How To Preplan a Funeral

November 17, 2022

Where do you start if you are trying to figure out how to preplan a funeral? Does it save money? How will this relieve stress on my family?

The highly quotable inventor, philosopher, and founding father Benjamin Franklin once said, “nothing is certain except death….” As the only certainty in life, doesn’t it make sense that we plan for it? After all, we plan for everything else despite the inability to guarantee we reap the benefits of these plans.

Preplanning a funeral remains the only advance plan we can make with absolute certainty we will need it. While advance funeral planning may be difficult to think about, it makes everything more manageable in the long run. Preplanning your funeral takes the guesswork out of the inevitable. It eases the stress and financial load your surviving family members feel.

The Benefits of Preplanning a Funeral

Preplanning a funeral is the best approach to funeral planning. When you choose advance funeral planning, you ensure everything is exactly how you want it. Furthermore, when you plan ahead, you make the process easier on your loved ones while they go through mourning.

Preplanning a funeral allows you to:

  • Ease the financial burden on your family and give them one less thing to worry about during the mourning period
  • Ensure that your funeral services are exactly how you want them
  • Pre-pay for your funeral, allowing you to lock in your rate and avoid inflation and rising funeral costs
  • Personalize your ceremony in a way that allows you to celebrate and address your family and loved ones directly

These things ensure that your funeral services are exactly how you want them. You don’t want your loved ones guessing what you would have wanted.

Sharon Kalani, our Pre-Need Funeral Operations Manager & Family Service Advisor at Coastal Funeral Center, shares her own story about the difference preplanning a funeral can make for a family in mourning.

“When my mother passed, the emotional burden and financial responsibility was overwhelming. We were not prepared.

My mother-in-law planned her Celebration of Life in advance. She surprised us with a video, speaking to us, leaving a tribute to our family. She created a moment in time that we will cherish forever.

The two experiences were very different and now I clearly understand the advantages of creating and planning my story in advance. That’s why I have planned for myself so that my family can honor my wishes and forever remember and celebrate our times together.”

Green Hills Niches

The Coastal Funeral Center has provided sympathetic funeral services for over 25 years. Our knowledgeable team knows the ins and outs of the entire process and wants to share with you the top tips on preplanning a funeral. They have some steps that they recommend:

  1. Decide on burial or cremation
  2. Decide on the final resting place.
  3. Choose a celebration of life service
  4. Choose the applicable funeral merchandise
  5. Select a flexible payment option

Tips on Preplanning a Funeral

Planning a funeral isn’t the easiest thing to approach. But, the subsequent peace of mind and stress reduction is more than worth it. The following tips will allow you to make informed and smart decisions about every step of the process.

How Do You Want People to Remember You?

How you would like people to remember you is one of the most important things to consider when preplanning. This is where you put your mark on the process to show your desires, style, and final wishes.

Do you want a stately ceremony held at your place of worship? Or, would a less traditional celebration of life fulfill your wishes better? Either way, this is the time for you to decide. Think about both a place to hold the ceremony and everything that will happen during.

Do you have any specific songs or hymns you want people to hear? Think about your life and consider your achievements, career, or hobbies. Are any of these important enough to incorporate into your funeral? These things will make your funeral plan truly your own.

How Do You Want to Be Laid to Rest?

Even more important than planning how you want to be remembered is planning how you want to be laid to rest. Many factors come into play during this step, including religious beliefs, moral convictions, financial budgets, personal preferences, and state and local regulations. A traditional burial is the most common method people choose when learning how to preplan a funeral.

If you go the traditional route of a casket burial, where will you want to be buried? If you already have loved ones buried in a particular cemetery, there’s a good chance you already know where you will be going.

However, if you don’t, you need to consider other factors such as religious specificity, the state and quality of the groundskeeping, the availability of space, and whether you would like to be buried or placed in a mausoleum. If you have a spouse you want to be buried alongside, you want to ensure the cemetery has more than a single vacant plot.

Is Cremation Right for You?

If you go with cremation while preplanning a funeral, you will still need to decide what you would like to happen with your remains. Cremated remains can be buried like a casket, scattered in a meaningful location, or kept in an urn and placed in a final resting place. Furthermore, you will also need to decide whether you want to be cremated before the funeral service or afterward so your body can be present for viewing. Final Resting Places for Urns

One of the biggest mistakes that families make when someone decides on cremation is not choosing a final resting place and taking the urn home. This leaves uncertainty in the future for their loved ones. For example, if there are multiple children, who will take possession of the urn? What happens to the urn when it gets passed down to the grandchildren or in the case where an adult chooses not to have children?

Taking the urn home is a temporary solution to a permanent responsibility. – Sharon Kalani

A best practice is for individuals to decide on a final resting place during the preplanning time. This way, there is a final spot available to all loved ones to be able to remember now and in the future. Options for final resting places for cremated remains are:

  • Buried like a casket
  • Scattered in a meaningful location
  • Placed at your place on worship’s columbarium
  • A pre-selected niche

Advance Funeral Planning

It’s no secret that preplanning a funeral has immense benefits, but still, many people aren’t sure where to begin. At Coastal Funeral Center, we strive to make advance funeral planning as easy as possible by sharing our proven tips on preplanning a funeral. If you are interested in advance funeral planning, our knowledgeable staff would be happy to walk you through the process. Contact us today to speak with one of our team members and learn more about advance planning.


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About Coastal Funeral Center

At Coastal Funeral Center, we are committed to being dedicated guardians of family and community, while holding on to the legacy we established as a family-owned funeral home. Originally A.M Gamby Funeral Home, Coastal Funeral Center joined Green Hills Memorial Park in 2018 to better serve the community of the South Bay and Palos Verdes Peninsula. During this transition, we expanded our services as an all-inclusive facility and built on the successes of Green Hills Memorial Park. We’re proud of our legacy of personal service and our deep roots in the community, which we’ve been part of for more than 80 years. We provide customized funeral service options that meet your financial needs and honor your loved one like the beautiful individual they were. To learn more, visit

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