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Many people neglect to pre-plan their final arrangements. This leaves their mourning family and friends to scramble together last minute services. Planning ahead reduces the burden your loved ones will face when you pass away.
Whether you are terminally-ill or aging, there is no time like the present to begin making preparations for your imminent death. By doing so, you get to maintain control over a deeply personal process and savor the final moments of your life free of worry and regret.
Express Your Wishes With Family
To begin, you’ll want to communicate your wishes to your loved ones. Commence conversations about how you’d like to commemorate your life. More importantly, appoint someone close to you to handle medical and legal issues in the event of your passing. Designate someone you trust as a health care power of attorney and make it official. This legally binding agreement permits someone to make medical decisions in your favor, including when and when not to resuscitate.
You can also choose a separate living will. Together, the living will and medical power of attorney will be able to productively make decisions on your behalf. If you choose to appoint someone, you can provide clear instructions on how to handle your end-of-life care or you can allow that person to make decisions at their own discretion.
It is important to determine your budget prior to making your final arrangements. Final affairs are a costly matter. Nevertheless, funeral homes are legally obligated to present you with upfront pricing information. As a matter of fact, you have several rights and protections as the consumer.
When pre-planning your final arrangements, you have the freedom to compare prices and plans. Unlike grieving family members, who are often guilt-tripped into higher spending, you’ll be able to logically work within your budget constraints.
There are plenty of options when it comes to funding your pre-arrangements. One option is to purchase prearrangement insurance. This allows you to pay a monthly fee that your family will be able to tap into at the time of your death.
Another option is to purchase an insurance plan with your local funeral home. This also offers a one-time payout, but it can only be utilized at the funeral home of origin. Or you could create a Totten trust. This is a specific bank account that names a beneficiary, usually the executor of will, who can withdraw the funds to cover the cost of your desired funeral arrangements
Burial or Cremation
You’ll also want to decide what you wish to happen to your body in the event of your death. For example, if you’d prefer a traditional casket and burial, you’ll need to speak with a funeral director about internment options. While it may seem strange shopping for a post-mortem receptacle, don’t make the mistake of leaving this decision up to your next of kin if you’re passionate about a specific choice.
A funeral director can guide you through the funeral decision-making process, step-by-step. You’ll be able to establish your choices with your budget, loved ones, and personal beliefs in mind. By eliminating the question work, you’ll allow your loved ones to mourn in peace.
Be In Charge
When it comes to pre-arranging, every detail counts. From a family cemetery plot to charitable donations, it is hard to imagine the responsibilities that are bestowed upon a family in mourning. Meanwhile, preplanning your final arrangements, however morbid it may sound, puts you in charge of how your death is handled and relieves your loved ones of a tremendous, costly burden.
Stay Up To Date
Finally, keep your information up to date. Rules change drastically between states and situations change over time. While it may be hard to fathom, your financial planning and organization will affect your loved ones long after your death. By pre-planning your own final arrangements, you’ll be able to enjoy the little moments that life has to offer.
Krystle Cook – the creator of Home Jobs by MOM – put her psychology degree on a shelf and dived into a pile of diapers and dishes instead. She is a wife and mother to two rambunctious boys, sweating it out in her Texas hometown. She loves cooking, DIY home projects, and family fun activities.