The other day I received an overnight package. Its contents were the program/obituary from the funeral services of a friend who had been waiting for a lung transplant. The contents also included a letter written by the deceased. Though I cried, I was comforted by her words to not be sad but to keep her memory alive by living life to its fullest.
Remembering her and just how efficient she was I would bet she planned her funeral. I know it sounds a little morbid. Most of us not only avoid talking about it, we manage to avoid thinking about it. If it is something you’re thinking about or would consider there are ways to make things easier for the loved ones you’ll leave behind.
You might want to include personal information that could be used for the writing of your obituary. Would you prefer to be cremated? If you haven’t written it down how will your loved ones know? Be sure to record any specific instructions regarding burial or organ donation. Even if there is a particular time of day you would like your services or a special song sang or poems read—write it down and let them know. Consider putting your final wishes in an envelope marked “to be opened in the event of my death”. Just make sure it would be found in a timely fashion (before the funeral). An idea to avoid any possible delays is to make copies and give them to appropriate family members.
It is possible to pay for your funeral at today’s prices by way of a lump sum payment or monthly installments. This is referred to as pre-need insurance. You can pick out your casket and the type of services you want. The funeral home will put the money in an irrevocable trust or they will buy an insurance policy naming the home as the irrevocable beneficiary.
When shopping for funeral homes consider the following questions:
1. Will your money earn interest? If so, how much? Who gets it?
2. Is the insurance policy in force immediately? If not, when?
3. Will your current or future health issues have a bearing on the terms
of the plan?
4. This is huge and must be asked—what happens if the funeral home goes
out of business? Will your plan be taken over by another funeral
home? If so, is it automatic? If taken over by another funeral home
which one will it be? Do you have a choice in the matter? Will you
lose any monies you paid?
5. What happens if you change your mind?
6. If there is money left after your funeral is paid for, will it go to
A prepaid plan does spare your loved ones some emotional stress, however remember a life insurance policy earmarked for your funeral is an option and serves the same purpose as a pre-paid funeral.
Another option is a Totten Trust. This is your own burial trust fund. The burial trust fund is set-up through a bank or credit union