If you watched the funeral of the former President George H. W. Bush, you may have noticed how smoothly everything went. Every detail was planned out with nothing left to chance. Few of us have such a large funeral, but we will all have some kind of funeral, and planning in advance can make everything easier for those we leave behind.
Hometown Life’s recent article, “Planning your funeral can help ease loved ones’ burden,“ explains that the first issue when it comes to planning for when we’ll no longer be here, is to make certain we have an up-to-date estate plan. You will want a trust and will, and you should ask your estate planning attorney to help you keep your estate plan current and to make sure all your assets are retitled, aligned, and funded consistent with your plan. Remember that a variety of family events can impact your estate plan and your assets. If you don’t have an estate plan, you need to get one!
When preparing your estate plan, you must address certain realities you may not want to deal with. However, just kicking the can down the road or doing nothing can create significant issues for your family.
Another issue to consider is whether to pre-plan your funeral. Death always occurs at the wrong time, and it’s always emotional and stressful for those left behind.
In many cases, it makes sense to do some planning for your funeral. Perhaps it’s nothing more than selecting the funeral home you’d like and also the casket. That can be a big help to your family, because in the midst of grieving and not wanting to look cheap, many families overpay for a funeral. If you pre-plan your funeral and choose the type of casket and other services you want ahead of time, you’re eliminating those decisions from your family and most likely saving your family a significant amount of money.
If you do ahead and pre-plan your funeral, here a few other issues you should consider:
- Do you want to be buried? If so, where?
- If you want to be cremated, what do you want to happen to your ashes?
- What type of memorial service do you want (if any)?
Details about funerals are not typically incorporated into a will. However, you can write a letter to your family and explain what you want, what arrangements you have made in advance and any contact information the family may need for either the funeral home, the cemetery, etc.
Reference: Hometown Life (December 12, 2018) “Planning your funeral can help ease loved ones’ burden“