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Why PrePlan Your Funeral

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Although pre-planning your funeral might not be at the top of the list for most people, doing so can ensure your wishes are well-known and help to keep the cost of your funeral arrangements down. Without pre-planning, your family will be faced with making major decisions — such as choosing between burial or cremation — at a time when they are still dealing emotionally with your death.

Taking care of these arrangements in advance is a final gift you can leave your loved ones that will lessen the anxiety and confusion associated with your passing. Think of it as a final gift you can give your families at a time when they need it the most.

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According to the National Funeral Directors Association, the average cost of an adult funeral in 2014 was $7,181, an increase of 28 percent from ten years prior. Besides inflation, the increased cost of overhead, including utilities, labor and real estate, are factored into higher funeral and burial prices. Since most cemeteries also require that a vault be used with any burial, the price typically goes up by at least another $1,300.

Shopping for a casket can be just as expensive as shopping for a new car, but imagine doing it under the emotional duress when faced with a sudden death. The three most expensive aspects of a funeral are the casket, vault and overall memorial service.

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Pre-Need Family Services will help you make the important decisions about these services at a time when no one in your family is under pressure to make a large financial choice on the spot. We will present you with your options, especially regarding the make and style of your casket, at a time when you can carefully examine your options and weigh the pros and cons of each option.

Contact Pre-Need Family Services today to start planning ahead with the best and most affordable funeral plans available in the state of Pennsylvania. Our low payment plans, many of which are available for less than the daily cost of a cup of coffee, will help prevent against cost inflation while providing peace of mind for you and your family.

  • “My mother’s wise decision to choose to pre-plan for her casket years ago was a tremendous help to her family during the most stressful time of our lives. My husband and I are going to do the same to help protect our daughter when the time comes. We can’t thank Pre-Need enough for their assistance.”

    Susan P., daughter Leola C.
    Lancaster 2011
  • The Basics of a Pre-Need Plan

    When developing your pre-need funeral arrangements with Pre-Need Family Services of Lancaster, PA, you’ll work closely with a certified pre-need counselor who will help you develop a plan based on your family’s needs, wishes and budget. Your counselor will also help you to:

    • Create a will — Regardless of your financial wealth, it’s vital that you have a legally binding will drawn up by a lawyer. Without the protection of a will, the state can take over your assets following your death and disperse of them as it wishes. It’s important to make sure your funeral and burial wishes are part of this legal document and that an executor is set up to administer your will after you die. Your will should be updated over time to reflect any major changes in your estate, such as purchasing or selling real estate.
    • Decide on the type of ceremony — Typical funerals are religious in nature, but that doesn’t mean yours has to be that way. You can choose to hold a memorial service or a Celebration of Life ceremony instead of a funeral, and you can get detailed enough to request certain songs or readings you’d like to have at the service. You will also want to pick an open or closed casket, the type of funeral program you want and a list of potential pallbearers. If you decide on cremation, will you still want a funeral and burial?
    • Plan the actual service — In addition to deciding on the elements of your service, pre-planning will also allow you to choose between cremation and burial and whether you want to be interred in a cemetery plot or mausoleum crypt, or if you’d like to be placed in an urn. If you plan to be cremated and have your ashes scattered, your pre-need plan will address how and where you want this to be done. Likewise, you can also indicate if you’d like to donate your body to science or if you want to be an organ donor after you die.
    • Determine the cost — Once you’ve made the decisions about what type of burial and service you prefer, your pre-need counselor will give you a breakdown of the total cost you can expect. For many people, this figure is higher than they expected, but by working with Pre-Need Family Services, you’ll lock in today’s prices. This can help your family save thousands off the total expense when the time for your funeral comes.

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    Pre-planning a funeral is nothing to rush in to. We encourage our customers to take their time considering what is most important to them before creating their budget. Once you feel you have settled on your vision for your service, we will work alongside you to outline each category of items that will need to be included within the budget.

    Most importantly, we will help you find areas where you can save money, and we will prevent you from spending money on services you don’t necessarily need. For example, not everyone wants an open casket, which usually necessitates having an embalming preformed on the body. This can cost almost $700 for a service you might not even want. It’s important to talk to family members in advance to find out what they’d like during your funeral or visitation, but, if so desired, the elimination of an embalming can drastically reduce the cost of your services.

    Financing is done directly through Pre-Need Family Services. We offer various payment options without the additional hassle of a credit check. We are also committed to working within any budget to make your payments affordable.

    The longer you wait, the more costly it will be. We are currently offering plans as low as $50 per month, so call us today!

    Pre-Need Funeral Plan Vs. Burial Insurance

    Many people assume that burial or funeral insurance is all they need to cover the costs of their funeral. While these plans can help cover some of the cost associated with a burial, they pale in comparison to pre-need funeral plans for several reasons:

    • 1. Burial insurance does not lock in a price based on today’s expenses. As the cost for funerals rise during the years between when you purchase burial insurance and when your funeral occurs, your bottom line cost will increase as well. Buying pre-need funeral insurance, on the other hand, locks in the costs of funeral when you purchase the plan. These prices will not increase over time.
    • 2. Burial insurance does not help you make decisions about how your funeral and burial should be handled. Pre-need insurance allows you the opportunity to stipulate what kind of a service you want and how your funeral should be handled, whether it’s a cremation or a burial.
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    • 3. Funeral insurance policies may have an age-out limit, often at 85 years of age. This means you could pay monthly premiums for several years but outlive the policy. A pre-need insurance policy will last as long as it’s needed.
    • 4. Burial insurance often takes your health into consideration. If you have major health issues, you might be turned down for a burial or insurance policy. Pre-need services will usually accept anyone who is interested in the program.

    Giving the Gift of Pre-Planning

    When a client passes away, Pre-Need Family Services is usually contacted first by either the family or the funeral home of choice. At that point, we communicate the deceased’s final wishes to the funeral provider and work closely with them and the remaining family members to ensure the final decisions that have been previously made by the client are followed.

    This allows the grieving family the opportunity to work through their emotions without having to deal with the business end of a burial. The families we work with tell us that our help has provided them with an increased peace of mind during a difficult time. We have been working with state-wide funeral homes for more than 25 years and have developed an impeccable reputation of providing smooth, efficient service.

    Through years of experience, Pre-Need Family Services knows the value the gift of your planning brings. Feedback from hundreds of families we’ve served confirms what we already know — pre-planning brings comfort to grieving families. Show those closest to you how much you love them on a day when your love can mean more than words. Contact us today to learn more about the gift of pre-planning.

    Pre-Need Family Services, the Experts in Pre-Need Funeral Planning

    With a continuing motto of “Friends Helping Friends,” Lancaster-based Pre-Need Family Services has been helping families with their final arrangements since 1988. We are considered to be one of the most senior experts in pre-need funeral needs throughout the state of Pennsylvania. What started as a small family business looking to help people who wanted to pre-plan their funeral arrangements for the betterment of their loved ones has grown into a state-wide company, but we have never forgotten the needs of our individual clients.

    Recognizing that families have different funeral needs based on their faith or personal preferences, we have expanded our services to ensure we meet the needs of each client. We’ve helped thousands of families across the Commonwealth with their prepaid funeral plans, and we’d like nothing more than to help you make the important decisions about your final wishes. Rest assured that when you make pre-need funeral plans with us, we will work closely with you and your family to ensure your funeral and burial wishes are fulfilled with a minimal effort on the part of your family.

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    It can be difficult to have conversations with your loved ones about your final plans. Emotions and family drama can make open and frank discussions uncomfortable. Working with one of our counselors, however, can help you put your wishes down on paper without being encumbered by family duress. It can also alleviate any guilt or emotions your loved ones might be experiencing in the days following your passing. This is a final opportunity for you to provide for the family members who outlive you.

    While many of the advantages of using Pre-Need Family Services of Lancaster are obvious, here are a few more:

    • We will provide you and your family members with a free, no obligation consultation to discuss your pre-need funeral options.
    • We help you protect your family, both emotionally and financially.
    • We promise that your funeral plan will be followed according your wishes.
    • We will eliminate so-called grief spending, which occurs when family members under emotional stress buy services that are not necessary.
    • We will significantly decrease the financial and emotional burden on your family.
    • We will work within your family’s budget to create a lasting and viable plan.
    • We will not turn you down for a pre-need funeral plan regardless of your age or health.
    • We will work with your preferred funeral home of choice — anywhere in the state of Pennsylvania — to finalize your final plans.

    Contact Pre-Need Family Services

    We at Pre-Need Family Services are honored to work with you and your family to respect your final wishes. We are proud to have an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau, and we will strive to keep our rating based on the strong customer service we will provide to you and your loved ones.

    We are also able to adapt with the growing changes in our field. During the past several years, there has been an increase in interest for environmentally-friendly funerals and burial options. While more traditional funeral providers might be hesitant to engage in these changes, Pre-Need Family Services is happy to assist you in finding the right funeral service based on your wishes. We are not intimidated by new practices, and we are able to make accommodations for most any final decisions you’d like to make. We can also help you find burial plots, cemeteries and funeral homes that will be equally qualified to fulfill your desires for pre-need funeral arrangements.

    Don’t put off pre-planning — take the first step today toward doing the right thing and protecting your family by requesting free information about pre-need funeral planning. In addition to locking in prices at today’s rates, we’ll help you plan your funeral and take the burden off of your family members. Pre-Need Family Services also offers $500 worth of savings to all Pennsylvania residents who call us regarding pre-planning information for the low price of only $50 per month!

    If you are interested in receiving more information about pre-need services and you live in the Pennsylvania counties of Berks, Cumberland, Dauphin, Lancaster, Lebanon, Perry, Schuylkill or York, call us at 717-394-2326 or use our online form.