According to the National Funeral Directors Association, 62.5 percent of people felt that, prior to death, it is very important to communicate their funeral plans to family members. Unfortunately, only 21.4 percent of those people out of that study have communicated those plans.
It is also common that family members who will plan post-death activities will have been involved in providing physical care during the last days of life of the deceased. This can leave family members with a myriad of decisions, during a most sensitive time, on how best to honor their deceased loved one.
After a loved one has died, it can be difficult for families to take on the many tasks required to ensure their remains are dealt with and that the person is commemorated respectfully. Funeral directors and other care professionals are available to help families as they navigate this challenging phase of their lives.
And, while there are wonderful service providers who are ready and able to assist during these most difficult times, families can still take small measures in advance to help pre-plan for this type of life event.
Family Life Planning
Family life planning is the arrangements you make for what happens after you die. These arrangements can be anything from making a will and estate plan to planning and saving for your own funeral. Anyone over the age of 18 can start thinking about what will happen after they die and put together a pre-death plan. Even though family life planning is a topic that can make people feel uncomfortable it is an important plan to make to help your family.
Start Your Will
Making a will is one of the most critical preparations you can make for family life planning and is usually the first step people think about when it comes to pre-planning for death. When you make a will, you decide how to distribute whatever assets you owned to your heirs. If you do not make one and you pass, your assets will follow the state’s intestacy laws – laws might not align with the choices you want to make about your belongings. Ensure your family knows your last wishes and establish a will. Once you have a will in place, you can share the document with your funeral home. Many people don’t know that your funeral home will keep information about your will and the name of your attorney and most funeral homes provide this service free of charge.
It is important for you to have an input on your funeral plans, even if you just make a few small decisions. This frees up your surviving family members from having to guess what you would prefer during your service. These small funeral plans can include your choice of being buried or cremated, the types of flowers you would like at the service, music selections, and of course, the location of your final resting place. Your local funeral director can help tremendously with this process. The funeral director can provide insight and information about the costs of your choices and what special remembrances are available in your area. Funeral directors can meet you in your home or a local coffee shop. Pre-planning can be a casual conversation and is guaranteed to give you piece of mind.
In this day in age, people have many digital assets that range from social media accounts to cryptocurrency. So, when you are pre-planning for death, remember your digital assets. Prepare a list of all the accounts you have and any services you have on an automatic payment. Leave information so your loved ones know what accounts they need to cancel after you are gone. You can also leave your social media accounts to a family member to memorialize or delete the page. Additionally, you might have several pictures and videos that you want your family to inherit. Plan accordingly by giving your family the passcode to your electronics so they can access those memories.
Remember, it is so important to discuss your pre-death plans with your loved ones. A call to your local funeral home can set this process in motion and help you establish a definite roadmap to completing the recording of your wishes.