Many people find planning for after they’re gone, such as making a will, to be too uncomfortable to discuss, but experts say that preplanning a funeral is a gift that avoids stressing out loved ones. John Golden, owner and chief executive officer of Martin A. Gleason Funeral Homes in Whitestone, Bayside, and Flushing, shared with us what a pre-planned funeral can do for you.

What is a preplanned funeral? There are two kinds of funerals: Pre-planned and anted funerals. Preplanned, also known as preneed funerals, are funeral plans that are made for people who are still alive. Funeral homes, cemeteries, and other such companies offer preplanning services for individuals, their spouses, or parents. There are also online options to make it even easier. In anted funerals, the deceased’s family members make the final arrangements immediately following the person’s time of death.

How does a preplanned funeral help a family? Preplanning is a thoughtful decision that helps reduce the stress when we lose a loved one. A carefully preplanned service can give your family and friends lasting peace of mind, knowing that they respected and followed your wishes. By contrast, planning a funeral at the last second, while grieving, forces surviving loved ones to make difficult financial decisions at an emotionally charged time.

Why plan ahead? A few reasons. One: Security. New York State law requires that 100 percent of your prepaid funeral money be deposited in a special trust fund. All accounts are fully insured by the FDIC. Two: Comfort. You can make your prearrangements at the funeral home or at your house or apartment. Yes, we do make home calls! You can make your decisions calmly and with no rush to decide. Three: Flexibility. If you move to another state and you don’t want to come back to New York, you can receive your money back, plus accumulated interest. If you are in another state or country and pass away and wish to come back to New York, call Gleason’s first and we can arrange everything for you. Four: Consistency. Our funeral directors that make funeral prearrangements at Gleason’s are the same funeral directors who will be there when the death occurs.

What do families value most about the services you provide? It is very important for a family to have someone on hand who would be there at the time of need. All our directors at Gleason Funeral Home have years of experience and training and are available seven days a week.  

Does preplanning cost extra? There is no charge to make prearrangements. And, of course, saving your loved ones from the difficult process of planning a funeral on short notice is invaluable.

Is there anything else you want to add? Save your family from these difficult decisions by prearranging the funeral. As I have been told many times by numerous families, having prearrangements has made a difficult time a little easier. Giving advanced notice ensures that your final wishes will be followed; it also allows for a meaningful ceremony that provides the proper closure.

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