Have you thought about who will be responsible for taking care of your funeral arrangements when you die?
When an individual passes away without a funeral plan, the responsibility for arranging the funeral often falls on the deceased’s close family members, such as surviving spouses and children. This can be a very stressful ordeal during an already emotionally challenging time – but there is a way you can help them through this.
Planning your own funeral arrangements in advance allows you to write down your wishes in detail to provide friends and family members a guide on how you want your funeral to be carried out. Additionally, people with a reasonable idea of where they will pass away can pre-pay a funeral home for services, ensuring family members do not need to take on the cost.
How Planning Your Own Funeral Arrangements Helps Your Loved Ones
- Protects them from incurring extraneous costs.
According to the National Funeral Directors Association, in 2021, the average cost of a full-service burial was $7,848, and the average cost of full-service cremation was $6,971.
Without a plan in place, grieving family members often face time constraints in making decisions. For instance, they may not have time to visit multiple funeral homes and compare their values after their loved one’s death. Often, they choose the first funeral home they see rather than exploring various options to find the best fit and value.
When individuals prearrange their funerals, they have time to research funeral homes and carefully decide the details of their end-of-life arrangements, ensuring that the services will follow their wishes.
- Takes out the guesswork
When an individual dies without having outlined a funeral plan, surviving family members may be unsure of their loved one’s wishes. As a result, they tend to choose more expensive funeral options or feel pressure to overspend to demonstrate their love.
Shield your family from unnecessary costs by pre-arranging the funeral and pre-paying for funeral arrangements. (Always do your research before pre-paying.). If you do not pay for your funeral arrangements, that responsibility will fall upon your surviving family members. Will they have the funds to pay for your burial?
Beyond choosing the funeral home, planning such arrangements ahead of time can also include:
- Deciding what happens to the remains, including burial or cremation
- Determining the burial location (i.e. next to a loved one, etc.)
- Letting loved ones know where to spread or keep ashes
- Deciding whether to donate organs or remains to scientific research
- Selecting the type of funeral or memorial service (For instance, a traditional funeral ceremony may be held in a religious institution and include viewing and burial, whereas direct burials happen soon after death and do not include a viewing)
- Limiting how much is to be spent on funeral arrangements or memorial services.
- Avoids conflict among loved ones
Deciding funeral arrangements in advance and providing instructions to your loved ones makes your wishes clear, avoiding arguments within your family and giving them more peace after you pass away.
Naming who will be in charge can also help minimize debates over decisions that must be made and who is to make them.
In Texas, you can designate an Agent for Remains. This person is who will take charge of your remains and make decisions about what is to happen to your remains. You can leave them instructions.
IMPORTANT: While Wills may contain sections describing desired funeral arrangements, they are NOT the best place for funeral arrangements as family members often read Wills after the funeral. Instead, a separate document, such as a pre-paid funeral or burial contract, can describe funeral arrangements and end-of-life wishes. Even if you do pre-planning in advance for your funeral or pre-paying it is still a good idea to name someone to be in charge of your remains. There may still be decisions that need to be made.
Let your love transcend even the most permanent separation. Start creating a thoughtful Estate Plan that reflects your values and wishes with the Law Office of Antoinette Bone today!
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