When planning ahead, there are many things to think about. By doing so, you have an opportunity to take control of things now. Not only does it feel good, it is the responsible thing to do – for both you and your family.
Creating a well-thought out plan for you or a loved one takes only a little bit of time but
has numerous benefits. Documenting your wishes ahead of time will give you the peace
of mind knowing your wishes will be looked after and will be and appreciated by your
family or executor when the death occurs.
Prepare a list of those individuals that should be contacted at the time of a death.
This should be kept in an easily accessible location
Complete a list of family and friends that should be included in a newspaper announcement.
Jot down who should be mentioned and any other information you would like included such
as any designations, degrees, associations and hobbies.
Document lifetime stories and memories that should be included in an eulogy.
Determine the type of service that you would want to occur. Consider:
Location of service
Visitation, Gathering or Viewing – the informal time for people to
Type of ceremony - religious, military, non-denominational, or fraternal
Select clergy or other speakers
Music, Pallbearers, Type of flowers
Poems, Scripture or other readings
Cremation or Burial
Reception location – funeral home, church hall, membership club or restaurant.
Arrange and Delegate
Providing thorough instruction is the first step in assisting the people you care about to take care of your affairs when you are unable to do so. By leaving clear information, you can feel comfortable that they will have the information they require to make well-informed decisions.
Select a Power of Attorney that you trust for both Property and Personal Care to ensure that important decisions can still be made, even if you may not be well enough to do so.
Ensure your Executor has a copy of your Will. Safety deposit boxes are generally not opened until after the funeral during the Estate Settlement process.
Complete a list of important contacts for your representatives. Be sure to include bank account, pension and insurance policies. Include account and policy numbers, contact names and telephone numbers. Remember to note where your safety deposit box is kept and include any preferred legal and accounting firms.
Why is it important to plan ahead and be prepared?
45% of deaths are sudden and unexpected leaving Executors and family to make difficult decisions at the worst possible time.
Your family and Executor will be concerned with what “you” would have wanted but can no longer speak to you about it.
Funds may be tied up and not immediately available for the funeral of choice.
Preplanning gives you the opportunity to plan it on the way you want including, music, cremation or burial, receptions, speakers, pall bearers and so on. Prepaying allows you to put aside funds to cover the funeral costs and means no one will have to pay more down the road no matter how much the costs increase.
Prepaid funeral plans purchased through a funeral home are tax exempt meaning there is no tax on the interest income on your funds. Note: You do not have to prepay your funeral to preplan with a funeral home. We will hold your plans on file free of charge. We would be pleased to share various payment options that may be right for you.
What things should I consider when preplanning my funeral?
Funeral options are too numerous to discuss in this document and should be talked over in more detail with a funeral director.
The funeral is for the survivors. Consider what funeral service would be important and meaningful for your family and friends.
When deciding on an open or closed casket, consider the importance of viewing your body for your family. Viewing the body allows family and friends to say good-bye. It has many benefits to the bereaved and may be helpful in their grieving process.
Plan your funeral as if it were going to take place today. Don’t plan assuming you will live longer than everyone else and there will be no one to come to your funeral.
Consider all people who would attend your funeral. Many people are too modest about who would attend. Remember there is family, extended family, friends, members of clubs that you belong to (even though you may be retired) and all the people who maybe didn’t know you well, but will come to support your family such as their co-worker or their spouses’ family.
Don’t worry about what happens if you move. Funeral plans are transferable including your prepaid funds, which can be re-assigned to a new funeral home should you move.
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