It's never easy to lose somebody close to you. You may be facing this reality soon as a relative or close friend is dealing with a terminal illness, and you are going to be responsible for arranging the subsequent funeral. Of course, this will be an emotional time, and you will find it much more difficult to deal with the individual details, so perhaps you should make some of the arrangements now, while you can think more clearly. Is this even possible?
Don't underestimate the work involved in preparing and staging a funeral, especially if it is to be fitting. You must ensure that your loved one gets an appropriate sendoff and attention to detail will be everything. Some of the arrangements may be contained within the will and other members of the family may have their own ideas, but you've still got to coordinate all of this and ensure that no mistakes are made. Consequently, it makes a great deal more sense to do this ahead of time so that the funeral arrangements can be activated after that fateful day.
Focusing on the Details
If at all possible, you should talk with the ailing relative or friend and discuss any details that may not be included within the will. Sit down with other members of the family as well, and once you have finished these conversations, commit all to writing in order to avoid any confusion.
Emotions can lead to unusual behaviour, and it's not unusual for arguments to develop immediately following the death of a loved one. You will certainly want to avoid this kind of scenario so you should make sure that everybody "signs off" on the details as agreed before you proceed.
Working With the Funeral Director
Next, talk with the funeral director about the plans so that they can become actively involved right away. They will help you to finalise a budget to include all the costs of the preparation, service, cremation or burial. They may even suggest other elements that you may have forgotten but which will need to be included in the final budget.
In certain circumstances, you may be able to prepay for some of these costs and realise some savings, and it's best to be aware of the financial commitment now rather than when you are under emotional duress. This will give you peace of mind as you can set aside the necessary money. While other costs may kick in following the death, such as life insurance, you do need to be clear about your resources now.
Talk with the funeral director to get help as you prepare for this sad but unavoidable day. You'll certainly find that it's a lot easier to handle when it happens.