“I want to be buried in my blue suit with pictures of my family and I want Garth Brooks playing during the funeral.” Maybe you haven’t had this exact conversation with your family, but chances are you’ve had some sort of discussion about what you want to happen after you die. Whether it was as specific as this example, or just the discussion of burial versus cremation (versus medical research), most people have some idea of how they want to be laid to rest. But, if your wishes aren’t known or aren’t specific, they may fall be the wayside.
Here are 4 ways to make sure your wishes are followed after you’re gone:
The first step is to make sure your family is well aware of your wishes. If it’s generally known that you want to be cremated and not buried, it’s much more likely that someone in your family (if not the executor) will make sure that the cremation happens as opposed to moving forward with a burial you never intended.
If the executor of your will is someone other than your family, make sure you discuss with them how you’d like your final disposition to occur. The executor is going to be making the bulk of the decisions for you and your estate after you’re no longer here, so having them on board and in-the-know is important.
It’s not uncommon for people to include a disposition plan in their will or as an attachment to their estate plan. This can be as easy as typing up a Word document listing all of your wishes for your funeral, cremation, or other disposition. This document would be attached to or included with your will.
Paying for your funeral or cremation expenses while you’re still alive is a good way to make sure your funeral or cremation happens. Generally, when you pre-purchase your funeral or cremation, you’re given documentation to include with your estate planning documents. When you pass, your executor will gather your estate planning documents and see that this decision has already been made.
Of course, it’s possible that you have no opinion as to what should happen to you after you die, and that’s okay. But, if you have specific wishes you need to take action now to make sure they are followed.