When the Time Comes

Have you ever had the difficult task of making final arrangements for a loved one or family member after they passed away? Most people have no idea how much there is to do or how many decisions there are to make until they have been forced to sit in that chair. Until you have been in those shoes, most remain unaware of what final arrangements cost. The best way to protect your loved ones from that difficult task is to plan your arrangements ahead of time. That day will always be difficult, but if your family knows what you want and the plans are in place, you will save them additional heartache.

There are two major benefits of pre-planning your final arrangements. Not only are the difficult decisions made, but the price is locked in at the time of the pre-plan, and payments can be made over time rather than in one lump sum.

People often say, “I have plenty of insurance to cover it.” The tough part of counting on that solution comes when your loved ones realize they must still pay for the services at the time of need and wait to be reimbursed by your insurance when it is finally dispersed to your beneficiaries. There is a much better way!

One tool we use to help with this process is our FREE Personal Planning Organizer. It allows you to answer most of the questions a funeral director will ask your family. This workbook contains a lot of practical information and great information on your assets and accounts. The practical information is helpful for the funeral home, but much of the book will serve as a roadmap for your family when they come to the overwhelming job of settling your estate.

The practical section of the book contains information the state will need to generate a death certificate. I felt confident I would know all the information needed about my own mother, but when I came to the place where it asked where she was born, I was stumped. Her dad, my grandad, was a pastor and they moved around a bit when she was young. I realized I had no idea where she was born. Fortunately, I was still able to pick up the phone and ask her, but as I was writing in the answer, I began to wonder how my kids would do when faced with these same questions about me. I recognized on the very first page this would be helpful for my family—hopefully, no time soon, but eventually. The book continues to walk you through financial accounts and such so your family will know where to find important documents, and it includes a section on funeral preferences. You can choose the music, who you would like to speak and even what clothes you would like to be wearing and whether you would like to keep your glasses on. We have tried to think of everything! Once you get started with this book, you will inevitably recognize that it will be more valuable than gold on the day it is needed!

The pre-planning process also allows you to choose where you would like to have your service and, in the process, you can choose what type of casket or urn you would like.

I tell people all the time that if you wait until there is a diagnosis, the tone of the conversation drastically changes. If you would be brave enough to start the conversation before that time comes, the tone will be much more lighthearted and the process much less stressful. A decade ago, my family lost my sister-in-law who had never married. She was very healthy until the last three months of her life when she found she had an aggressive and incurable cancer. While the situation was not as frantic as it might have been with a tragic car accident or something similar, there was still much to do and many decisions to make. That is when this process became very personal for me, and I decided this would be a passion of mine to help families prepare for that difficult day.

We see so many families that struggle to agree on the little details, but when the choices were yours and you have taken the time to document those decisions, your family will be relieved to know that they are giving you exactly what you wanted. It is one of the greatest gifts you can give to your spouse or your children! Contact Texarkana Funeral Homes today at 903-794-1300 for more information.


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