To put it simply, pre-planning (sometimes also called “pre-arrangement”, “pre-arrangement planning” or “pre-need planning”) means setting up your funeral arrangements in advance before the need for these services occurs, either as a funeral insurance or pre-need funeral contract. The concept may seem novel and even morbid. However, pre-planning is not actually something new.
It is not unusual for funeral homes in western countries to carry pre-planning services aside from immediate need (or as-need) services. Customers would engage funeral homes in preparing pre-planning contracts to ensure when the time comes, these arrangements would be set in motion with little or minimal concern from the bereft family. Loved ones can mourn and say their goodbyes in relative comfort and peace.
In western societies, the idea to prepare for one’s eventual demise has been around for over a century, especially during Victorian times when mortality rates were higher and life expectancies were shorter. In 19th century Britain for instance, there existed concepts such as “Burial Clubs” which were operated by churches, trade unions and other associations. Members of burial clubs – mostly consisting of families from lower classes – would pay weekly fees to help cover for eventual funeral expenses in the same way modern funeral insurances function.