End of Life Pre-Planning

End of Life Pre-Planning, focuses on the steps you can take in advance of a loved-one passing or for yourself. While no one wants to think about the possibility of losing their loved ones, having the basics of a plan in place will help everyone in the long run. Often, particularly in cases of sudden loss, the lack of a plan can cause unneeded stress and worry when being there for your family in grief is the most important thing. Read below for some resources and insights into end-of-life pre-planning.

Pre-Paid Funeral Plans: the 411

On average, a funeral can cost between $7,000 to $12,000 (including viewing, burial, casket, and other prep) and other costs like cemetery costs, grave markers, and flowers would only add on to that. While these costs can be mitigated with decisions like choosing cremation, using a low-cost casket, and shopping different funeral home providers in your area, end-of-life expenses will always be relatively high. One way to further prepare for a funeral is by purchasing or saving towards a pre-paid funeral plan. A pre-paid funeral plan is a plan made with a funeral home that pays for all aspects of a funeral depending on your preferences and finances. This way, you can solidify your arrangements before you pass and remove the financial and decision-making pressure from your family.


  • Pay all at once: You are able to pay for your funeral expenses all at once or in payment plans prior to passing.
  • Possible Tax Deduction: If the estate pays for the funeral plan (in the event of the proprietor passing) that payment is tax deductible.
  • Flexibility: Pre-paid funeral funds can be more flexible in advance. You can customize everything you want included in the policy to your wishes.
  • Set Prices: You can, in some cases, choose a price-guaranteed plan that will lock-in the prices of the services you desire at the date of purchase.


  • Overpaying: Pre-paid funeral plans may cause you to end up paying more for your funeral than necessary after all.
  • Reliability: There is little oversight for pre-paid funeral plan financing, meaning if your funeral home isn’t reputable, or if the funeral home goes out of business, you may lose the money you put toward the funeral. Refunds are not guaranteed.
  • Non-transferable: The funds will not be transferred to another funeral home. In addition, a pre-paid funeral plan cannot be used for any other end-of-life expenses like medical or transportation.

Testimony: How Carson’s Village can help

The S Family was referred to Carson’s Village by the Grant Halliburton Foundation after their mother committed suicide. The family was in need of grief support as well as funeral planning assistance as they were told they had a couple of weeks before their mother would be released to a funeral home. Their Carson’s Village Advocate provided grief support resources as well as helped them pre-plan the funeral. By guiding the family through the funeral planning process as well as contacting funeral homes and cemeteries for pricing quotes, the emotional stress of the loss was eased by the Advocate even when the body was released earlier than expected. Due to the early action of the Advocate, the family was also able to create a Family Support WebPage to raise money for funeral expenses.

The family expressed their appreciation for the Advocate taking tasks off their plate that none of them knew how to navigate or complete. While Carson’s Village Advocates cannot make financial decisions for families, by gathering options and informing the family of services they can decrease the emotional stress and financial expense of funeral planning after a loss.

Documents to Prepare

A study by Health Affairs Journal found that only one in three adults in the US has either a living will with medical instructions or a power of attorney in place for end-of-life affairs. In other words, two out of three adults lack an advance directive. Additionally, the National Funeral Directors Association found that only 21 percent of Americans have spoken to their loved ones about their end-of-life wishes.

At any age, understanding the documents you can prepare for end-of-life matters will help your surviving family members. Consider reading the following documents to see how you can change the statistics:

Want to know what else Carson’s Village is up to? Join our email list.

  • This field is for validation purposes and should be left unchanged.

Need support right away?
Call us at 877-789-0722 or email us HERE.