Raise your hand if this has happened to you: You attend a funeral only to find yourself thinking about your own funeral in the days that followed. Or maybe you’ve heard a friend talk about how they put their funeral arrangements in writing, but you haven’t taken the steps to do so yourself. Many people we talk to at our funeral home in El Cerrito tell us it never even occurred to them to take control of their end-of-life plans.

At Sunset View Cemetery & Mortuary, we see every day how putting preferences in writing when it comes to your own final farewell allows time for thoughtful decisions to be made. Preplanning also spares loved ones from having to make these arrangements while they are grieving. This is why our care team encourages everyone to make their own end-of-life arrangements.

When we meet with our El Cerrito, Oakland, Berkeley, and Richmond neighbors to discuss their plans, we’ve noticed there are several common questions that are raised about the process. We want you to have a firm understanding of your options, so we’ve outlined the top three misconceptions about preplanning here:

Misconception #1: “I have to pay for my arrangements when I preplan.”

At Sunset View Cemetery & Mortuary, you do not have to pre-pay if you choose to preplan. If you’d prefer, we can simply save your preferences for when the time comes. Keep in mind, though, that there are advantages to pre-paying, such as ensuring there will be no hidden costs and taking the burden of paying for the service from your family’s shoulders.

Misconception #2: “If I preplan, my preferences will be set in stone and cannot be changed – so I had better wait before putting anything in writing.”

Maybe you initially think you want to be buried in another state near your childhood home, but later decide you would rather have your final resting place in a cemetery closer to your family. Or perhaps you weren’t sure about cremation, but have since reconsidered. Stating your preferences does not mean you cannot alter them down the road. We realize circumstances and opinions can change, and we are here to accommodate your wishes at any time.

Misconception #3: “Preplanning is for those who are closer to death. I’m young and healthy and don’t feel a need to have this discussion just yet.”

Think of it this way: There are many parts of life where a little planning now pays off later. Preplanning your funeral is one of them – and it doesn’t have to take long. With our planning checklist, you can see each detail that needs to be addressed. And our online planning form makes the process easier than ever. If you’d rather plan with someone in person or you have questions, you can reach out to us any time by calling (510) 525-5111. We offer options because we know some prefer to work exclusively online while others want that personal touch of speaking on the phone or meeting face to face.

No matter your age or stage in life, taking the steps to put your plans in writing will give you peace of mind that these decisions are taken care of. Not only that, you can have all your important paperwork in order which will reduce stress on several levels.

Our staff meets with far too many families who wish their loved one had expressed opinions about their final tribute. Don’t let your family be among them. Click over to our online planning form now, or give us a call anytime to meet with our professional staff. We’ve never met anyone who has regretted putting their arrangements in place. We’re confident the same will be true for you. Let’s get started.