You’ve always said you wouldn’t be caught dead in that hideous dress. You know the one—that floral, Pepto-Bismol pink monstrosity your cousin gave you for your birthday. Of course, you didn’t want to hurt her feelings. So instead of returning it to the store, you crammed that gruesome garb into the back of your closet, hoping to never lay eyes on it again.

But what happens when your time comes? If you haven’t recorded your final wishes, you won’t have a say in the type of service you have, much less what you wear on the big day. That’s right—if you don’t plan ahead for your final arrangements, you could, in fact, be caught dead in that ugly dress!

Look, I totally get it. No one enjoys thinking about their own demise. But planning ahead for your final arrangements is an incredibly smart choice. This is your opportunity to put your wishes in writing and make sure you get the final farewell you want.

Not only does preplanning ensure you won’t be buried in that abhorrent dress. You’ll also enjoy these important benefits:

1.      Preplanning ensures your family isn’t left to guess (and argue) about what you wanted.

Think your sons and daughters squabble a lot now? Just imagine what would happen if you passed away without your final arrangements in place. It would be like World War III.

Tom will say you wanted to be cremated—but he’ll claim you wanted your ashes scattered at the beach while Janie will argue you wanted to be kept in an urn on the mantle. On the other hand, Sally will insist you always wanted to be buried in that “beautiful, pink flowered dress.” What a nightmare! You can prevent all of these arguments by putting your wishes in writing today.

2.      Preplanning removes future burden from your loved ones.

All joking aside, if you’ve ever planned a last-minute funeral for a loved one, you know just how difficult it can be. Put yourself in your family’s shoes. Do you really want to subject them to this kind of stress during such a painful time?

This is a time for them to gather, reflect and grieve—not a time for them to be concerned with picking out flowers, music and prayer cards. By deciding on the details of your final service now, you’ll relieve your family from this stress down the road.

3.      Preplanning guarantees you’ll get the final tribute you want. (Champagne toast, anyone?)

I remember when Jean Ketcham, one of the founders of Aging But DANGEROUS, came into my office a few months ago. Jean was ready to plan ahead for her final arrangements. Smart lady! “I don’t want a funeral,” she said.

I responded, “Who said you have to have a funeral?”

Jean looked shocked as I explained to her that there are tons of fun options besides a somber funeral.   A party and a casual reception after her cremation seemed to best fit Jean’s wishes, she loved that idea! So, Jean made all sorts of exciting plans that day. She even chose what she wants to have done with her ashes. (More on that in my next blog!)

This is one of the many advantages to pre-planning. It’s your chance to personalize your service and makes sure it reflects your unique style. Do you want a big funeral followed by a snazzy dinner reception? Or would you prefer a cremation followed by a small, intimate gathering? A champagne toast or a backyard barbecue? Red roses or yellow tulips? Fried chicken or filet mignon? Beethoven or the Beatles? When you pre-plan, you can spell out all of these details.

4.      Preplanning allows you to lock into today’s prices.

When you preplan, you’ll also have an opportunity to save your loved ones a bundle. How does it work? If you choose to pre-pay for your services, you’ll lock into today’s prices for life and protect your family from future inflation.

Think about it: We all plan ahead for the important events in our life—from weddings, baby showers and vacations to birthdays, anniversary parties and retirement. You wouldn’t have someone else plan these special occasions for you. So why would you have someone else plan your final send-off?

To learn more about our expert preplanning services, visit www.KozlakRadulovich.com or call (612) 789-8869.

Danielle Radulovich-Nelson is co-owner of Kozlak-Radulovich Funeral Chapels in NE Minneapolis, Blaine and Maple Grove.