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Sometimes it’s hard to think about your funeral, because it means reflecting on the fact that you’re eventually going to die. Death is inevitable, though, and pre-planning your funeral is an act of kindness toward your loved ones. When a person dies without a funeral plan, their loved ones are put in the position of having to plan an important event during an incredibly stressful time. That’s why many people decide to pre-plan their funerals and pay for them in advance. In fact, many people view it as a logical extension of estate planning.

When you plan your funeral in advance, you get to make a lot of decisions about how you want your funeral arrangements to be implemented. You get to decide the tone of the service, the songs you’d like sung, the readings and special touches, and who you’d like to be involved in certain aspects. One of the most important decisions you’ll need to make is whether to be buried or cremated. Even if you’re cremated, you’ll need to decide on the dispensation of your cremated remains. Making these decisions ahead of time allows you to arrange things exactly the way you want them, but there’s a larger benefit than that. It takes the pressure off of the loved ones you’ve left behind, because they don’t have to worry and wonder if they’ve done things the way you would have wanted.

The funeral service gives families and friends a time and place to come together, grieve, and begin the healing process. From a more practical standpoint, though, pre-planning can relieve your family of a cumbersome financial burden. When you plan ahead, you can make financial arrangements to cover your funeral costs. Consider this: money you leave to your survivors might not be accessible to them in time to pay for a funeral service and burial or cremation. Leaving the funeral unplanned could seriously limit the funeral options available to your family upon your death, simply because of financial concerns.

So, what’s the best way to pre-plan and pay for your funeral? There are brochures and spreadsheets available online and at funeral homes and cemeteries to help you make your plan. Ultimately, it just needs to be in writing, somewhere easily accessible. Paying for your funeral is more complicated, but establishing a funeral trust or a final expense insurance policy is prudent.

The Catholic Cemeteries of the Diocese of San Jose is committed to providing a sacred place where you and your family can remember loved ones in a peaceful and hope-filled setting. If you have questions, we’re happy to answer them. We have three locations: Calvary Catholic Cemetery in San Jose, Gate of Heaven Cemetery in Los Altos, and St. John the Baptist Cemetery in Milpitas. For more information, contact us through our website, or call Calvary at 833-428-0379, Gate of Heaven at 833-304-0763, or St. John the Baptist at 833-428-0379.


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