Pre-planning: Sparing your loved ones from being exploited

Whether you are prepared for it or not, when a loved one passes away, the emotional toll that grief exerts can be so overwhelming it leaves very little room for other considerations. The last thing that any grieving person would want to focus on, are the nitty-gritty details and logistics of organizing a funeral. If the deceased have no pre-plans or did not leave any instructions concerning their final wishes, this further complicates matters and worse still, leave their bereft family vulnerable to being exploited by unscrupulous individuals.

Often times, unprofessional and immoral practitioners will take advantage of grieving family members by peddling unnecessary services and products. With their judgment influenced and clouded by grief, family members will usually find themselves agreeing out of guilt, or accepting these services and products with little thought simply because they do not want to be bothered with details as they want to focus on grieving. As a result, they find themselves on the receiving end of a rude shock when eventually presented with the bill.

Nigel Davies, the president of the National Funeral Directors Association of Australia stated in an interview conducted by ABC News’ Four Corners segment in 2019 stated, “The funeral industry like any other industries; there’s going to be 5% saints and 5% sinners. The trouble with the funeral industry is the 5% sinners people should be complaining about but they’re not, because they can’t cope with the emotional cost of complaining.”

At the end of the day, the purpose of a business is to earn profits; but that is not to say that the entire funeral industry is all cold and business-like in that sense. Bereavement care is an essential service that is needed so that families are given the opportunity to focus on grieving and saying their goodbyes, and the deceased is afforded their final dignity and properly laid to rest. Many funeral practitioners take great pride in their profession and see it as a noble duty in providing a necessary service in helping people through the grief of losing a loved one. 

That is why it is essential to pre-plan as it not only provides you with the opportunity to decide for yourself, but to also shop around, compare products and services, evaluate prices, investigate the service provider’s reputation and check customers’ reviews. Most importantly, you and your family will have ample space to make considerations with a rational mind unencumbered by emotional or external pressures and time constraints.

A pre-plan is not just an investment in a service to be rendered in the future; it is an investment in trust. The bereavement care provider you eventually choose to go with will be entrusted with your final wishes, last rites and other afterlife matters as well as your family’s emotional well-being. It is therefore crucial that the chosen service provider is one that you are able to work with and can be counted on to execute your final wishes when the time comes.

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