Making Your Funeral Wishes Known to Loved Ones

August 2, 2019

         While most of us try to avoid thoughts of our mortality, estate planning attorneys must face the unpleasant truth every day. Perhaps because the thought of our own death is so unnerving, most people fail to plan for it properly. At an overwhelming rate, they will fail to leave their families instructions for funeral arrangements and/or what should happen to their remains after they pass. To ensure that your final wishes are known to, and met by your loved ones consider the 2 tips below.

         1. Have your Attorney Draft Your Funeral Wishes in a Separate Funeral Directive.

         A Funeral Directive should offer detailed instructions on what happens to your remains after you pass. It should also charge someone with the task of ensuring that your remains are laid to rest pursuant to your instructions. For example, you may wish to be cremated and scattered at a specific location. In addition, many clients travel to and from their ancestral home on a regular basis and may instruct in their Funeral Directive that should they pass while visiting said ancestral home that they are buried there.  Decisions will have to be made about your funeral, remains and memorial.  The ideal manner to provide for said decisions is via a Funeral Directive.  

         This document should be specific and detail whether you prefer a funeral or memorial service; whether you prefer a gathering of friends and family and whether you prefer a religious service versus a secular memorial. Remember to be as specific as possible and leave little room for interpretation that could lead to disagreements amongst  your loved ones.

         2. As an Alternative to a Funeral Directive You May also Document Your Funeral Wishes via an Online Service

         It’s 2019. Which means virtually anything can be done or found online, including documents for your funeral arrangements. Websites including My Last Song-Life Box, Parting Wishes and Funeral Inspiration allow you to document and store your funeral and post-life wishes for your loved ones to retrieve. While it may seem strange, having an online document that can be emailed and shared may be the most effective way to ensure your post-life requests are met.

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