Here are some tips to follow if you've decided to pre-arrange your funeral.

Consult your loved ones about the details of the funeral arrangements

One common mistake people make when they pre-arrange funerals is not talking to their family about the details of their arrangements. They might do this because they don't want to upset their loved ones by discussing their future death or because they simply assume that their family won't have any opinion on the finer points of the funeral arrangements.

It's important not to make this error and to instead (after you've met with the funeral home staff and discussed the type of funeral you'd like them to pre-arrange) sit down with your family and talk them through your decisions. The reason for this is that if, when you pass away, your family only finds out about the funeral arrangement details when they contact the funeral home, there is a possibility that they might be surprised, confused or even upset by some of your choices.

For example, if you specify in your pre-arranged funeral plan that you don't want flowers of any kind on your casket, in the funeral home during the service, or at the grave plot, this might confuse or upset your family members who believe that flowers are an important part of a funeral. This could then result in them requesting that this aspect of the funeral plan be changed so that they can incorporate flowers into the funeral. By explaining your reasoning in advance (for example, you might want to omit all forms of funeral flowers to make your funeral more affordable), your family won't experience any confusion or surprises when you pass away and will be more likely to accept, rather than try to change, the arrangements you made in advance.

Find out what fees you might incur if you ever need to make changes to your pre-arranged funeral

You should also talk to the funeral home about any fees that you might incur if you decide to make changes to your pre-arranged funeral in a few months or years' time. For example, if when making the original arrangements, you decided to have chrome hardware on your chosen casket, due to the affordability of this material, but you later decide you'd like to opt for more expensive hardware, such as gold, the funeral home might not only issue a fee related to the extra expense of this new and more costly hardware but might also add an extra fee to your bill, to cover the costs of making this change to your pre-arranged funeral. If this is the policy of the funeral home you've selected and you wish to avoid extra fees, you might then decide to take a bit more time to consider your options and ensure that you choose the most suitable features at the outset.