How Can I Prepare My Own Funeral?


When we think about end-of-life issues, one of the first concerns is an accurate, updated estate plan. An estate plan is more than a last will – it is what it says in the name, a plan. When we set out the steps in that plan need to consider each facet of our own absence, and those go beyond legalities.

One of the foremost questions is setting out preferences for a funeral. These are difficult decisions, but making them now and addressing them directly can save your family and friends from emotional hardship and indecision. When your family and friends are grieving, it can be difficult to decide on a funeral home, a casket, or a service. It can be hard to say what is enough to honor the memory of a person, and over-spending can be a burden on family members.


The logistical questions are important:

  • Would you like to be buried? If yes, where?
  • Would you prefer to be cremated? If so, what should happen to your ashes?
  • What kind of service would you like, if any?

If you make these decisions, it helps your family members to put these preferences in writing and provide them the document. Usually, these preferences are not placed into a trust or a will but instead kept in a separate document.

Even answering the simplest questions about your final wishes can lift a weight from family members in grief. A detailed plan, written down and provided ahead of time, can help others to know they are fulfilling your wishes.

Reference: Hometown Life (December 12, 2018) “Planning your funeral can help ease loved ones’ burden“

Suggested Key Terms: Estate Planning Lawyer, Wills, Funeral Wishes, Letter of Last Instruction, Trusts