Many aspects of life require planning ahead; some aspects of death do, too. Estate planning is a way to safeguard your legacy and take care of loved ones after you are gone.

However, you may have overlooked one important aspect of estate planning: pre-arranging your own funeral. When you make the difficult decisions ahead of time, you do your loved ones a favor and give yourself peace of mind. There are several reasons why you should plan your funeral.

Financial burden

When you plan your own funeral, you can pay for many aspects of it ahead of time. This takes the financial burden off your family. Grief and deadline pressure can lead to needless overspending. Your spouse, siblings and children may feel as if extravagance shows their love and devotion. However, when you make the spending decisions, there is no pressure and no guilt involved. You may shop around and compare funeral costs, perhaps even sticking to a budget. Your grieving loved ones are much less likely to do so.

Difficult decisions

In addition to the financial burden, loved ones will likely face the burden of choice. They will need to decide between cremation and burial, then determine what type of service to hold. Planning ahead means you can make your wishes known. Those you leave behind should have no misunderstandings, arguments or hard feelings. Planning your funeral allows you to make choices at your leisure. With no timeline attached, you can change your mind as many times as you like.

Meaningful service

You have probably heard the truism that funerals are for the living. Whatever type of service you choose, the purpose is to give closure to loved ones. Ensure a service that is true to your beliefs by drawing on religious or cultural traditions of your choice. Honor your values with eco-friendly practices such as a tree-planting memorial event. A funeral that reflects your personality can be incredibly comforting to those who miss you.