Pre-Planning FAQs

Everything you need to know and want to ask about pre-planning.

You've taken an important step by choosing to pre-plan. Congrats. By taking steps to arrange these important plans now, you've taken a large burden off of your beloved family, providing them with greater peace of mind. You're relieving your family of the cost that can be associated with planning a funeral, allowing them to celebrate and honor your life. And finally, you're ensuring that every last detail is planned according to your own wishes and needs.

You might have some questions as you begin the path towards pre-planning. We're here to help answer them.

Pre-planning versus pre-funding? I've heard both terms, what is the difference?

Pre-planning is making all of your arrangements ahead of time so that everything can be conducted according to your wishes, for peace of mind for both you and your loved ones. Pre-funding is taking care of all costs for your pre-planning, so that everything is taken care of for you and your family.

Can I move a previously planned arrangement?

Yes. If you choose to move your arrangement to another cemetery, we can help transfer your plans to any cemetery in the United States that accepts the contract. You should never have to feel stuck in your decisions.

Can I take care of the costs now?

Yes. You are welcome to take care of all costs now, so that later on, all your family has to do is to focus on and celebrate your life. When you choose to pre-fund your final arrangements, your money is put in a state-approved funding option until needed. After your funeral is paid for in full, you will never have to pay more for the guaranteed items you listed on your contract.

If I pre-plan with Murdoch Funeral Homes, what are my options if I change my mind later on?

When you pre-plan with Murdoch Funeral Homes, your plan will go where you go. No matter where you reside at the time of your passing, no matter what funeral home you choose to work with, your plan will be transferable to any funeral home in the United States that accepts the contract. Your peace of mind is of the utmost importance to us.

I want to approach my family and talk to them about my plans. Do you have suggestions for doing this in the best way possible?

You are truly helping your family and doing a great deed by taking care of planning something that is so personal and important to you. Remember to respect their feelings and emotions, as this can possibly be a difficult subject to broach with them. Assure them that you are making these plans because you love them and want them to feel free to celebrate life and heal together when the time comes. Find additional resources here.

What do I do when I have completed all my pre-planning? Is there anything else I should be aware of or need to do?

Relax and rest assured knowing that your wishes will be met, your needs have been taken care of and there's a capable team at Murdoch Funeral Homes that is always available to answer your questions or thoughts.

Here are some questions that often come up from others at the same stage:

I’ve heard of Perpetual Care - what is it?

In short, Perpetual Care refers to the funds that keep the cemetery grounds beautiful and well-kept, ensuring that your loved one will be taken care of each and every day over the long term. Once the service is over and those in attendance have left the grounds, we want to ensure that peacefulness and beauty are permanent parts of our grounds and Perpetual Care makes this possible.

Isn't it true not having a gathering or funeral makes it easier for my family?

Absolutely not! Friends and family want an opportunity to show you they care and to remember your loved one. Planning a gathering or funeral will allow you to control when and how this happens. When opting to not have a gathering or funeral, people will no doubt stop you at the grocery store, at work, at school and at times when you aren’t prepared for it. 

Can I have a funeral if I don't have a minister or don't want a religious service?

Absolutely! We have on staff a Certified Celebrant is a trained LIFE TRIBUTE professional. The Celebrant will work with you to learn about your loved one and turn favorite stories, memories and interests of the loved one into a beautiful and personalized celebration of life.

    A Certified Celebrant is a person who has been trained and certified through InSight Life Tribute Specialists to meet the needs of families during their time of loss. A Funeral Celebrant serves by providing a funeral service, memorial service or tribute that is personalized and individualized to reflect the personality and lifestyle of the deceased after consultation with the family and loved ones and coordination with the funeral home.

Isn't cremation the same at all funeral homes?

NO! All local funeral homes offer cremation services, but did you know most don’t even have a crematory. If you are considering cremation make sure you ask the following  questions:

    1) Where is your crematory located?    2) Who owns the crematory?    3) Who operates the crematory?    4) When can I see the crematory?

The Murdoch Crematory is owned by our funeral home and is located at our Marion, Iowa, location. Only our State of Iowa Licensed Funeral Directors operate it. We invite families to inspect our crematory at their convenience.

If you are looking for a cremation provider, make sure you find one that doesn’t contract this to another funeral home provider that you may not know or trust or use a warehouse-type provider that is run by non-licensed operators. We feel this important process should be handled personally from start to finish by the funeral home you choose.

Can I have a party instead of funeral?

We have this request frequently and we are the best at helping you organize that party. We can take care of all the details. Our location, food and drinks will help get the memory sharing to begin. 

We know that you may have other questions, so feel free to call us at any time so that we can walk you through your options and help you create the best possible plan for you.