Preplan your funeral – Make it your New Year’s resolution
Preplan your cremation or burial
As you struggle with what will make the final cut on your New Year’s resolution list, consider taking an hour to make some important decisions that will last the rest of your life (literally). I’m talking about a simple, stress-free meeting to preplan and fund your memorial or funeral.
Losing weight, getting organized and definitely committing to read the Bible all the way through are great goals and very ambitious. But so is making sure your family has the least amount of stress when you die. By pre-planning, you can reduce the burden on your family and eliminate the financial stress of paying for the services.
Figuring out a starting point for estate planning can be daunting. But you don’t have to do it all at once. Preplanning your funeral or memorial can be accomplished separate from a larger estate planning project. All the planning and paperwork can typically be completed during one meeting including deciding how to prefund the policy. During the meeting you will sit down with a representative and discuss your wishes and the best way to set up a policy to meet your needs.
Benefits of preplanning your services
- Remove the burden from your loved ones of guessing and then second-guessing your wishes and how you would like to be honored.
- Reassurance that your specific wishes will be carried out, including stating if you want to be cremated or buried, and whether you want a full, elaborate, traditional funeral service or a unique end-of-life celebration.
- Avoid family disagreements and concerns about the responsibility of paying for the services.
- The money for the expenses is already set aside and available to specifically cover your end-of-life expenses.
Planning your own funeral
There are formal and informal ways to preplan a funeral or memorial service. It can be as simple and easy as writing down your wishes in detail and giving it to a trusted family member of friend. A common option is to preplan and prefund the services you would like to have. And, the most formal is working with an estate attorney to draw up formal documents. Note: In Texas, a basic, free way toyou’re your wishes in writing is to complete the Texas Body Disposition Authorization (written instrument declaring final wishes) form created by the Funeral Consumers Alliance of North Texas to assist consumers in making sure their wishes are followed. Once notarized, I suggest providing copies to key loved ones, the facility where you live, and to the funeral home or cremation service provider you have chosen.
Is prepaying safe and smart?
It’s important if you are working with a licensed funeral establishment (or cremation provider) to make sure they are working with a FDIC-insured bank or insurance company so you are sure to receive tax-free growth on your funds.
If death is imminent, it is frequently recommended to set aside money in a joint account with a person you trust so they can access the funds at the time of need. However, if death is not imminent you should also consider placing the money into a trust or policy to avoid being taxed on the interest income.
Many credible organizations, including the Funeral Consumers Alliance do not recommend advance funding funeral costs for various reasons. However, many people still prefer the peace-of-mind knowing they have made final plans. I recommend you do your own research to see which approach is best for you.
Start the New Year off right
Most funeral homes that provide preplanning options offer a free consultation at no cost. They can answer your questions and help you get started. There are also many online resources including the National Funeral Directors Association that provide advice to consumers.
Information on Local Cremation’s preplanning services.
Local Cremation provides cremation and simple burial services through the Dallas-Fort Worth metroplex. Contact us to set up an in-person meeting at one of our Dallas, Arlington or Lewisville locations. We are available to meet with families at our location or your home. Visit our website for a full list of the services available and Local Cremation’s current pricing. Local Cremation is a Texas licensed funeral establishment and has an A+ rating with the Better Business Bureau.