Death is an emotionally charged topic that is uncomfortable to think about, let alone discuss with loved ones. Respectfully encourage those you care for to verbalize their desires and plan a personalized, meaningful goodbye.
How to Ask About Funeral Arrangements.
There are a lot of details that go into planning a funeral, memorial, or celebration of life. It is best to gently remind them that you want to ensure their wishes are respected. Having this talk when your parents are younger and healthier keeps the focus on their legacy rather than their passing. Ask Mom and Dad about some of their favorite family traditions or thoughts on services they have attended for late loved ones.
Guiding the End-of-Life Conversation.
If your parents are willing, a funeral director can sit down with them to discuss the process in detail. A local funeral home is the best resource to help navigate arrangements. Funerals can be funded through life insurance policies, a bank trust agreement, or an insurance policy through the funeral home.
Do Your Research.
Funeral homes typically offer other resources you can use outside of in-person meetings, such as funeral planning guides and online forms to help estimate the cost of a funeral. Planning a funeral is not a one-day affair. Take your time, do your research, and work with your parents to create a service that is best for your family, ensuring it is personalized and within budget.
Always Proceed with Respect.
Pay careful attention to what your parents have to say. Put their wishes down in writing and read them back to ensure you understand what they want. If there are certain topics they would rather not discuss now, ask if they would be willing to revisit them later. Respect their decision if they decline.
Getting started can be awkward, but you may find that this daunting task turns out to be a rewarding exercise for both parties. An honest and productive discussion about the end of life can help you both feel better prepared for whatever may lie ahead.
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