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Pre-planning Your Funeral

There are many reasons to preplan your funeral and through our years of experience, we have come across them all. If you have considered it, or are considering it, you may have some questions about it. Hopefully we can answer them here, if not, you are welcome to contact us and ask us directly. So, let’s start with the simplest question:

Why Pre-Plan Your Funeral?

The answer to this question is different for different people. Here are some examples:

You Get to Pay for It

It’s no surprise that funerals and cremations can be expensive depending on how you want it conducted. Oftentimes, we have people who want to pre-pay for their own funeral to avoid the expense burden on their family. This is very considerate and is very helpful to the family at their time of loss. While grieving, it is simply an additional stress to worry about financial issues at a time when you should be focused on yourself and your family. Dealing with grief is such a drain on your emotions, pre-paid funerals help take some of that worry away. 

You Get Your Funeral Your Way

People have preferences, not only in weddings, parties, and designs but in funerals too. Some people may not care while others want their funeral to be conducted their way. The reason funeral options are so vast is for this exact reason. Some people like a large celebration of life, some prefer a more intimate affair. There are those who like a public ceremony and others private. Planning your own funeral means you can choose your own options and have your funeral your way.

This can also be helpful for those dealing with your loss. It relieves them of making difficult decisions and they can invest their time in mourning. This is particularly helpful when family members could disagree on what they think you would want at your funeral. When you preplan your own funeral, there is no question as to what you would prefer. Sometimes, families often comment they were surprised about how their loved one wanted their funeral. Other times, people say they saw how the funeral reflected the personality of the deceased.

It’s A Growing Trend

Like many developments over time, the option to preplan your funeral is becoming much more commonplace. In the past, it was at one time, frowned upon to plan your own funeral. Nobody likes to discuss the death of a loved. However, just like producing a will and testament, it became a normal and accepted practice. 

What Are Your Options When Pre-Planning A Funeral?

As the options for a funeral are vast, there are many things for you to consider. Here are some of the more significant considerations.

Do You Want a Funeral or a Cremation?

Typically, this choice is very clear for those choosing their own funeral. The reasons for the choice may be based on religious reasons, financial reasons, location of the final resting place, burial with or without loved ones and many more. 

A Container for Your Remains

Whether cremation or burial, you will need to choose a container for your remains. Whether a casket or urn, there are a vast arrangement of options for each. From construction materials to decorations, your will find an option that suits you, 

example funeral casket
example cremation urn

The Ceremony

The style of ceremony is one factor that is divisive among people. As mentioned above, some people want a quiet ceremony with just loved ones attending. Others want a public ceremony to make it available to whomever wishes to attend. Another factor is if you prefer a church or a funeral home ceremony. Religion plays a large role in this choice where many people wish to have the ceremony in their local church. 


Many people choose to request people to donate money to a charity instead of sending flowers upon their death. We have heard varying reasons for this ranging from wanting to help a charity for whom the deceased raised funds, to funding research into various illnesses in the hope of one day finding a cure. Whatever the reason, it is always a noble gesture. 

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For burial, pre-planning allows you to choose the headstone inscriptions. The standard information is simply name, date of birth and the date of death. However, you have many more options. Many people like to include in the epitaph, the names of past loved ones and give a synopsis of your life for others to read and enjoy. Some people choose to add a saying, a meaningful phrase, scripture verse, quotes, a nickname, or a symbol. Sometimes, even a joke. More recently, an image of the deceased can be added to the headstone.

An important factor here is to investigate the regulations maintained by some cemeteries. You may be restricted to a certain type of headstone in shape, style, or material. This is where pre-planning with a professional funeral home is beneficial. We can research your requirements and make sure it is all compliant with the cemetery.

Inscriptions and epitaphs are also a consideration for cremations as cremated remains may be kept in a columbarium or added to the urn itself.

inscription on a headstone
epitaph on a marble headstone
small headstone with inscription symbol

Leave The Funeral Planning to Someone Else

Sometimes the idea of planning your own funeral is not for you. We know, we have heard that many times. Everyone has their preference. If you prefer to not pre-plan your own funeral, you can still help your loved ones by letting them know what type of funeral or cremation you want. It helps them make the decisions in confidence knowing it's what you wanted.

If you have any questions about pre-planning your funeral or want to discuss it with us, just contact us at Zentner Funeral Homes Ltd. and we can arrange a time to discuss it with you.

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