You can relieve a great burden from your loved ones’ shoulders by making your own funeral arrangements or by jotting down your wishes and chatting with your family. Make sure to notify your loved ones of your written instructions and keep them in a place where they will be able to be located shortly after your passing. We provide our clients with a large three ring binder that contains copies of all their estate planning documents, last wishes and other important information. Taking these few extra steps makes it much easier on family members who must deal with such details along with their grieving.
We’re here to help. Here are some things to think about:
- Do you want a public viewing of the body? Or, not?
- Do you want the body to be cremated? Or, internment?
- Do you want the body present during a funeral? Or, not?
- Do you want a memorial service? Or, not?
- Do you want a wake (i.e. celebration of life)? Or, not?
- To you want a service held in a church, synagogue, other religious institution, funeral home, back yard, home, beach, park, or another place?
- Do you have particular hymns you’d like to have sung? Scriptures you’d like to have read? Any other wishes regarding a service?
- Do you have a particular clergy member you’d like to conduct the service?
- Do you wish to have the body buried? Do you have a deed to a cemetery plot?
- Have you prepaid a funeral?
- Do you have instructions as to costs of services? Costs kept to a minimum?
- Would you like family and friends to send flowers to your service? Or, make a donation to the charity of your choice? Which charity?
- Who has final authority over service and burial decisions? Who has the right to change any of the above requests if need be?
- Be sure to include any other special instructions.
It’s a lot to think about, but it will be even more difficult for your loved ones to think about in a time of mourning. Be sure to let your loved ones know your wishes and where you keep your important papers including your estate planning documents, asset information, certificates, online passwords and usernames, and funeral instructions.