Practical Discussions About Funerals

Funerals are not generally not a topic for family get togethers or dinners. Funerals actually make many people uncomfortable and so they avoid discussing them, especially when it comes to talking about their own funeral. Having practical discussions about funerals, however, is an important aspect of planning for what will happen after you are gone, especially when funerals today can cost upwards of $10,000. Making your wishes known in regards to funerals and the money for which the funeral will be paid will save your loved ones from making these decisions later on.

One reason to have a practical discussion about your funeral is to designate who is going to be in charge and what your wishes are. Even the closest of families can have bitter arguments when it comes to deciding burial arrangements and funeral services. You do not want the courts to have to decide who is handling your funeral and burial, especially if you have a large family. After you choose who will be making the plans for your funeral, you need to be clear about what you would like done with your body. Would you like to be cremated or have a casket burial? Are you donating your body to science? These are important questions to address.

Another reason to have a discussion about your funeral is to talk about the expense of the funeral. Funeral expenses can be a large burden on a family or loved one. Even if you are leaving an inheritance or life insurance policy, it normally takes time for those funds to be released and the funeral happens days to a week after death Today, it is possible to prepay for your funeral at some funeral homes. This can relieve your relatives of the expense and give them one less worry later on. There are also less expensive options, such as cremation or body donation, that will be far more economical if money is a factor.

The plans for your funeral should be left with your attorney and the executor of your estate, but you should also inform all loved ones of your plans. This helps ensure that there are no surprises and no disputes later on. Bitter disputes over funerals happen far too often and are preventable by having practical discussions about funerals while you are still alive and able to make decisions. While difficult to begin, most people feel relieved when all of the arrangements are made ahead of time.

Don’t leave the plans for after your death to chance. Don’t force the courts to decide which family member should be making all decisions regarding your burial and funeral. Funeral plans are another component of end of life and estate planning that can often be overlooked.  Talk with your family about your wishes, but then also ensure your attorney is aware of all your plans.

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