Nobody likes thinking about funerals – especially their own. But preplanning for your funeral can ensure that your wishes are carried out. It can also bring peace of mind to your family during a very difficult time.
As you grow older, preparation becomes even more important. While it’s never easy to think about, there are several ways that you can prepare for your funeral.
- Update your will. Your will should reflect your current wishes for how you want your assets distributed. This can mitigate any uncertainty or arguments in your family. It can also ensure that a probate judge isn’t the one deciding what happens to your valuables.
- Create a final arrangements document. It’s best practice to have a separate document aside from your will that outlines your final wishes. Make sure your loved ones know where to find this document. In this document, you could include:
- Where you want the funeral held
- Who should be notified of your death
- Whether you want to be buried or cremated
- Whether you have any money set aside to pay final expenses
- Store copies online. For security, you should store copies of your final wishes document and other estate planning documents online. Make sure they are still accessible to your loved ones. You might also store copies on a hard drive.
- Consider a Payable-on-Death (POD) account. A POD agreement allows your accounts, U.S. savings bonds and certificates of deposit to be transferred to your beneficiaries. This transfer would happen immediately after you pass away.
- Think about putting money aside. Funerals can be very expensive. You might consider prepaying for your funeral, but this could be risky – the home could go out of business or increase its prices. Therefore, another option would be calculating costs and setting aside cash for the funeral.
It’s not easy to make decisions about your own funeral. But by following these steps, you can bring peace of mind to both you and your loved ones.