Just one of the many advantages of having an estate plan is that you can detail what kind of send-off you’d like after you’re gone. Whether it’s a simple family gathering with your remains sprinkled at a favorite spot or a traditional funeral with family, friends and others invited, putting your wishes in writing can save your loved ones from wondering (or squabbling) about what you would have wanted.
It’s also wise to set aside the money needed to pay for your funeral or whatever you envision. This will save your family from having to put everything on their credit cards. It’s crucial that this money be accessible. There may be plenty of money in your estate to cover the costs, but even if the probate process is relatively short, it could still be weeks or longer before it’s available.
Make the money for your funeral accessible
If you don’t have a joint bank account with a spouse or other family member, you can open a payable-on-death (POD) account and name a person who can access the money after you’re gone. There are other options like a life insurance policy. It won’t pay out immediately, but it can provide the money for repayment of burial and other costs without too much delay.
Many funeral homes have prepaid funeral plans. There are varying opinions about whether these are a good option. It’s crucial to know the terms before you invest in one of these.
Designate the person to be in charge
It’s wise to state who you want to be responsible for the arrangements. This can prevent multiple people from getting in each other’s way. If a family member is your executor, you may want them to do it – or give them the option of choosing someone else.
It’s a good idea to learn about how to fit your wishes for what happens to your body after you’re gone into your estate plan. This will help facilitate things for your loved ones at a difficult time and help ensure that your wishes are followed.