Some say nothing is certain in this life except death. While none of us know when we’ll “shuffle off this mortal coil,” it’s going to happen, and we should take some time to prepare for it we’re amongst the living. Out of compassion for family and friends, settle all your legal and financial arrangements now while you have the time. This will take a huge burden off of your loved ones while ensuring everything is done how you want it to be done. Here are three simple things you could do now to better plan for your funeral.
Make a Last Will & Testament
Taking the time to write out a last will & testament will ensure all of your property is allocated according to your wishes. One of the most important decisions you’ll have to make in your will is who to act as your “executor.” After you die, your executor will have full control over handling your estate, finances, and debts. Only choose someone to serve as your executor if you’d be comfortable with him/her handling your estate right now. You’ll also have to pick a guardian for any children you may have.
It’s a good idea to write out full explanations for all of your requests so there’ll be no grounds for contention after your death. While you could write a simple will yourself, it’s best to schedule a consultation with a lawyer to go over your specific requests and any state-specific laws you need to be aware of. This also ensure your wishes are put down on paper and legally binding.
Cremation or Burial?
Probably the most important decision you could make when arranging your funeral is whether to be cremated or buried. Of course, there’s no clear-cut answer for everyone when choosing between cremation or burial, but there are a few pros and cons to consider.
First, cremations tend to be cheaper than burials, especially if you decide to arrange a direct cremation. In a direct cremation, your body will be cremated immediately after your death and placed into a container. Some other pros of cremation are that ceremonies are usually faster and more eco-friendly.
Many people feel, however, that burials give family and friends a better sense of closure. Not only can you pay your respects to the body of the deceased in a traditional burial, family will also have a funeral plot to visit in the future to mark important anniversaries. Also, cremation sometimes goes against certain religious faiths. Run through the benefits and drawbacks of cremation versus burial and make a clear decision what service best fits your beliefs and budget.
Another thing you should think about is your funeral service. Write out all the specifics of how you want your funeral service to be arranged and give it to the same lawyer that’s handling your will or a few trusted family members. You could also work with a funeral home to arrange your funeral service. Taking the time to work out your funeral arrangements with a funeral director will ensure your final send-off is as you intended and everything is taken care of in advance.
It’s important not to put off arranging your funeral services. Spending the time to thoughtfully prepare a will and put together your final send-off and service beforehand will allow your family to say their final goodbyes without the added strain of putting together a funeral all by themselves and the uncertainty deciding these final details can bring. Carefully preparing your funeral now is one of the most compassionate things you could do both for yourself and your loved ones.