Funeral Pre-Planning -Planning Ahead for Those Left Behind

No one wants to be buried in loafers after living a life that warranted stilettos.

No one wants to be buried in loafers after living a life that warranted stilettos. Maybe that’s why more and more people are deciding to pre-plan their final arrangements. Whether you choose a traditional funeral or a cremation option, every person is different and every service should be as well.

Todd DeMint, managing partner for Meyers Funeral Chapel in Parkville, has been in the funeral business for 20 years, and around it even longer. He began working with Marty Meyers, washing cars and mowing lawns at the age of 16. DeMint learned at an early age that there was a right way to plan a funeral and a wrong way.

“Marty sat me down in his office and told me that as I grew older and became a funeral director, I would understand what that meant.  The right way is to plan ahead, to make decisions about your services and share them with your family. The wrong way, as Marty described it, is when the deceased shares no wishes, doesn’t plan anything ahead of time and leaves all the personal decisions for the grieving family.” 

We all know losing a loved one is never easy. The last thing a person wants to be doing while grieving is making final arrangements, trying to remember the person’s favorite colors, songs and the names of seldom seen relatives.  Planning ahead definitely results in less stress on survivors.

Pre-planning your end of life service is one of the greatest gifts you can give your family according to DeMint. When done properly, it can give you peace of mind because you know that your arrangements are ready and pre-funded. Pre-planning can also save you hundreds of dollars. By pre-planning and prepaying for your funeral expenses ahead of time, the effect of inflation can be avoided. While it’s not necessary to prepay when doing the planning, some choose to do so to ease the unexpected financial burden for their families.   

 When DeMint discusses pre-planning, he provides an easy-to-follow guide that gathers information about the type of headstone and its inscription, color of flowers, clothing to be worn, jewelry, veteran info, person of choice to perform the services, burial or cremation, music, type of service, pallbearers, siblings and other details. By completing the form, there’s no guessing or conflict about the wishes of the deceased. 

“It’s easy to say, ‘Don’t make a fuss. I don’t want a ceremony. Just bury me and be done with it.’ But it is important to realize that the ritual of a funeral and/or memorial service isn’t for the deceased but for the living. It is a time when friends and family can gather together to grieve openly and provide support for one another. A funeral is a celebration of life as well as a time to honor your loved one,” DeMint explains.

To better meet the wishes and desires of the residents of the Northland and surrounding communities, the Parkville location recently was completely renovated. The new, open concept allows Meyers to host the most informal of services as well as the most formal.  

DeMint and his wife, Nikki, became partners in Meyers Funeral Chapels when they and the Meyers purchased the Northland location in Parkville in January of 2008. The DeMints and their two children, Evan and Avery, are members of St. Therese Parish.  Nikki is a teacher at English Landing Elementary School in the Park Hill School District; the family prides itself on being very involved in the community.

“We live and work in our community,” DeMint offers. “We go to church here and our kids go to school here. When you need a meaningful, personalized service that will honor the life of your loved one, why not call on someone you trust?” 

For more on how to ease the burden of funeral planning, visit