For most of us, the idea of planning for our own funeral is off putting, at best. However, advanced planning is one of the best ways for you to ease the stress on your loved ones immediately following your passing, as well as to ensure that your wishes for burial and celebration are observed. Here are a few ways that you can plan.
- Designate an agent: You can designate a person who oversees the decision-making process for your funeral plans. In California, this is done with an Advanced Health Care Directive.
- Tell people what you want: You can write a detailed set of instructions for your designated agent so that they know exactly what your wishes are. Do you want to be buried or cremated? Where do you want your remains to be placed? Do you want a traditional funeral service, a special religious ceremony, or a celebration of life? This can be an informal document that can be kept with your Advanced Health Care Directive. You should also tell your family members what your preferences are and where you have left your written instructions.
- How will the expenses be paid? Funeral costs are expensive. With a little planning, you can ensure that there are funds immediately available for your funeral. One way you can do this is by purchasing a life insurance policy that is designed to cover your funeral costs. Another way to ensure that there is money readily available is to designate a “pay-on-death” account at your bank with enough money to pay for your final arrangements. You direct that upon your death, the account is immediately payable to the person you have designated to make your funeral decisions. At the time of your death, the account becomes immediately payable to the person you designate so that they can begin to make arrangement immediately.
- An in-depth discussion of planning for your own funeral can be found on Kiplinger.com. https://www.kiplinger.com/article/retirement/T021-C000-S002-how-to-plan-your-own-funeral.html
Planning ahead can ease the burden both emotionally and financially on your loved ones in the immediate days after your passing. If you would like to discuss advanced planning and review your entire estate plan, please contact J Johnson Law Office, Inc., in Grover Beach or Huntington Beach, for a complimentary consultation. We will look over your existing estate plan and ensure that it is up to date, both legally and with your wishes. If you don’t have an estate plan, we can discuss the key components of a comprehensive plan and implement one that is custom tailored to your life situation.