In general, estate planning can be a difficult topic for many people. It can be especially difficult and personal when it comes to determining specific funeral plans that you may have. However, even though it is a difficult subject, it is important to consider how funeral planning as part of comprehensive estate planning can actually help your loved ones be more at ease when the time comes for them to make decisions regarding your funeral arrangements. A recent article in The Wall Street Journal serves as a reminder that if you are considering estate planning or have already created a comprehensive estate plan, you may want to consider including a funeral planning document to help your loved ones make decisions related to burial in accordance with your wishes.
Funeral Planning Documents
While planning for end-of-life care can be complex, ensuring that you do so accurately and completely is critical to saving your loved ones from unnecessary hardships as well as for ensuring that your wishes are adhered to. Including funeral planning documents can be an important part of the process. Many people are aware of other end-of-life forms, like a Healthcare Proxy nomination, but overlook funeral planning.
If you feel very strongly about any wishes regarding your funeral and burial, you should consider adding a funeral planning document to your estate plan. Maybe you want to be buried with a specific item or in a specific outfit, or maybe you want specific music played during your viewing. Whatever the detail you want to include, adding funeral planning documents to your estate plan and including your loved ones in the creation of such documents is one of the best ways to make the funeral and burial process easier on them. While you are able to put such details into your Will, a Will isn’t typically read until after the funeral and might not offer access to your wishes in time to fulfill them. Looking at the funeral planning process as a gift to those you leave behind will likely help them focus more on celebrating what you have meant and will continue to mean to them instead of focusing on details related to your death.
Funeral Preplanning Services
It is important to keep in mind that simply including funeral and burial instructions in your estate plan does not solidify the process you instruct. Funeral home and burial services can be expensive, and you have the option to work with a licensed funeral director in New York to ensure that your decisions regarding funeral and burial services are adhered to. By planning in advance, you can make sure that expenses related to your burial are covered and that your family will be responsible for far fewer choices during a difficult grieving process.
From a financial standpoint, preplanning a funeral can also save you money in the long run because you are able to lock in current prices and avoid the potential cost of inflation depending on the services you prearrange. Often, payment arrangements are available from various funeral homes for the funeral preplanning process and financing can help make funeral and burial costs more approachable. This will allow more of your assets to be distributed to your heirs because they won’t be eaten up in funeral and burial costs. If you do preplan funeral and burial services, make sure to include copies of these documents in your estate plan and share them with your estate planning attorney to make sure that they comply with other aspects of your estate plan.