Back to Basics: Funeral Instructions as Part of Your Estate Plan

The Benefits of Planning

The loss of a loved one is difficult enough without having to plan and pay for a funeral. With a little foresight, you can save your loved ones from unnecessary stress. While death is an eventuality, few people seem to want to plan for it. Everyday 7,195 Americans die leaving family and loved ones to pick up the pieces. One of the easiest ways to reduce the stress on your loved ones is to provide funeral instructions.These instructions may include: how you would like your remains to be treated (cremation or traditional burial), how you would like your organs to be treated (medical donation, scientific donation or traditional burial), what type of memorial service you would like, and what type of grave marker you would like.

By planning now, you can help to reduce some of the pain and stress associated with the loss of a loved one. Your family will be able to mourn without having to worry about making important funeral plans.

How to Leave Funeral Instructions

It is important for your funeral instructions to be made known. In many cases, a person’s will is not read until after the funeral is held. For this reason, the will is not the appropriate place to designate these requests.

Funeral instructions are best given to the executor of your estate. This is the person you are entrusting to handle the ins-and-outs of your estate after you pass. As a trustworthy individual that you have appointed to distribute your assets, you are most likely best off appointing them to handle your last rites.

While it may be a difficult topic to breach, it is always a good idea to let not only the executor of your estate know your wishes, but also make anyone else who will be a part of the funeral aware of your wishes. This includes the person you wish to preside over your memorial service, anyone you wish to speak at your memorial service, pallbearers, eulogy givers and anyone else that you would like to have present.

Funding Your Funeral

It may seem grim to fund your own funeral, but according to one experts, the average cost of a funeral can be as much as $9,000. This doesn’t include religious memorial services, customary wakes or viewings, or other costs associated with a funeral. If you don’t plan, your family or loved ones will have to carry this burden. By having a funding plan in place, you can help your family cover these costs as well as help make the mourning period a little easier.

While planning out and funding your end of life expenses may not be considered a typical area of estate planning, it can nonetheless provide peace of mind for both you and your loved ones. By taking the guesswork out of planning for your funeral, you can relieve much of the stress that is typically associated with funeral proceedings. After all, one of the prime goals of estate planning is to relieve the stress for both you and your loved ones, as well as making sure that your final wishes are respected.

Contact Information