Many of us recently watched the funeral of former President George H. W. Bush. There must have been considerable planning done ahead of time to make sure everything ran as smoothly as it did. The president’s funeral is a reminder that we will all eventually pass and how important it is to be prepared.
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 may want a will or trust, and you should ask your estate planning attorney to help you decide and keep it current. Remember that a variety of family events can impact your estate plan. 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 service do you want (if any)?
If you do want to pre-plan your funeral, put your preferences in writing and give it to your family (funeral wishes typically aren’t put in the will and trust, but in a separate document).
If you do a bit of pre-planning, you’re making things much easier for your loved ones, which can be a real blessing and relief.
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