Conveying funeral and burial arrangements in an estate plan is an extremely important goal for many people. Unfortunately, having a conversation with family members may not be enough to ensure that your wishes are carried out. By writing your wishes into your estate plan, you gain greater peace of mind.
Where Should You Include Funeral and Burial Wishes?
Many people want to include their funeral and burial wishes in their wills. But often family members do not find or read the will until weeks after the death of a loved one. This happens because they do not know where the will is located, because they are dealing with grief, or because they do not know that it includes funeral and burial instructions. As a result, the funeral may happen before anyone realizes that you left instructions.
In addition to or instead of listing funeral and burial wishes in your will, you should create a separate document detailing the wishes. You can leave this document with your lawyer, store it with other important papers, or give it to a trusted relative. Tell your family that this document exists and where it is located so that they know to read it later.
Further, you can include some wishes in your health care power of attorney. For example, the document can direct your agent to arrange for anatomical gifts and disposal of remains.
Which Kinds of Wishes Can You Include?
The types of funeral and burial arrangements that people typically include in their estate plan include:
- Whether you want a funeral or memorial service and where
- Whether you want to be cremated or buried
- Where you would like to be buried
- Where you would like your ashes to be stored or dispersed
- How much the estate should spend on the funeral, memorial service, burial, or cremation
How to Learn More
Your estate plan may include your will and several other important documents such as a health care power of attorney. If you would like to learn more about including funeral and burial arrangements in your estate plan, contact a local estate planning attorney for help making your plan.
Want to start planning your estate? Local attorney Andrew Szocka, Esq. provides thorough and speedy estate planning help in the Chicagoland area. To schedule a free initial consultation, visit the Law Office of Andrew Szocka, P.C. online or call the office at (815) 455-8430.