How to Plan Your Funeral

Thinking about your funeral may not be fun, but planning ahead can be exceedingly helpful for your family. It both lets them know your wishes and assists them during a stressful time. The following are steps you can take to plan ahead:

  • Name who is in charge. The first step is to designate someone to make funeral arrangements for you. State law dictates how that appointment is made. In some states, an informal note is enough. Other states require you to designate someone in a formal document, such as a health care power of attorney. If you do not designate someone, your spouse or children are usually given the task.

  • Put your preferences in writing. Write out detailed funeral preferences as well as the requested disposition of your remains. Would you rather be buried or cremated? Do you want a funeral or a memorial service? Where should the funeral or memorial be held? The document can also include information about who should be invited, what you want to wear, who should speak, what music should be played, and who should be pallbearers, among other information. The writing can be a separate document or part of a health care directive. It should not be included in your will because the will may not be opened until long after the funeral.

  • Shop around. It is possible to make arrangements with a funeral home ahead of time, so your family does not have to scramble to set things up while they are grieving. Prices among funeral homes can vary greatly, so it is a good idea to check with a few different ones before settling on the one you want. The Federal Trade Commission’s Funeral Rule requires all funeral homes to supply customers with a general price list that details prices for all possible goods or services. The rule also stipulates what kinds of misrepresentations are prohibited and explains what items consumers cannot be required to purchase, among other things.

  • Inform your family members. Make sure you tell your family members about your wishes and let them know where you have written them down.

  • Figure out how to pay for it. Funerals are expensive, so you need to think about how to pay for the one you want. You can pre-pay, but this is risky because the funds can be mismanaged or the funeral home could go out of business. Instead of paying ahead, you can set up a payable-on-death account with your bank. Make the person who will be handling your funeral arrangements the beneficiary (and make sure they know your plans). You will maintain control of your money while you are alive, but when you die it is available immediately, without having to go through probate. Another option is to purchase a life insurance policy that is specifically for funeral arrangements.

 

Taking the time to plan ahead will be a big help to your family and give you peace of mind.

COVID-19 Advisory

Dent Law Offices, Ltd. is committed to the well-being of our team and clients, as well as third parties. During this time we are taking extra precautions to protect everyone with whom we interact while continuing to provide excellent service. Many of our clients are health-compromised and/or elderly, so we feel the only responsible approach is to be conservative. We are limiting in-person meetings as practicable and using the following protocols:

  1. Remember that much of our business can be handled by telephone or video conference.
  2. While our team is working, some remotely, our doors remained locked to control traffic. If you arrive unannounced/ unscheduled, please understand that, even without precautions, our on-site team maybe running errands or occupied with other clients/ meetings/ phone calls. It is best to call first to assure that someone will be able to assist you on arrival.
  3. When you arrive for any appointment/ drop in, please knock. Someone will be with you as soon as possible.
  4. Please wear a mask, even if you arrive only to drop off/ pick up documents.
  5. If you only need to drop off or pick up documents, please use our drive-thru window, located in the pass-through to our parking lot. For after hours drop-offs, a secure drop slot is located next to that window.
  6. If a discussion is necessary or you are here for an appointment, you will be taken to a private room near the entrance. You will also be required to wear a mask and to maintain social distancing.
  7. Again, we all need to do our part for the most vulnerable people requiring legal assistance at this time.”