Everything You Need to Know About Planning Your Own Funeral
Words and Resources Collaborated with Sara Bailey at thewidow.net.
While death is a natural and inevitable part of life, most people don’t like thinking about their mortality. As a result, families are often unprepared to make post-death decisions and can have a tough time tackling funeral arrangements while grieving a loss. Planning your funeral now is a great way to ease the emotional, physical, and financial burden on your loved ones while offering yourself some peace of mind. Here are a few things to keep in mind when making your funeral arrangements, presented below by Irama Valdes, P.A.
Paying for Your Final Expenses
We leave many significant expenses behind when we die. Covering funeral arrangement costs and other final expenses, such as existing debts and medical bills, can be a massive burden on grieving loved ones. Plan your funeral and burial payment strategy now to save your family the trouble. AARP notes that there are many different ways to pay for your funeral, including pre-paying through your desired funeral home or saving up the cash in a special bank account.
One of the best options for covering those end-of-life-related costs is with final expense insurance. Final expense insurance, also called burial insurance or funeral insurance, can be used not only for funeral costs, but also any other debts you leave behind. Be sure to compare rates and coverage options from different companies before committing to an insurance plan.
Researching Your Options
Besides a traditional burial or cremation, there are numerous things you can do with your body after you die. If you opt for cremation, for example, you can have your ashes turned into a diamond, a quality glass sculpture, painting, and even spectacular fireworks. Take the time to research and think over your options so you can make a decision that you feel good about. If you decide on a traditional burial, choose a cemetery, burial plot, and marker to make things as easy as possible on your loved ones.
NewsAnyway points out that you also have many options to consider when it comes to your service. If you’re not interested in a formal funeral ceremony, you may decide on a celebration of life, graveside service, or an alternative event of your own creation. Remember that you can also make decisions about smaller details like who you want at the service. You can even go so far as to plan the flowers, refreshments, and music at your ceremony.
Cremation is a popular choice these days, as it’s not only affordable but allows for your ashes to be placed in an area that’s close to your heart. You might even want to enlist the help of an old school friend to, for example, spread ashes over the ballfield where you once played. If you’ve fallen out of contact with old schoolmates, use an online database to help search for those you’d like to reunite with and catch up.
Talking to Your Loved Ones
Talking to your loved ones about your final plans will likely be the hardest part of the process. But your family needs to know your preferences, so this is not a conversation that should be delayed. Make sure you’re clear on your decisions before broaching the subject so you will be prepared to handle emotional reactions and answer important questions.
Be patient and gentle with your loved ones. At the same time, it’s important to stay firm on your wishes and let your family know that these decisions are your own.
Documenting Your Plans
It’s not enough just to tell your loved ones your wishes. Documenting your final arrangements is essential for ensuring your wishes are followed. Write your plans down separately from your will. An Estate Planning Attorney can memorialize your end-of-life decisions in a Living Will, not to be confused with your Last Will and Testament, which is often read after the funeral, and at that point it will be too late to honor your documented wishes.
You should also make known any specific ways you’d like to be remembered, such as with a plaque installed in a sentimental place. You can choose from a variety of materials for such a lasting item, like cast bronze and etched stainless steel. When looking for plaques and other metal lettering, take a look here for a wide selection.
You might also request that in lieu of flowers, your loved ones, friends, and other attendees donate to a nonprofit. You can direct them to donate to a nonprofit of your choice. Or you can even set up your own nonprofit corporation to address a cause that isn’t already being handled by a larger organization. Just be sure to include instructions on who should manage the nonprofit once you’re gone and how they should do so.
While you’re at it, complete any other important legal documents. For example, a Revocable Trust is an important document to have when you are planning your own funeral. This document allows you to transfer your property to your heirs without going through the probate process. Probate can be a long and expensive process, and it can tie up your assets for months or even years. By having a properly funded Revocable Trust, you can avoid this process and make sure that your loved ones have access to your property as soon as possible.
In addition, a Revocable Trust can also help to prevent disputes among your heirs. If there is any disagreement about who should inherit your property, a Revocable Trust drafted by an experienced Estate Planning Attorney should provide clear instructions as to who gets what.
Confronting your mortality can be tough, to say the least. Get it over with by tackling your funeral and burial plans right away. You don’t have to be excited about it—who would be? Establishing these plans now is an invaluable gift to your loved ones, and can help you sleep a little better at night as well.
Estate planning, administration of probate and guardianship cases, and related litigation require a keen eye for detail and a compassionate firm that cares about their clients, which is where Irama Valdes, P.A. can help. Connect with us today! (305) 477-1111