For some people, making funeral arrangements is part of the estate planning process. It is never too early to plan ahead and your estate planning attorney can guide you through the funeral arrangement process.
1. Pre-planned funerals
To ensure that your personal wishes are met, pre-plan your funeral with the funeral home of your choice. You can choose everything: cremation or not, burial site, grave marker, memorial or funeral service, music, flowers, speakers, and reception.
This can all be planned and paid for in advance. This ensures you get the service you want and eases the burden from your loved ones’ shoulders.
2. Irrevocable burial trust
You have the option of funding an irrevocable burial trust through a bank or funeral home. While this is not actual payment or arrangements of funeral arrangements, it will ensure that your loved ones will have the funds available to pay for the services and burial that you desire.
3. Do NOT put your funeral arrangements in your will
Typically, wills are not read until after funeral services have taken place. If you place your desired funeral arrangements in your will, they may be discovered too late to honor your wishes.
4. Chat with your loved ones
While you are alive and well, let your loved ones know of your funeral wishes and where you have placed written instructions or pre-planned funeral arrangements. Your loved ones may have questions or even objections that you can address.
5. Be as creative, or traditional as you desire
Some people want their ashes spread at sea, on the beach, or under a favorite tree; others want to be buried in the family plot or to have their ashes placed in an urn. It is wise to check with a qualified estate planning attorney to ensure the legality of your plan.