Death is not a concept embraced warmly in our culture. In fact, most of us try not to think about our death.
Pre-Planning your funeral can be an act of caring for your friends and family members. They will know exactly what you want for your final ceremony and will not have to make decisions when they are grieving. Pre-Planning, most especially, give you peace of mind and a sense of control. Here are a few things to keep in mind.
1) Speak Up: it is your funeral. Make sure you write down and talk to friends and family about what you wish for your funeral, including cremation or burial, type of casket, memorial stones, or urns you wish to use.
2) To Listen is Important: Find a funeral director who listens to your wishes instead of imposing his or her own thoughts. A funeral director is there to offer you advice, but remember all plans need to be your own decision.
3) Write Down Thoughts: A new concept for letting family and friends know your thoughts is called an Ethical Will. This type of will is distinctly different from a document that states how your assets will be divided. An Ethical Will communicates your values, experience and life lessons to your family.
4) Make Decisions: Make decisions on who receives your assets before you are gone. These decisions create a precious way to pass on memories and stories to your family before you die. You could even color code each item in your house with a dot. Each colored dot represents a family member or friend. Write down the story associated with heirloom pieces and tape it somewhere. This way memories are cherished from generation to generation.
-Kelly Baltzell M.A & Karin Baltzell Ph.D.