Do We Need to Pre-plan our Buddhist Funeral? When is the Right Time to Do So?
Before we delve into the above questions of whether one should pre-plan his or her own Buddhist funeral; and when is the right time to do so; let’s explore the reasons why there is a need to pre-plan our funeral.
Why We Need to Pre-Plan Our Buddhist Funeral
#1 It Lessens Burden for Our Family
The cost of Buddhist funeral services today is high. The amount of funeral cost varies depending on the packages and the number of days for the funeral. Hence, one cannot simply assume that the family will take care of their funeral when they are gone. This is because we cannot predict the economy and the financial problems our family members might face at the time of our passing. One might think perhaps the ‘baijing’ (condolences money) can take care of the funeral expenses so it will be okay for my family members to do so. However, the economy may be bad; our family members’ income may fall due to loss of a job; their savings might be used up to pay for your medical expenses; their family expenses may increase due to children’s education, etc. We cannot assume that everything will remain status quo.
As families are getting smaller today unlike in the past when the elderly departed has five or more adult children and lots of grandchildren to them. Hence, it is essential not to let our own funeral expenses be the burden for our children. Moreover, for the elderly departed who do not have children, the burden will then fall on their elderly siblings, nieces, or nephews.
Hence, pre-planning our Buddhist funeral is essential for us to lessen the burden for our family.
#2 Avoid Overspending
On the opposite of the first point, adult children may tend to overspend on your funeral expenses. Your wishes might be just a simple send-off and Buddhist chanting ceremony and that is it. But because you did not let your family members know about this, they might spend on things that are unnecessary.
Moreover, when a loved one passed away, our family members are at the beginning of the grieving period; therefore, it is very difficult for them to take the time to compare the benefits and prices of individual Buddhist funeral packages available in Singapore. In other words, the chances of them picking up less ideal funeral packages, can be relatively higher.
By pre-planning your own Buddhist funeral, you are therefore more in control of the things and activities that you wish your funeral to be. You can also take your time to find a reliable, credible, and experienced Buddhist funeral services company that will give you the best quality funeral services at the right value.
#3 All Your Wishes Are Taken Care Of
By pre-planning your Buddhist funeral, you can determine how you are going to be sent off when you pass on. Who is the Buddhist priest that will preside your funeral ceremony on the last night? Is he a senior abbot or a young inexperienced priest? What is the decoration, the flower wreaths, the catering, the services provided; will there be music performances? Will your guests be well taken care of when they attend your funeral? What about the columbarium, the urn, the niche, and the coffin?
Another consideration to take note of is for a person whom adult children or spouse are practicing a different religion. Hence, by pre-planning your Buddhist funeral, you will be assured that your last wishes are all well taken of. Hence, you have nothing to worry about even during the moment before your passing.
When is the Right Time to Pre-Plan Your Buddhist Funeral?
There is no such thing as the right time or the best time to pre-plan your Buddhist funeral. Every individual has a different perspective when it comes to this topic. For some, the topic of death is taboo. One should not talk or even think about it. So, the idea of pre-planning one’s funeral may seem too far-fetched for this group of individuals.
For some, pre-planning one’s funeral is like buying life insurance. Thus, giving you peace of mind; and a sense of achievement that at the end of the journey, you have done your part, and you are being responsible for your own life and afterlife preparation. Henceforth, for you, the right time to pre-plan your Buddhist funeral is right now.
In Buddhism, we learn about the concept of cause and effect. Whatever happened to us in this lifetime was the cause that we planted in our past life. When there is a cause, there will be an effect; that is the fundamentals of our Buddhist principles.
Hence, if you pre-plan your Buddhist funeral today, you, therefore, sow a seed of preparedness for your passing in the future. And that seed will bloom eventually when the time comes. If you have not yet sowed that seed (cause), the effect won’t occur.
What Are the Things to Pre-Plan, Other than the Funeral?
Update Your Will When You Have the Mental Capacity To Do So
Once you have finalised on the Buddhist funeral services provider, the type of disposition, and the columbarium you wish to rest in; you need to update these into your will. If you do not have a will, it is time to create one while you have the mental capacity to do so. The cost of drafting the will is not expensive at all.
While drafting the will, you need to be very clear and precise about the things you want to pass to your children or relatives when you die. If you do not have a will, your loved ones may not know what to do with your assets. In Singapore, we can either let our government handle our estate, or we instruct our lawyers to do so according to our will. For singles with no children, they may want to transfer their assets to a charitable organisation or a friend whom they trust. Therefore, if there is no will, it will be difficult for you to give when you pass on.
Bank Accounts & CPF Accounts
Inform CPF or your bank earlier to transfer your fund upon your death to the family members you nominated. One more thing is that you need to settle your debts as well!
In summary, pre-planning your funeral is important and the time to do so is none other than, right now. Am I right?
About Nirvana Singapore
Nirvana Singapore is one of the largest private columbaria in Singapore; with full premium facilities for family members to visit their dearly departed. We also provide quality Buddhist funeral services.