What to Bring to a Prearrangement Meeting
We all know that one of the best ways to save money on burial costs and ensure that your wishes are carried out is to preplan a funeral. However, the act of preplanning a funeral can be pretty stressful. After all, you might be setting up huge financial payments, confronting your own feelings regarding death, and making important decisions all at the same time.
A prearrangement meeting exists so you can get to know the funeral home you have chosen and so you can gather all the facts regarding your options. Although many prearrangement meetings do end up with you making a purchase and signing a contract, they do not have to. This is your chance to ask questions, gather information, and start to understand what preplanning a funeral really means.
Here are a few things you should bring to this meeting to ensure everything goes smoothly.
- A Trusted Friend or Family Member: It is rarely a good idea to make funeral plans (or any major financial decision) on your own. Ask a close friend or relative to come with you. They can help keep you from making overly emotional decisions and ensure that you do not feel pressured to sign anything before you are ready.
- Any Existing Funeral Information: If you already have a cemetery plot, a family mausoleum, life insurance, burial insurance, or any other kind of plans in place, bring the paperwork with you. Most funeral homes can work with your current situation to build a personalized funeral package.
- A List of Your Wishes: Some people have no idea what they want out of a funeral, and that is okay. Others know exactly what kind of service and accoutrements they want, and that is okay, too. If you have exact wishes, write them down and bring them along. You can discuss them during the meeting.
- Funeral Home Price List: If possible, call a few funeral homes in your area and have them send you a copy of their official price list. This list will outline the individual cost for things like caskets, embalming, cremation, and funeral services. By having this information ahead of time, you can comparison shop and make sure you are getting a good deal from your prearrangement.
- Veteran Information: Members of the military often qualify for special or discounted burial plans. If you served in the armed forces or are a veteran, bring your paperwork. Setting the wheels in motion now can save your family quite a bit of trouble later on.
- Questions: The most important thing you can bring with you to this meeting is an inquisitive mind. Ask about details and costs. Do not be afraid to request testimonials and referrals from others who have preplanned through their service. All of your questions should be answered honestly and openly, or it might be a sign that you should not be working with that provider.
Always remember, too, that you do not have to sign anything today. A prearrangement meeting is a courtesy, not a promise, and you have the right to decline services if they do not feel right. Take some time to go over the information or talk with your financial advisor before you make any concrete decisions.