Advance Funeral Planning for Baby Boomers: Personalization Considerations

Most people can recognize the benefit of advance funeral planning when it comes to sparing loved ones the burden of making difficult decisions at an already difficult time. But many may not realize that advance planning also allows you to personalize your funeral and cemetery services in ways that reflect your specific wishes. And as more and more Baby Boomers plan their own final arrangements, traditional funeral services are being enhanced with highly personalized life celebrations.

Decoration of the visitation room is one way to personalize your service. Items related to your work or favorite hobbies, such as fishing, hunting, sewing, gardening or photography, can be displayed to reflect your interests or personality. Personal photographs of important events or people in your life also can create a very personal environment for the visitation or funeral service.

In addition to decorations and displays of personal items, many people choose to personalize various elements of the service itself with significant music and readings. Increasingly, Baby Boomers have begun leaving their creative mark on these elements as well by sometimes departing from the traditional in favor of selections more in keeping with the spirit of individuality that swept their generation. 

The procession from chapel to cemetery also can reflect your individuality. An avid cyclist, for example, might like riding club friends to escort the procession, while a musician might choose a band to lead the way. Consider also the flowers ordered or sent for the service. Do you have a favorite flower? Would you prefer charitable gifts in your honor in lieu of flowers? Are there other requests of your guests, such as attire or activity, you want to include in your plans?

After the service, receptions are more the norm than the exception these days. The reception might be held at the funeral home, a relative’s home or other venue. Again, as Baby Boomers increasingly plan their final arrangements in advance, many ask friends and family to gather in a place of significance, such as a beloved restaurant or lake house, to share memories and celebrate a life lived. 

By arranging their funeral and cemetery services in advance, Baby Boomers not only can help relieve family and friends of the stress of planning their funeral but also can create a highly personalized service unique to the spirit and passions with which they lived their life.

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