Essential Funeral Planning Steps Every Executor Should Know

Estate Attorney Helping Long Island Residents with Funeral Planning

grieving widowWhile you might have created an estate plan and selected an administrator, how much does that executor know about the funeral? You might be surprised to find out that most people are not sure what steps to take after the death of a loved one. After all, a death is an emotional, tremendous ordeal. Combine that with planning a funeral, and a loved one can be quickly overwhelmed.

To save your family grief, make sure that you have all funeral wishes and plans in your estate plan. Your estate planning lawyer can create instructions for how you would like your body to be handled, who should be notified, which funeral home to use, and more. You can also pre-pay for services so that everything is ready and your loved ones only have to make a few select phone calls.

Note: Funeral Wishes and Estate Plans Are Not the Same

While you will create your funeral wishes with the estate plan, the written requests are not part of your estate plan. Some people think that putting their funeral wishes inside the estate plan is best, but estate plans are not accessible immediately after death. In fact, there could be weeks or months that pass before an estate plan is read. Instead, you need expressed directions about your funeral wishes, and they must be kept separately from your estate plan.

Leave your written instructions with the executor, then send a copy to your loved ones and your estate and funeral planning attorney. This will reduce the likelihood of chaos if someone loses a copy.

Instructions to the Executor that Are Essential

To avoid any confusion, there are certain instructions that every funeral plan should have, including:

  • Whether you want your body buried, embalmed, or cremated.
  • Where you want to be cremated or buried.
  • The container you wish to use for your cremation or burial.
  • How the remains are transported to your funeral facility.
  • If you wish to have a ceremony with your burial or cremation.
  • The details of how you want the ceremony to proceed (if any).
  • If you want a tombstone or other type of grave marker.
  • Who the pallbearers (if any) will be in your ceremony.

It is best that you sign an agreement with a mortuary and ensure that the facility has the services in place to help loved ones carry out your funeral wishes. Some services that a proper mortuary will offer include:

  • Retrieving and transporting your body to the facility.
  • Preparing your body for the funeral or cremation.
  • Storing your body until service.
  • Making funeral arrangements in conjunction with the executor.
  • Performing the funeral ceremony or cremation.

Planning Financial is Critical

A funeral is expensive, and many do not realize how much a funeral can cost. To save your loved ones from having to pay thousands of dollars, determine where you want your services and pay for those services in advance. Most facilities allow pre-payments for services, but shop around to ensure that you are getting a fair deal.

Meet with an Estate Planning Attorney to Plan and Prepare

Meet with an estate and funeral planning lawyer to go over your wishes and your options to ensure that: i) your estate plan is complete, ii) the funeral services are paid for, and iii) your funeral instructions are written.

The Law Office of Andrew M. Lamkin, P.C. offers free consultations. Let us figure out what you need and what arrangements your family should handle, and let us help ensure that everything goes smoothly so that loved ones have adequate time to grieve.

Schedule your consultation appointment now at 516-605-0625 or request an appointment online.

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