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Plan Today, Give Your Loved One’s Peace Tomorrow
The idea of planning your own funeral isn’t something most people want stuck in their heads. But there are plenty of reasons to do just that. Not only will it ensure that you get the send off you want, but it will ease the burden on your loved ones in their greatest time of vulnerability. Here are a few quick tips:
- Decide on your final resting place. Today, you have plenty of options on where your body goes once you’ve passed. The two most common are burial and cremation, although you may choose to donate your body to science. If you have a specific disease or type of cancer, going that route may help find a cure by giving the medical community insight on its progression.
- Don’t overpay for services you don’t need. Funerals are expensive, but many supposedly required services aren’t actually necessary. FOX Business’ list of 10 facts that funeral directors won’t often fess up to is a quick five-minute read and discusses everything from $500 coffins to eco-friendly – and money-saving – burial options. You can save hundreds of dollars on the cost of your funeral if you’re prudent and do your research.
- Invest in burial insurance. Burial insurance essentially covers the cost of your funeral. It’s different from life insurance in that it’s money sanctioned for a specific purpose and won’t necessarily go to your heirs. Nationwide explains that some life insurance policies include funeral/burial insurance along with a death benefit, which is usually tax-free. This money can help your family pay for hospital bills, estate settlement costs, and other final expenses.
- Let your loved one’s help. While you may want to control your funeral, give your loved ones some responsibility in dealing with your end-of-life care. By giving them the legal authority to make decisions that are in your best interest, you allow them to ease your pain and help you pass peacefully. This may include establishing a power of attorney or creating a living will. If you receive Social Security, appoint someone to represent you any time the Social Security Administration must be contacted for any reason.
- Prepare your personal touches. There’s little customization that goes into the actual burial or cremation. However, your memorial is an event that will be unique to you. This checklist from Everplans can help you plan every detail, including who you’d like to deliver a eulogy and any music you want played during the service. You can add even more of a personal touch by ordering specific memorial products from Honor You, such as a register book, memorial program, or prayer cards. Make sure your family is aware of your final wishes and, if necessary, prepare documents outlining such.
- Pre-pay. If you really want to ease the burden on your family, prepay for your funeral. If you realize that your burial insurance won’t cover everything you want, having the money set aside now will ensure your family isn’t hit with a big bill you won’t be around to refute. The Federal Trade Commission offers more information on planning and prepaying for your funeral.
- Don’t let feelings get in the way. Perhaps more important than deciding on your casket is learning how to avoid feelings of guilt over taking away your loved one’s “right” to choose how you are memorialized and interred. The truth is, it is much harder on your grieving family to plan a funeral at the last minute than it is on you now. Maintain an open dialogue with your spouse, adult children, or grandchildren and reassure them that you are doing this out of love.
It’s not easy facing our own mortality. But if you are lucky enough to know your time is coming to an end, this last selfless act is one way to make sure your loved ones know that you cared.
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