phone: 920.468.4111 or toll-free: 800.750.4222

Preplanning a Funeral

Archived Questions

What are the benefits of preplanning a funeral?

Life is a series of milestones, milestones we mark, honor and celebrate. The birth of a baby, the graduation of a child, a wedding, a retirement, all require thoughtful planning. For all these significant events, we honor the occasion and take pride in every detail.

The passing of a loved one brings sadness and grief, but it also brings the opportunity to celebrate a life well lived. Like any other milestone, there is comfort in knowing that a plan is in place to honor and celebrate that life. And having that plan in place brings real emotional and financial benefits.

Pre-planning is a “gift” to loved ones. It enables them to focus on honoring a loved one’s life, rather than worrying about difficult decisions at a distressing time. It allows them to celebrate the life of a loved one and the memories they treasure. It gives family and friends a chance to celebrate a life together knowing they are honoring very special and sacred wishes.

For the person who pre-plans, it can bring peace of mind. It is a record of individual wishes that results in a unique service without guesswork or undue stress on the part of others. Overwhelmingly, our families agree that a funded, pre-planned funeral is a good idea and are grateful to their loved ones for easing their burden at a difficult time.

The costs of funeral services, on average, have risen 4.5 percent annually in the past 27 years. Like any other milestone, funeral arrangements can be complex and costly. Pre-planning helps assure rational, thoughtful decisions are made and helps avoid the emotional over-spending that may occur in a time of crisis and grief.

By pre-planning funeral expenses, you do more than eliminate financial strain on your family. The funeral home can also ensure that expenses are Medicaid and Social Security exempt and will be there when needed . Finally, pre-funded funeral arrangements can be transferred to any funeral home in the United States, especially helpful for the Wisconsin “snowbirds”.

Why should I preplan my funeral?

Just thinking about planning your own funeral leaves most people feeling a bit uncomfortable.  However, most find that preplanning a funeral offers emotional and financial benefits, both for themselves and for their families.  With preplanning, individuals find comfort in knowing that the funeral reflects their lifestyle and religious beliefs. It also gives them peace of mind knowing that their families will not have to guess at their wishes at a stressful time.  Decisions can be made with level heads and confidence. 

If you are considering prearranging a funeral, you should contact the staff at Proko-Wall Funeral Home. Our professional staff has many years of expertise in preplanning and can carefully walk you through the process. Simply call 920-468-4111 and ask to speak to a funeral director or a preplanning counselor. 

Once you have made your confidential arrangements, we will keep a copy of the plan and any pertinent paperwork in a secure file. You should also notify your family that arrangements have been made, and where the information may be found.

Prepayment is not necessary, but if you choose to prefund your funeral services, there are significant financial benefits, the most important being that a nursing home could never access these accounts.  This will ensure your family will never be responsible for your final expenses. 

We funeral directors hear it over and over again, preplanning is one of the most thoughtful gifts you can give your family. 

How can I be sure that my wishes will be followed?

Many of us have very specific ideas about what we would like for funeral or cremation services.  When we prearrange our funerals, we would like some assurance that our wishes will be carried out.  Previously, the law stated that the rights of the next of kin were paramount over the rights of the deceased.  But a new form, called an Authorization for Final Disposition, can supersede the wishes of the next of kin.

For example, let's say that a person wishes to be buried, but is fearful that their next of kin may want to have them cremated.  The person can fill out an Authorization for Final Disposition, naming someone other than their next of kin as the person responsible for arrangements.  And vice versa, should a person desire cremation, they can ensure that their wishes will be carried out by the person named in the document.

An Authorization for Final Disposition is also a good idea for people in a second marriage who wish their children to be responsible for arrangements, for someone who has a significant other but is not married, for someone with no children, for someone with children out of town who wishes to take the pressure off of them as they travel back for services, or for those with many children who wish only one or two to be in charge of arrangements.

The Authorization for Final Disposition is a legal document that must be filled out completely and correctly in order to be legal binding.  For those in the Green Bay area, it can be obtained at Proko-Wall Funeral Home.  Our funeral directors and prearrangement staff are willing to assist you with drafting the document and putting your wishes down in a confidential record.  Call 920-468-4111 to set up an appointment.  Have peace of mind knowing your wishes will be followed.