GETTING YOUR AFFAIRS IN ORDER: MAKING YOUR FUNERAL WISHES KNOWN
When you are getting your affiars in order, it is important that your funeral and burial wishes are put in writing, so they are carried out after you die.
Such information should not be included in your last will and testament because the will may not be found until well after your death. A will is best used to explain the distribution of property, not for funeral and burial instructions.
To help ensure your wishes are known and followed after you die, you can write your funeral and burial directions in a separate document or you may be able to put your wishes in your health care directive.
At our office, clients who are getting their affairs in order, make funeral wishes oart of their healthcare power of attorney and living will. Clients can write out detailed funeral wishes including the disposition of their remains, information about who should be invited, where the funeral should be held (or not), what you want to wear, what music should be played, who should speak, who should be pallbearers, and so on.
Making these decisions ahead of time can not only inform everyone of what your wishes are, but it can also help your family members during a difficult time of grief.
It is important to make sure your family knows where to find the information. If your funeral and burial wishes are not known, then the responsibility of making those decisions will fall on your loved ones. If you are married, it will likely be the responsibility of your spouse. If you are not married, the responsibility often falls on children, parents, or next of kin and can often cause disagreements between family members.
Often disagreements arise over whether a person wanted to be cremated or buried or where they were to be buried. Of course, the last thing a person wants is there family to fight over something like this after they’ve passed away.
Therefore, some people choose to make funeral arrangements with a funeral home before they die, but be wary of these pre-paid funeral plans. Consumers can lose money when pre-need funeral funds are misappropriated or misspent. A funeral provider could mishandle, mismanage or embezzle the funds and some go out of business before the need for the pre-paid funeral arises.
Whether to pre-pay for a funeral is a financial decision and outside of the expertise of an St. Peters attorney for wills. Funerals also can be expensive and it’s important to know different fees and services available for funeral services. This Federal Trade Commission guide can help: https://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0301-funeral-costs-and-pricing-checklist
Legacy Law Center is an Estate Planning, Probate, and Elder Law Firm in St. Charles County Missouri. We can assist you with any questions or concerns you may have. Please call us today at 636-486-2669 to set up a free consultation.