Many people take the effort to plan big events like birthday parties and family vacations but they tend to fall short when it comes to thinking ahead about their own funerals. And it’s understandable – talking about pre-planning your own funeral arrangements can be an uncomfortable topic to approach with your loved ones. But there is no better time than the present. Just like the other occasions in your life, you’d want your funeral to be carried out according to your wishes and preference.

If you’re thinking of getting started, take note of some of the common funeral planning mistakes and how to avoid them. 

1. Fail to pre-plan

Without the option of having a funeral pre-planned, family members are left with the stress of planning a funeral quickly while having to deal with their recent loss. While they are experiencing difficult emotions, they may also be unsure what their passed loved one might have wanted for their funeral arrangements. As such, planning your funeral in advance takes this hardship off your family and allows more control over the funeral.

From the type of funeral service to your final resting place, everything can be specified: flower arrangements, songs, catering menu and readings. If you wish to talk about it with your family, look at conversation starters to begin the process in private so you can let them know of your intentions ahead of time. Discuss with a funeral director who will establish your wishes in writing, and provide you with a peace of mind knowing your preferences will be honoured.

2. Choosing a funeral home package solely based on cost 

Funerals in Singapore can cost a pretty penny. Therefore, it’s without a doubt that price is important when making your funeral arrangements. Nonetheless, making a decision solely based on price can be a grave error. As the adage goes, you get what you pay for. You may compromise a lot in value under the guise of lower prices. 

Check to see whether a funeral home’s package includes costs such as cremation and other items like flowers, and obituaries in the pricing. Weigh the value of what you will get versus the price. A funeral home’s package is usually comprehensive and inclusive of many services, so the value would be incomparable to lower offers especially for ala carte services. For instance, a Buddhist funeral package typically comprises of Buddhist prayer service, joss praying items, floral arrangement and canvas tentage for the memorial ceremony.

3. Not informing your family members

Another detail you shouldn’t miss out is not documenting and sharing your wishes – otherwise your loved ones might be kept in the dark when the time comes. Planning allows you to confirm your preferences, but you should also let your choices be known to family members. Keep an open and honest dialogue on the subject with those who care for you and ensure that everyone is aware of your wishes. Document your plans and share the name of the funeral company so they will know who to contact and you can eliminate the confusion.

4. Waiting until tomorrow

Funerals are a significant expense. Beyond just making your wishes known, it is good to be financially prepared as well. Some people might stall or delay their planning knowing that funeral arrangements can be costly – and this will end up being an incomplete task that will be dragged on for years. Start keeping aside funds for this rainy day. Talk to your funeral director to discuss the financial arrangements and payment methods that are accepted. They may be able to advise you on the best way to approach your funeral pre-planning.