How to Start the Advance Planning Conversation with Your Loved Ones

If you’ve made your own funeral and cemetery arrangements in advance, you know the relief you’ll provide your loved ones in the future. But how can you inform them of your plans without upsetting them by contemplating your death? Or, how can you let a loved one know that you’d like them to consider their own funeral and cemetery arrangements and share their plans with you?

These conversations might seem tough to have, but they don’t need to be. What’s most important is that you have the conversation, not how you have it.

There are many different ways to begin the planning ahead conversation. You know your family and how your loved ones might best respond to the topic. For some families, it might be a casual conversation over dinner or another family gathering. For other families, a formal meeting might be better suited.

Regardless of your approach, the conversation is much easier to have when death is not imminent. Bringing up the subject with loved ones earlier in life when they are younger, and most likely healthier, makes the topic easier to discuss and keeps the focus on the celebration of life rather than an impending loss.

“By preplanning, we were able to gather all our family’s input, and Mom’s wishes too. The majority of the decisions are already made, allowing for more family time when you need it the most.”

- Lori D., 43

Here are some tips that may help you start the advance planning conversation with your loved ones:

  • Set a time to have the conversation. Schedule it as an appointment with your loved ones, whether you want to share your plans with them or ask them to make their plans to share with you.
  • Tell your parent or loved one that you want to ensure their final arrangements are done according to their wishes, and you need their help to make that happen.
  • Use the Personal Planning Guide offered by Dignity Memorial providers. If you are planning your own arrangements, complete the guide and present it to your loved ones. If you are encouraging others to plan, present the guide to them and work through it together. Click here to request your copy.
  • Let our free online planning tool communicate your arrangements for you. When you use the tool to create, store and share your funeral plans, you can designate friends or family members to receive packets outlining your selections and the benefits of planning ahead.
  • Ease into the conversation. Questions such as “Have you ever thought about where you would like to be buried?” or “What type of funeral would you like to have?” may open the discussion to more details about your loved one’s wishes.
  • Take advantage of funeral-related opportunities. Attending the funeral of a friend, family member or colleague or watching a movie or television show with funeral scenes may naturally prompt the discussion with your own loved ones. Talk about what you liked or didn’t like about the services you saw or attended.
  • Tell your children or loved ones that because you care for them so much, you don’t want to burden them with difficult decisions when you’re gone. Tell them you’ve made your own final arrangements, and give them a written record of what they are.
  • Make your funeral and cemetery plans with a Dignity Memorial provider, wrap a copy of your contract and wishes in a gift box, and present it to your children.
  • Make it a family affair. Schedule an appointment with your Dignity Memorial funeral home or cemetery provider and invite your children along to participate in the selection of services, funeral merchandise and cemetery property.

Whether you’re sharing plans for your own final arrangements with loved ones, or encouraging loved ones to make and share their plans with you, the conversation about planning ahead is an important one that every family should have. While no one wants to think about their death or the death of a loved one any sooner than they must, having the conversation in advance alleviates the need for potentially more unpleasant or difficult conversations in the future.


Our firm does not provide cemetery services.

To locate a Dignity Memorial cemetery provider near you, click here.

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bwidth_3_1/resources/dm20/assets/pages/plan_now/img_additional_reading.jpgAdditional ReadingGo To Library.<p>Visit our Resource Library to read articles on the importance of planning ahead.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="/dm20/BRAND_ROOT_PATH/library/article/name/preplanning-myths">Debunking Common Myths: Why Funeral Planning is the Right Thing to Do</a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="/dm20/BRAND_ROOT_PATH/library/article/name/guidance-series-memorial-services">Memorial Services: How to Plan a Funeral or Cremation Service</a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="/dm20/BRAND_ROOT_PATH/library/article/name/preplanning-not-grandfather">This is Not Your Grandfather's Funeral: True Celebrations of Life</a></p> <span class="gray_line" style="display:block"> </span>/resources/dm20/assets/pages/plan_now/img_additional_reading.jpgInformación adicionalIr a la biblioteca.<p>Visite nuestra biblioteca de recursos para leer los art&iacute;culos sobre la importancia de planificar el futuro.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="/dm20/BRAND_ROOT_PATH/library/article/name/preplanning-myths">Desmitificando creencias comunes: Por qu&eacute; la planificaci&oacute;n funeraria es lo correcto</a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="/dm20/BRAND_ROOT_PATH/library/article/name/guidance-series-memorial-services">Servicios conmemorativos: C&oacute;mo planear su servicio funerario o de cremaci&oacute;n</a></p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="/dm20/BRAND_ROOT_PATH/library/article/name/preplanning-not-grandfather">La planificaci&oacute;n anticipada alivia el duelo de los seres queridos</a></p> <span class="gray_line" style="display:block"> </span>/resources/dm20/assets/pages/plan_now/img_additional_reading.jpgLectures additionnelles<p>Consultez notre biblioth&egrave;que de ressources pour lire des articles traitants de l'importance de la planification &agrave; l'avance.</p> <p>&nbsp;</p> <p><a href="/dm20/BRAND_ROOT_PATH/library/article/name/10-things-everyone-should-know-about-planning-a-funeral-or-cremation-service">10 Choses &agrave; savoir pour la planification de fun&eacute;railles ou de cremation</a></p>[x-original-url] = [/en-ca/plan-now/funeral-home/] [if-modified-since] = [Mon, 23 Oct 2017 07:47:40 GMT] [connection] = [Keep-Alive] [host] = [www.localhost.local:1776] [accept] = [text/html,application/xhtml+xml,application/xml;q=0.9,*/*;q=0.8] [x-forwarded-for-load-balancer] = [] [x-arr-log-id] = [9f860941-d8d3-42e8-9ad5-95e06d44647e] [user-agent] = [CCBot/2.0 (] [max-forwards] = [10] [accept-encoding] = [x-gzip, gzip, deflate] DMQ<link href="/resources/dm20/assets/components/plan_now_additional_reading/component_plan_now_additional_reading.css" rel="stylesheet" type="text/css"/>plan now planning guidedmqen_CAmain/dmq/plan-now/funeral-home/start-the-conversationen_CADignity Memorial Quebecen-cafr_CA866-896-0039www.dignitequebec.comwww.DigniteQuebec.comDigniteQuebec.comhttp://www.dignitequebec.com;aisen_CAEnglishAbout UsClick here to learn more.Contact UsDignity DifferenceDirectionsEmployment OpportunitiesHistoryOverviewPhoto GalleryBackSelect a photo galleryLOADING:NextPrivacy PolicyTerms of ServiceWho We AreAddressAll CountriesCanadaCityClear All FieldsCollins Clarke MacGillivray Funeral HomesCommunityComplexe Funeraire Berube & FilsWe will never sell your information or use it for any purpose except official correspondence with our company.CopyrightCote-Des-Neiges Funeral CentreEmailEnter textFirst Namefor date rangeFunerarium BeauchampFor concierge service please call PHONE_NUMBERHomeIn Our CommunityIndicates required fieldsLa Maison Darche Funeral ServicesLanguageLast NameLes Salons Funeraires GuayLibraryBrowse by Most ViewedBrowse by NameBrowse by TopicFAQGlossaryThis is Our Community Too.SCI Management, L.P. 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