Funeral arrangements are best made in advance.
When you die, your family will grieve.
The loss of a loved one cuts deep.
The last thing they need to be doing is making big decisions.
According to a recent The Leader article titled “Important to provide instructions for preferred funeral, burial wishes,” arranging your funeral in advance provides space for your family to mourn your loss.
If you leave these decisions to your loved ones by default, then you may spark arguments regarding what you would have liked.
Cultural traditions or spiritual practices can get overlooked in the frenzy.
And, in their grieving you family may spend way more than had you simply pre-planned, let alone pre-paid for your funeral.
If you include your burial plans in your last will and testament, then your wishes may be overlooked.
Why is this?
Many times the last will is not reviewed (let alone found) until after the descendent has been buried.
In this case, your careful planning would be worthless.
What can you do to fix this?
The best thing to do is discuss your funeral wishes with your experienced estate planning attorney.
He or she can help you create a separate document outlining your wishes and instructions for the person you in charge of carrying out the arrangements.
Some states have specific forms for appointing an agent in charge of your remains.
In Kansas and Missouri, this appointment can be made in your advance health care directive.
As part of your planning, you can choose a plot at a cemetery and arrange the funeral in advance.
By using a pre-paid irrevocable funeral trust, you could even protect these assets from nursing home spend-down when applying for Medicaid.
Although it may feel uncomfortable, the key is to have this “talk” regarding your wishes with your loved ones.
Including your funeral arrangements in your estate planning can be a loving gift to those you leave behind.
Reference: The Leader (December 7, 2019) “Important to provide instructions for preferred funeral, burial wishes”