As life goes on, many of us begin thinking about how we can take care of our loved ones after we pass. We may purchase life insurance and prepare a will or trust to ensure our loved ones are taken care of when we are no longer there.
Another important end of life consideration is planning a funeral and memorial. This gives you the ability to choose the specific items you prefer, compare the prices of the different options, and pay for them in advance. It also eliminates the stress of your loved ones making these types of decisions under the pressure of time and strong emotions.
Why Pre Plan a Funeral and Memorial?
Some of us have experienced a situation where a family member has passed and there was no plan. This can make an already difficult time more confusing, stressful, and challenging for the loved ones left behind and in some cases even cause tension among family. By pre-planning a funeral and memorial, you can relieve your loved ones of such a burden when they are grieving and make a difficult time a little less difficult for them.
What Are My Pre-Planning Options?
The first step of pre-planning a funeral and memorial is to determine if you prefer to be buried or cremated. Once this is determined, do some research online and meet with a funeral director to discuss options and make arrangements.
Pre-Planning a Burial
If you choose to be buried, you will need to decide if you’re going to be embalmed, if there will be a viewing, what type of service you prefer (if any), and if it is going to be a traditional burial in a plot in a cemetery with a casket and vault or a green burial with only a shroud or biodegradable casket. With a burial, an important thing to determine is where you will be buried and the cost of the plot. Other things to consider include what type of memorial stone you will have (if any), and, if you’re going to have a service, who will be in attendance, who will speak, what music will be played, will a religious person be present, and will there be a graveside service, among many other considerations.
Pre-Planning a Cremation
If you choose to be cremated, there are also many things to consider. This includes whether or not you will be embalmed and have a viewing, will there be a service in a church or another place and will it be indoors or outdoors, will the service occur before the cremation with your body present or will it occur afterwards with your ashes present in an urn. In addition, and similar to a burial, if you’re having a service it will be important to think about who will be attending, will you have speakers and, if so, who, what music will be played (if any), and will a religious person be present. Another important thing to consider if you decide to be cremated is what will be done with your ashes and what type of memorial you’ll have.
Unique Memorials for Cremation
Over the past decade, more and more people are choosing to be cremated instead of buried. This is mainly due to a much lower cremation cost and families who are less traditional than they once were. In addition, many people love the new and unique memorial options available for people who choose cremation that incorporate their cremated ashes. This can include having a beautiful wood or metal urn indoors, placing a portion of the ashes in a piece of jewelry, growing a tree memorial from a bio urn, having an urn with a houseplant or bonsai tree indoors, have infused in a glass decorative piece, launched into a firework, or even sent into orbit in space!
Pre-Planning with The Living Urn
The Living Urn has developed a line of very unique memorial options designed to enable your family to have a more meaningful, memorable, and personal experience with your ashes.
Each of these memorial urns can be selected and even purchased ahead of time as part of a pre-need plan. This includes:
This patented Living Urn allows families to grow a beautiful, enduring tree in a special biodegradable urn holding the ashes of a loved one. The Living Urn Pre Planning Program was developed based on the demand from people interested in taking care of their plans ahead of time. With this program you receive The Living Urn system right away with a voucher for a tree that can be redeemed for a tree of choice at any time. The Living Urn has no expiration so it can be stored for a very long time - as long as needed. The Living Urn’s Pre-Planning Bio Urn System is a great option that’s growing in popularity.
In addition, it’s important to note that The Living Urn is designed to be used with as much or as little of one set of ashes. It is large enough to hold all of your ashes and provide enough room for the additives and tree roots. Many people will also plant only a portion of the ashes with The Living Urn - this is the case when families split the ashes among siblings and plant multiple memory trees (see our Family Program), or when people just want to keep some or when they want to use some in other memorials. The instructions provided explain any adjustments to make when planting different amounts.
If you don't have a place in mind to plant but still want to pre-plan your memrorial, check out our website to find a Memory Forest location near you!
The patent pending Eco Water Urn is another popular option for people who are interested in pre-planning their memorial and having their ashes scattered in water. It can be ordered ahead of time and stored in a dry place for decades until it is used. It comes packaged in a protective bamboo case, which serves as a great way to store the biodegradable urn until the time comes to use it.
The patented line of Eco Scattering Urns can also be ordered ahead of time and stored until the time comes to use them. These are made entirely from bamboo, a strong and sustainable resource, and the design and unique functionality makes it easy on family to scatter your ashes at a special place (or at multiple special places).
Many people will simply want to have their ashes buried at a special place. This can be done in an urn with a permanent burial vault, or in a biodegradable urn such as the affordable Eco Burial Urn.
Indoor Plant Urn
Another popular option is to have your ashes placed in an indoor ceramic urn along with a bonsai tree or houseplant. The Living Urn provides this beautiful option which comes in white, beige or blue. It can be stored for as long as needed and the bonsai tree or houseplant can be shipped on-demand and when the time comes to plant.
Multiple Memorials for Cremation
A popular option for people who cannot decide on one memorial, or for those who have children or other family members who each want their own special way to remember them, is to choose to divide their ashes into multiple memorials. This can be a beautiful way to be remembered and memorialized.
Pre-planning for your funeral and memorial can be a simple process and there are now many uplifting and personal options for being memorialized following a cremation. Thinking and planning ahead can ease the burden and stress for your loved ones left behind and also help them honor you in a fulfilling way knowing your desires are being met.