individuals in making informed decisions that align with their budget and values. By embracing funeral pre-planning, individuals not only ensure their wishes are respected but also contribute to creating a meaningful and less stressful experience for their loved ones during a difficult time.

Rick Noel, the co-owner of Walton’s Funerals and Cremations, has been with the company for more than 22 years. Having served as the general manager previously, Noel is responsible for daily operations, financial management, staff oversight, community relations, and marketing. Noel is a third-generation funeral service professional and has been a Licensed Funeral Director and Embalmer for 37 years. He is also a member of the Executives Association of Reno, where he served two terms on the board of directors and is also a member of The Prospector’s Club.


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