Advance Planning


The purpose of planning ahead for funeral or cremation needs is to make the time of your death, as much as possible, easier on the people you love. This involves three basic issues:

  • Having information on file at the funeral home.
  • Making decisions.
  • Figuring out how your funeral expenses will be paid.

Your vital statistics will be needed in order to get the Death Certificate.

  • This includes information like your legal name, address, date of birth, place of birth, social security number, marital status, military record, occupation, retirement year, education level, father's name, mother's full maiden name, and so on.
  • Details you may want included in the newspaper. Many people choose to actually write their own obituary.
  • Your DD214 or separation papers will be needed for any eligible VA benefits.

Everyone is faced with making 8 major decisions.

  • The 1st is the method of disposition. Are you going to have a traditional funeral, or will you be cremated?
  • The choice of cemetery.
  • Kind of cemetery property–above ground in a mausoleum or below ground.
  • The type of burial vault. Very few people understand that a burial vault is a cemetery requirement for maintenance. Basically, a vault maintains the integrity of the burial site. If you put 2 tons of earth on top of a casket it will slowly crush it, the grave would sink, and the cemetery would have to continually backfill. The decision is whether you want one that is protective, in other words will keep out the elements of the earth, or one that is non-protective and will not.
  • Do you prefer a headstone that is flush to the ground? Would it be bronze on granite or granite only? Or would you want to have an upright monument instead? If so, what color? What size would it be?
  • Another decision is the type of casket – metal or wood.
  • Where and how will the funeral services take place?
  • And lastly, how much should be spent on all of this?

In addition to those choices–there are many more:

  • What will you include in a memorial package?
  • What kind of flowers do you prefer?
  • Do you want a flag case?
  • How many death certificates will be needed?
  • What newspapers should the obituary be in?
  • Are police escorts needed?
  • Does the final date need to be engraved on the headstone?
  • Who should receive an honorarium and who will make payment?
  • Will you have a flag draped casket?
  • Would you like to have military honors?

When your family is trying to make all these decisions on the worst day of their life it can be completely overwhelming.  After a death, when emotions are at a peak, families commonly disagree with what should take place, all the while having no idea what you would have wanted.  Emotional overspending is common because people have a tendency to make decisions with emotion instead of logic.

If you take the average inflation rate over the last few decades, prices more than double every 12 to 15 years.  No one can predict the future, but at some point in time this bill will come due. The problem is you have no idea how much it’s going to be, or who will be there to pay it. So the question becomes, “who’s responsible for this?”

It’s a fact of life that at every person’s death, the proper disposition of their mortal remains becomes someone’s responsibility. You’ve either accepted that responsibility yourself, or someone in your family will have to accept it for you.

If you set aside the financial implications, which are important, the only cost to plan in advance is your time and the willingness to do it. If you think about it, there’s no reason not to. Simply put, no family regrets when arrangements are preplanned and prefunded. It just makes sense, regardless of what happens in your life, to make sure this issue won’t become a burden to the people you love.

Arrangements can be made in the comfort of your own home by clicking the button below.  Fill in as much as you are comfortable with and we'd be pleased to meet with you to discuss further.


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Advance Planning

Advance Planning Form

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