It may be difficult to contemplate, but funeral arrangements are a critical component of your estate plan. Failing to clearly communicate your wishes for the disposition of your remains can lead to tension, disputes, and even litigation among your family members during what is already a difficult time.
Issues to Address
The methods for expressing these wishes vary from state to state, and may include a provision in your will, language in a health care proxy or power of attorney, or a separate form specifically designed for this purpose.
Whichever method you use, it should, at a minimum, state:
- Whether you prefer burial or cremation,
- Where you wish to be buried or have your ashes interred or scattered (and any other special instructions), and
- The person you’d like to be responsible for making these arrangements. Some people also request a specific funeral home.