Purpose of Preplanning
Planning a funeral within hours of a loved one's death can be a very difficult experience. There are many details to attend to and critical decisions must be made at a time when people are least able to make them. It is estimated that there are about 250 separate decisions involved within the first 24 hours of planning a funeral, and that most of these could have been made in advance.
Planning the funeral ahead of time removes much of that burden from your family. In advance, you have the opportunity to involve your family and discuss your wishes with them. Planning ahead gives your family time to arrange for special and unique ways to celebrate your life. With foresight, your funeral arrangements can be designed to help your family not be burdened with a lot of details at their time of grief.
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Benefits of Preplanning
- Express your own wishes so there is no doubt or conflict among your surviving family members.
- You can choose to fund your funeral through a variety of ways, relieving your family of financial responsibility. There are also advantages to paying the funeral at today's rates and protecting it from inflation.
- Once you have made your plans, Billings Funeral Home will keep the information on file, even if it is years before the time of need.
- Planning in advance allows a family to focus on reflection of the beautiful memories or your life rather than the details of your death.
- Knowing everything is taken care of will give both you and your family peace of mind.
Ways to Preplan
Funerals may be planned in advance by simply setting up an appointment with a Billings Funeral Home Preplanning Advisor to discuss what your wishes are concerning a funeral or memorial service. We can meet you at your home, the funeral home or some other location of your choice.
You may simply want to provide the funeral home with some basic ideas of what you want included in the services being planned. On the other hand, you may want to make plans in a very detailed fashion. In either case, Billings Funeral Home will record all the information you share and keep it on file until the time of need. Updating may be done at any time.
Pay In Advance or Not?
You will also have the option of paying for the funeral at the time these plans are made and locking in your costs. While it is not required to do so, prepaying may give you additional peace of mind knowing that these funds can be excluded from your assets.
Each year, over a million American funerals are planned and paid for in advance. One good reason is that it is much easier for the family members left behind. Your expressed wishes will be carried out, and it will relieve the financial burden on your family.
Another good reason is that paying in advance locks in the costs for the funeral/memorial services you have planned. We can arrange that the funds you invest be kept in a protected account by a Licensed Funeral Trust Account which is secured by a national financial institution. These funds are protected even if a funeral home should go out of business and they are transferable to another firm. There are many program options, such as life insurance, to assure that your family is taken care of.
In most circumstances, the family will not have to pay more in the future for the services and merchandise paid for at today's rates, no matter what happens with inflation. The bank trust or insurance policy will increase in value at least at the rate of inflation. If there is more in the account than the funeral costs at the time of need, any difference will be returned to the estate or the heirs.
Often people ask if they can preplan their funeral without having to pay for it at the time. Yes, you can. We will make sure to keep a record of your information and selections without cost or obligation to you.
Our Preplanning Advisor will show you a complete list of our personalized services and merchandise available and the current price for each of them. You can decide about visitation, burial/cremation, and how and where the services are to be held. Some people select their casket, urn, vault and memorial folders, prayer cards and special words. You may choose as many of your preferences in advance, as you desire, at no cost to you.
Billings Funeral Home can provide you with all of the personalized options available to you for planning your arrangements ahead of time. Call 574.264.2425 with any specific questions you may have. Our objective is to assure that your services are a reflection of the life that you lead.
After Care Specialist
When a loved one has died and the service is over, a family's world can be turned upside down with an overwhelming amount of paperwork in the midst of grief. At Billings Funeral Home, our aftercare specialist, Sherrie Leonard, will call you as soon as the death certificates are available to set a time to meet, deliver the death certificates, and begin to help settle the affairs of the deceased. During the family follow up visit, Sherrie will provide a checklist of tasks that might need to be accomplished to settle the estate including information on insurance, titles, finances, and Social Security and military benefits. She will also provide information on how to cope with grief with specific guidance on losing a spouse, parent, sibling, or child as well as how to help children who are grieving. At Billings, we feel it is important to provide this personalized care after the service.
Please contact us to learn more about the support we provide during and after the loss of a loved one.