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Jul 7, 2017

Taking The First Step: How To Begin Pre-Planning

Sponsored Content provided by Patrick Kelly - Family Service Manager, Dignity Memorial

Are you a “get-it-done” kind of person?

If so, chances are you prefer to tackle a task right away rather than put it off until later. You’re probably a habitual note-taker and calendar-keeper, too, and nothing makes you happier than crossing off a completed chore.

Yet, even proactive and painstakingly organized individuals can often overlook what is perhaps the most important checklist any of us will ever complete – a pre-arranged funeral.

Many of my previous articles have focused on why pre-planning makes sense – it can take the stress and cost of funeral arrangements off your loved ones and ensures your final wishes are carried out to a “T,” among a host of other advantages.

But, even if you already understand the value of peace of mind, you might still be wondering how to get started.

The first step – let a local Dignity Memorial provider guide you.

Dignity staff are well-trained in walking people through the process, which can sometimes feel a little overwhelming.
They’ll offer you expert advice – backed by Dignity’s extensive network of providers – and, more importantly, listen to your wants, needs, wishes and concerns with a compassionate and caring ear.

Whether you would like a traditional service or a casual celebration of life, a cremation or a burial, Dignity Memorial can guide you through the following steps:

  • Gathering ideas to personalize your final send-off. This is an opportunity to brainstorm and think about who and what you really love. Are you an avid camper? Like to hike? Maybe an outdoor celebration of life is a good choice for you. A music fan may prefer to have a live guitarist playing instrumental versions of your favorite songs.
  • Schedule a meeting with a pre-arrangement counselor. Often called an “arrangement conference,” this is your chance to discuss ideas and options one-on-one and face-to-face at the Dignity Memorial provider location of your choice. As noted above, the possibilities are nearly endless, and a counselor can help you narrow them down based on your passions and personality.
  • Review packages and offerings. This is not a sales pitch. Dignity Memorial’s flexible services are designed with you in mind and will help you find the plan that’s right for you, whether it’s planning ahead and paying later or pre-funding to protect your loved ones from carrying that weight. And if you move more than 75 miles from the town or city in which you pre-arranged your service, that plan moves with you to one of the more than 2,000 providers within the Dignity network.
  • Consider friends or family members whom you want to be involved. When it comes right down to it, a life well-lived is one spent surrounded by those you love. It might be your best friend since kindergarten or your brother, your spouse or sister-in-law… whoever is a constant in your life could play an important and touching role in your memorial service.
  • Delegate. After putting so much time and thought into your final wishes, you want to make sure they’ll actually be carried about. The best way to ensure this is to pick someone you know and trust and go over your pre-arrangement plan with them. That way, they’ll be informed about and engaged in seeing your ideas become a reality, with every detail in place.
Still unsure about taking the first step? Dignity Memorial offers a free online guide that includes a variety of sample plans to help get you started down a path to true peace of mind.

Patrick Kelly is Family Service Manager for Dignity Memorial®, which cares for more than 300,000 families each year through its network of more than 2,000 providers throughout North America. Learn more at www.dignitymemorial.com or call Greenlawn Memorial Park, Oleander Memorial Gardens and Coble-Ward Smith Funeral & Cremation Service, (910) 799-1686.
 

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