It may seem odd, but more and more people are planning their own funerals early in their lives. The advantages to doing so include personalizing the event, eliminating a lot of stress for your loved ones, and paying for it on your own.
The first thing you should do is open a POD (payable-on-death) account with your bank, which will allow your family access after your death. This way, you don't have to necessarily pay for funeral services in advance, but you will have enough money set aside for your family to use on your funeral.
It is important to keep the lines of communication open when planning your memorial service. Make sure to clearly state your wishes for your funeral. Having verbal communication about your interment will keep your loved ones aware of your wishes and will often work well in conjunction with a written request. Consult with your attorney and keep a written record of your arrangements in a place where they can be easily accessed. Make sure that a trusted loved one is aware of their location.
Contact several different funeral directors near where you would like to be buried, and compare prices. You can take your time in finalizing plans. Keep in mind that whichever funeral home you choose should be able to assist your family in obtaining death certificates, and will assist in preparing and submitting your obituary.
Review any religious or cultural preferences you may have, and request information on the specific kind of memorial service you would like. A good funeral director will help you contact the appropriate clergy member to assist in your funeral.
If you would rather your guests donate to a specific charity instead of bringing or sending flowers, be sure to specify your wishes to your family and loved ones. Include instructions on where donations should be sent, and under whose name. You might choose a hospital, hospice agency, charity that sponsors the sickness you have, or a charity that you frequently worked for and donated to.
Choose where you would like to buried, and make the proper arrangements. Many couples will purchase their plot while they are still living. That way, they guarantee a resting place that is directly next to their loved ones. Remember that plots, caskets, and grave markers are expensive, so plan for yours well in advance. Choose what you would like engraved on your grave marker, and document it. Many people choose to be cremated. If this is right for you, you might consider selecting an urn or a place for your remains to be scattered. There are legal restrictions on the scattering of remains, so check with your funeral director before deciding on a location.