Pre-need vs At-need Memorials

For those who are older there comes a time where the reality of passing away sinks in. One can ignore the reality or one could seize the opportunity to create something that will make it easier to accept and take the burden off other family members when it comes time. This is the real major difference between pre-need and at-need memorials. A pre-need memorial is something that is chosen ahead of time whereas at-need memorials are normally purchased by the family members of the already deceased. In this article we will discuss the pros and cons of the two and how to choose the option that is right for you.



As this type of memorial is purchased after a loss, it is hard to find many good things to say about it. The burden of dealing with grief and acceptance while also trying to find a proper way to memorialize the life once lived can be very difficult to balance. One of the biggest misconceptions is that you have to rush to a monument store and try and find something perfect right away. I would discourage any families facing this situation right now to take time to grieve and get past the immediate hurdles of life before purchasing a monument. Life is too short to make hasty decisions and taking your time finding the right memorial will take some pressure off your back and help with the coping process/closure process.  At-need memorials are really no different from the pre-need memorials, they just come with much more emotional stress brought on by the circumstances. If you have the liberty of planning for your own passing, just remember that granite monuments are expensive and take time to build properly. One way to plan for an at-need is to set aside a fund for the memorial expenses and have directions written out so that your family can find closure in creating what you would’ve wanted. The last downside to at-need memorials is that there are many small monument storefronts who just want to sell you a product and are unsympathetic to your situation. The tendency to just choose the closest place that sells them usually ends with frustrations over delivery, quality, and care after the memorial has been completed. Take your time and choose a well known monument manufacturer over a storefront that isn’t looking to make a quick buck off their at-need stones.



Pre-need memorials are the preferred way to go. When preparing for the event of you or a loved ones death, purchasing a memorial pre-need can be very satisfying and relieving. The only downside would be if you had reservations about making the purchase in the first place. Either way it will be bought and paid for when the time comes and will make the whole process easier for you and your family. The positive sides of buying early is that you will have plenty of time to research, create, and craft your memorial. You can take your time and plan it out and even view it in the cemetery. I’ve found that the folks who take their time and work with a seasoned professional, enjoy the creation process and are much happier with the final product. This option also allows you to get feedback from family members or just keep the whole thing to yourself. It is a fun way to face the future and remember the past.


No matter what kind of memorial you plan on purchasing(or not purchasing), keep in mind that buying pre-need will help not only you but your family as well. You can build your legacy the way you want it to be and take away the stress of finding the right one at-need. Take your time, research it well, and buy something that will last many generations to come.  Although some folks would prefer at-need, in my opinion pre-need is the way to go.