No one wants to think about a funeral, but unfortunately—it’s an eventuality we all face. After all, mortality has a 100% track record, and as many families can attest, a pre-planned funeral may be one of the most thoughtful and generous gifts you can leave behind.
Local funeral home Hayworth-Miller has been in the industry since 1961. Since then, they’ve become a trusted resource in the community to help families navigate both expected and unexpected losses. Rick Parham, the Pre-Planning Manager, shared his experience and insights on the benefits of pre-planning funeral arrangements.
“Everyone knows that funerals are highly emotional occasions,” Rick said. “And those who have pre-planned their arrangements have not only helped alleviate the financial burden of funeral costs, but they’ve relieved their loved ones of the emotional burden, too. It’s a great relief to loved ones to know that things are being handled according to their loved ones’ wishes—and it removes the guesswork of trying to determine the right steps.
“Moreover,” Rick continued, “Those who pre-plan their funerals can provide biographical details that families may not know or remember during such a stressful time. That makes it easier for us when we’re providing a death certificate or even writing an obituary.”
Hayworth-Miller also offers an inflation-proof contract that guarantees today’s prices for services and merchandise. Rick shared, “As costs continue to rise, securing the cost of a casket, vault, and other details is a long-term cost savings. Our team can also help make recommendations for cemeteries and grave markers.”
Rick continued, “We itemize everything based on the individual’s decisions and then work together to determine a payment plan. We can coordinate a single payment or even pay through monthly installments with an insurance company. Payment plans are available for 3-, 5-, 7-, and 10-year terms with early pay-off options available.”
People do not have to wait for a terminal diagnosis to begin pre-planning their funeral service. “No one knows what is going to happen long-term,” Rick said. “We have seen it time and again in our industry—an unexpected loss that equates to a tremendous financial burden. If there is no insurance or money at the time of death, it adds so much complexity to an already difficult situation. But for those families who have loved ones who pre-planned, the difficult situation is simplified. Spouses are free to grieve without trying to find money to pay for the service. Siblings don’t have to second-guess themselves because Mom and Dad have already made the hard choices.”
While pre-planning funerals is not new, it’s not a conversation many people like to have, so there are some frequently asked questions that come up during pre-planning discussions. For example, what happens if the funeral home goes out of business before the time of death? Rick explained, “In our case, we have longevity, so it’s not likely that Hayworth-Miller is going anywhere. However, the money isn’t held by the funeral home. The money is held by an insurance company and the contract is filed with the NC Board of Funeral Services. So the consumer is highly protected when they prepay.”
Another common question is whether changes can be made. Again, Rick explains, “Absolutely! While the benefit of pre-planning is to ensure that the wishes of a loved one have been accounted for, we also allow the family to make changes or pay the difference for additional services. If the service ends up being less than what was originally planned for, we issue a refund to the estate.”
For those who are uncomfortable with the idea of pre-planning or even having a discussion about end-of-life matters, consider this: In every other aspect of life, people pre-plan. Rick said, “People plan for weddings, homes, retirement, and their estate. Planning these milestone moments helps everyone be on the same page and also covers costs. A funeral is no different, and a pre-planned service is an act of kindness to the loved ones who are left behind. And the conversation doesn’t have to be long and drawn out. Make a copy of the contract and tell your loved ones, ‘Call Hayworth-Miller when I pass. They have all the details.’”
Hayworth-Miller has five locations in and around the Triad, including Winston-Salem, Rural Hall, Kernersville, Advance, and Lewisville. Visit online at Hayworth-Miller.com.