What Is Funeral Planning?
A funeral home director once said there are about 100 questions that need to be answered from death to burial. Thinking about your funeral may not be fun, but planning ahead can be exceedingly helpful for your family. It lets them know your wishes and assists them during a stressful time.
Name Who Is in Charge of Your Funeral Plan.
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 don’t designate someone, your spouse or children are usually given the task.
Put Your Funeral 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 details can be in a separate document or part of a health care directive. It shouldn’t be included in your will because the will may not be opened until long after the funeral.
Pick the Right Funeral Home.
It is possible to make arrangements with a funeral home ahead of time so your family doesn’t have to scramble to set things up while they’re 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 costs for all possible goods or services. The rule also stipulates what kinds of misrepresentations are prohibited and explains what items consumers can’t be required to purchase, among other things.
Inform Your Family Members About Your Funeral Plan.
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 Your Funeral Plan.
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 handling your funeral arrangements the beneficiary (and make sure they know your plans). You will maintain control of your money while you’re alive, but when you die, it is available immediately without having to go through probate. Another option is to purchase a life insurance policy specifically for funeral arrangements.
If you live in White County, Pulaski County, Saline County, or in cities like Benton, Little Rock, and Sherwood, AR, take the time to plan ahead with McClelland Law Firm, P.A. We will help your family create a detailed plan and give you peace of mind. Our firm offers each of our clients a Final Wishes handbook to include many of the items previously discussed. This is a great resource for families to know whom to contact, how to write an obituary, and where to find important documents.
At McClelland Law Firm, we believe that limiting our practice areas provides the greatest value to our clients. To us, value means providing exceptional service and efficient processes for each of our practice areas.
We are committed to compassionate representations, especially as it relates to elder law. No one should feel pressured, controlled, or “talked down” to in any meeting. Every client deserves to be heard and understood.
McClelland Law Firm, P.A. is here to help you and your loved ones understand probate and trust administration, estate planning, Medicaid planning, crisis planning, guardianship, and elder law. Our Benton, Sherwood, and Searcy law offices welcome you to contact us and learn how we can help meet your elder law legal matters in White County, Pulaski County, Saline County, and throughout Arkansas.