7 Tips For Encouraging Families To Pre-Plan Their Funeral

For funeral directors, there is perhaps no sentence sweeter or easier on the ears than, “I’m here to pre-plan my funeral.” (Ahh, just say it to yourself a couple times… brings a smile to your face, doesn’t it?)

Why exactly do funeral professionals prefer pre-planning? Mostly because it gives them a chance to really connect with someone, find out what matters most to them and what they truly want out of their funeral, and then they get to carry out their wishes ﹘ all without the stress, time-constraints and anxiety that comes with post-death decision making. I don’t know about you, but if we were going to plan a funeral, this is the way we’d want to do it.

But unfortunately, despite the huge value that a pre-arranged funeral can bring (to both the arranger and their loved ones), the number of people that come in to pre-plan their funeral is likely way less than you would like it to be. (In fact, it’s probably the minority of your families.) Why? They simply don’t understand all of the advantages that this service can offer. Luckily, we’ve gathered 7 of our best tips for getting families to see the value of pre-planning once and for all.

Encourage Families To Map Out Their Legacy

1. “This is an opportunity for you to put your end-of-life wishes down on paper.”

Whether a person wants to plan a traditional, religious service, or they are interested in being cremated and having their ashes scattered at sea, pre-planning puts these important decisions in writing. Encourage families to share their personalization preferences ﹘ from the music played, to the food served, to the dress code ﹘ so that their family doesn’t have to second guess these important decisions, or be stressed about whether or not they are making a decision that their loved one would approve of. When you pre-plan, these decisions will be set in place so that all there is left to do is honor and memorialize.

2. “You can map out the memory you will leave behind.”

Sometimes people need to be reassured that pre-planning their funeral doesn’t have to be a creepy, daunting task that has them “looking forward” to death. Your job as a funeral professional should be to help your families understand that pre-planning their funeral allows them to ensure that they will be remembered in a very specific and special way. And that’s a very responsible decision. For instance, do they have memories and hobbies from their life that they want to emphasize? (Maybe they were an enthusiastic fisher or motorcyclist.) Now is the chance to highlight those memories and celebrate those moments.

3. “Relieve your family from the trouble and hassle of planning your funeral.”

Sure, pre-planning a funeral can help to put a person’s mind at ease that all of their end-of-life wishes are fulfilled. But what’s equally important about pre-arranging is that it also helps to ease the burden that is placed on a family during their time of grief. Help your families understand just how comforting it can feel to know that the decision making pressure and even the financial burden doesn’t have to be left to their loved ones during the overwhelming, stressful days following death. After all, family and friends are the most important parts of a person’s life ﹘ you want them to focus on a person’s memories that matter most, not the financial costs of a funeral.

Educate Families On The Value Of Pre-Planning

4. “Begin saving for your funeral now while you’re thinking ahead.”

As funeral professionals, we know just how overwhelming and shocking the cost of a funeral can be when it is sprung on families after an unexpected passing. Some families even assume that a person’s savings or life insurance will cover their final expenses, and so they don’t have any money set aside when it comes time to plan a worthy and beautiful service. Thankfully, by pre-planning their funeral, a family has the opportunity to compare different services, consider their options, and begin saving (and paying) for the funeral now ﹘ while they have the time to do so. Emphasize to your families just how comforting and relieving it is to have the opportunity to budget the service they want, while also giving their loved ones financial relief.

5. “Avoid rising funeral costs by locking in your price now.”

It’s no secret that the average cost of a funeral is rising. In fact, in 1960, the average cost of an adult funeral was only $708. As of 2013, that number had risen to over $7,000. That is a huge difference ﹘ and would have been a huge savings to the person who decided to pre-plan their funeral 5, 10 or even 15 years ahead of time. Therefore, be sure to let your families know just how valuable it is to plan and purchase all aspects of their funeral now, so they are locked in to the price. If you’re like most funeral homes, this guaranteed cost for pre-planning families is a huge advantage when it comes time to deciding if they should plan now or wait until later.

Ease Their Fears

6. “This doesn’t have to be a permanent, unchanging decision.”

One reason why most families are hesitant to pre-plan their funeral is because of the weight that comes with it ﹘ many people think of a funeral as a permanent, forever choice. And that once the decisions are made and the papers are signed, it can’t be reversed and they’re stuck with their choices forever. However, most funeral homes are more than happy to make alterations or additions to pre-planning wishes. Many will even reach out to another funeral home or cemetery to coordinate a family’s plans if a change of address is made, or they decide to move their plans somewhere else. If your funeral home offers these options, be sure to let your families know so you can ease their nerves about making such a significant decision.

7. “Your wishes will be honored ﹘ no matter what.”

Another concern that many families have about pre-planning is that, because they are making their decisions in advance, something may change or a problem may occur in the future that will alter their wishes. For instance, some people are often concerned about whether or not their family members will be able to trump or change their decisions. Others worry about what will happen to their wishes if the funeral home changes owners. Therefore, be sure to reassure your pre-planning families that, above all, carrying out their wishes is your priority, and that you will make sure their requests are carried out in any of these circumstances.

Increase Your Pre-Need Leads

Looking for more resources that will help educate your families on the value of pre-planning, and will help people pre-plan their own funeral right on your website? Check out our f1Connect website platform. While f1Connect is created for funeral homes, it was built with families in mind, and it is full of the pre-planning resources, frequently asked questions, and tools that they are looking for.

Michael Schoedinger, of Schoedinger Funeral Services said, “I made the switch to funeralOne’s f1Connect and my preneed leads went from 1 to over 20 per month; a 2000% increase!” Find out more about why you can’t afford to wait another minute to switch to f1Connect by clicking here or calling us at (800)798-2575 ext. 5!

Rochelle Rietow


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  1. Mark Flan

    we don’t like talking about our own demise, but knowing it will done as you want it, must be agood idea. Paying for it at todays prices, will also leave more to their loved ones.

  2. Sam Fisher

    Regardless of the occasion, pre-planning for anything will put less stress on whatever services you are using. Funerals fill that same boat, yes it is something we don’t look forwards too, but pre-planning will save you and the funeral business time and effort. Someone dying can’t really be predicted, but you do have a general idea of when the lights might go out. When they do, it’s always best to go with a professional service. This makes it easier for you and everyone else involved to set things up the way you want them to be.

  3. John Anderson

    I’m still young, and don’t really think about my funeral, but I can see the importance of have funeral arrangements done. I like the idea of having everything ready so my family does not have to work about making plans. Thanks for the tips.

  4. Russ Critendon

    Hi Rochelle,
    You have great content that will help families make wise decisions. Would it be possible to curate your information with out the the last two paragraphs? I would like to be able to send this information to my families who are considering making their pre arrangements. I work for Banks Page Theus Funeral Home in Wildwood Fl

    Thanks Russ Critendon

  5. Rilee Chastain

    Hello Russ, thanks so much for your comment. You are more than welcome to share this article with your funeral home’s families! We just ask that you credit funeralOne and include a link back to the original source of the article. Thanks! 🙂

  6. Maggie Allen

    Thanks for sharing all of this advice on pre-planning your funeral while you can. I definitely agree that it is nice to relieve your family of the stress that can come with funeral planning. After all, if anyone close to me passed away, I don’t know if I would be able to make all of those little decisions. Plus, I think that pre-planning can also be a way for you to show that you care about their emotional well-being.

  7. Nick

    I had a recent experience with this. My grandfather was suffering from cancer and he knew his time was limited. He arranged all his funeral services beforehand so my grandmother wouldn’t have to worry about it. When he finally did pass, my grandmother was so relieved this was taken care of. Now she is thinking of pre-planning her own funeral so my mother doesn’t have to worry about it. I know it helps a lot!

  8. Tiffany Locke

    Helping to ease the burden that is placed on a family during their time of grief by pre-planning your funeral is an excellent idea. Having everything prepared beforehand so that you will give your family time to grief, rather than having to spend it trying to figure out what they want, and what you wanted. I would imagine that you would be able to find the best funeral home that will provide the services that you need.

  9. Brent Mark Wayman

    Hi looking for way market self out there new at this biz on funeral plan like sell plan build it get good warm market help people with there needs. With funeral advantage with Lincoln Heritage can your help with get me up out meeting seeing time with people that are interested in this kind of need. not good marketing dine all other kind work in life but dont know get it up going starting biz

  10. John Mahoney

    Thank you for talking about the importance of preparing funerals. It makes sense that doing this can help you avoid making your family worry about this process and make sure you get a good price for these services. I can see how anyone looking into this would want to consult with the BBB and find a company that can accommodate them and provides the services they need.

  11. John

    I think the article makes a few really good points as to why pre-planning a funeral is beneficial. I really like how it mentions that doing so gives a person the flexibility and leniency to put their wishes on paper as to how they want their funeral service performed. To me, this seems especially important for religious people since they could coordinate with their church or religion to have their funeral be in compliance to their religion.

  12. Alexandria Martinez

    My best friend has been talking about how they want to start thinking about her great-grandmother’s funeral service. She would really like knowing that for example, you save money if you plan ahead and don’t have an unexpected death to figure out. Hopefully, that will help her family.

  13. Larry Weaver

    Thanks for the advice to go ahead and start saving for a funeral before it happens so that you have ease of mind when the funeral actually comes around. Funeral plans are something that my family has been thinking of looking into, and the idea of having the funeral paid for beforehand sounds like a really smart idea. I think I’ll start talking with my family more about funeral planning so that we can get a head start for when a funeral actually happens.

  14. Final Farewells

    Pre planning funeral services are most popular nowadays. I like the idea of pre planning funeral for family or friends. Thanks for sharing the importance of pre planning funeral.

  15. Pre Planning Funeral

    Pre planning funeral is very beneficial for your friends and family members. It allows friends and family to celebrate the life of their loved ones as wish and desire of that person. Thank you for sharing useful information.

  16. Danny LeBlanc

    Thanks for sharing this information. Yes, taking funeral services is very important. I know it’s very difficult to think about their own funeral planning. But it is very important for secure your love ones.

  17. John

    I like that pre-planning allows for you to be remembered in a particular way. I want to be cremated and stored in one of those tree urns. That way people will think about conservation.

  18. Rilee Chastain

    Thanks for the comment Danny!

  19. Rilee Chastain

    Thanks for sharing your thoughts John, we appreicate them!

  20. Luke Smith

    It’s true enough that prices of funeral arrangements go higher as each year passes by, so it’s really a money-saving tip to pre-plan your funeral. I understand how scary it is for people to look into the future and plan their funeral because most of us don’t like the thought of death. Although in my case, I will be transparent to my family that I want to pre-plan my funeral services by contacting the most affordable yet hip funeral service provider there is so that they won’t get too stressed if ever I experience sudden death.

  21. Krystal Penrose

    Hey Luke, thanks for sharing. we like your approach! Much appreciated.