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Funeral planning

Posted August 12, 2015 in Advice Column, Norwalk

Unfortunately, death can happen at any time. Funeral planning has become as common place as writing a will and estate planning. While many people in their 60’s and 70’s are preplanning, experts suggest a better time is when you are in your 40’s or 50’s. You are probably still working at that age and have a steady income to make it easier to set aside funds.

A funeral plan is a simple and straightforward way for people to cover the details and cost of a funeral in advance and put arrangements in place. While many people assume savings or life insurance will cover their final expenses, funerals must be paid for upfront, and many life insurance policies or bank accounts aren’t accessible to the family until days or weeks following the funeral. By prefunding, your family doesn’t have to figure out who will pay for the funeral.

When a person dies, there are multiple decision that need to be made and information that must be obtained very quickly. Preplanning

  • Lets your family know your wishes. When you take the time to plan, you can focus on the smaller details that might get overlooked if family is planning it after the death occurs.
  • Reduces stress and minimizes financial burden for family. Most funerals are planned in just a few days and decisions need to be made very quickly. By starting early, you have the time to be methodical and think through decisions.
  • Brings you peace of mind knowing that your wishes and information are recorded. Your family will be under an enormous amount of stress when you die. You can ease it a little bit by making sure you have arrangements on file.

Other benefits for preplanning include:

  • The ability to add protection for children and grandchildren to the policy (restrictions apply) at no additional charge.
  • Travel protection in case of a death when traveling more than 100 miles away from home. This can be added at a low cost.
  • When the plan is paid fur, service and merchandise costs are locked in.


By thinking about funeral planning before it is ever needed, you can ask the right questions, build a relationship with the funeral director and staff so you are comfortable that they will not only take care of you, but they will also provide care and support for your family.

Most funeral homes offer a no cost, no obligation consultation for planning.


Information provided by Eric O’Leary and Jeanne Yordi, O’Leary Funeral & Cremation Services-Celebration of Life Services, 1020 Main Street, PO Box 171, Norwalk;; 515-981-0700.

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