If an accident would happen to cause your death today, would your loved one know how to arrange your funeral or life celebration? Who will notify family and friends? Have you discussed the type of visitation, funeral or memorial service you’d like to have with anyone? Do you know what casket or urn they would like? Do others know what your favorite song is? Is there a favorite outfit you’d want to wear? Do you want traditional burial or cremated? Do you have military benefits that might pay for part of the funeral?
Whether you are a boomer or the child of a boomer, you may have started talking about the next 10, 20 or even 30 years and planning for the retirement years. If you have already had the retirement conversation and started planning, congrats, you are doing yourself and your family a favor by considering and possibly making decisions on the many choices you have available to you. If you haven’t, don’t worry, you aren’t alone. I highly encourage you to start learning about, thinking about and discussing your future retirement....
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If an accident would happen to cause your death today, would your loved one know how to arrange your funeral or life celebration?
Who will notify family and friends? Have you discussed the type of visitation, funeral or memorial service you’d like to have with anyone? Do you know what casket or urn they would like? Do others know what your favorite song is? Is there a favorite outfit you’d want to wear? Do you want traditional burial or cremated? Do you have military benefits that might pay for part of the funeral?
And the questions go on and on… “When a death occurs, survivors are naturally stunned, often emotionally devastated and find it difficult to make decisions when they are simply trying to cope with their loss,” said Jeanne Sledd, Senior Advance Planning Specialist at Milward Funeral Directors. “Making the decision to plan your funeral is a big decision, but it is a decision that loved ones will appreciate very much at the time of your death.”
With an advance plan, all necessary and difficult decisions can be made so families can devote their time and energy to the memory of their loved one, sharing sentiments and stories with each other, friends and associates during the visitation and celebration of life memorial service.
If one does not plan for the inevitable end of their life, then one day a great deal of responsibility will be placed on the shoulders of a spouse or children for final arrangements and settlement of the estate.
People buy life insurance to provide economic means for survivors. But money from life insurance doesn’t console survivors during their emotional pain from grieving.
Lawyers draw up wills to ensure possessions in estates will be distributed according to our wishes. But an estate is not probated until after a funeral.
“By taking the time now, to put one’s affairs in order for your funeral, loved ones can be spared emotional and financial burdens in the future,” Ms. Sledd said.
Because we are living longer and our families are often scattered around the country, advance planning is the responsible gift that provides helpful guidance, emotional support and required information to those who will survive us.
A funeral or memorial service is an opportunity for family, friends and associates to gather, reflect upon and honor the meaning and impact of the life of a deceased loved one. It is a complex blend of religious, psychological, emotional, social and economic dimensions that are interrelated, but individual for each service. A funeral or life celebration, like a wedding, is a ceremonial event that must be planned to coordinate activities and people in a flowing sequence that will help to provide a positive lasting memory for everyone in attendance.
It is never too early to pre-
Kim Wade has been a marketing consultant for more than 20 years specializing in the funeral industry. Currently, she is the Community Relations Director for Milward Funeral Directors, the 37th-