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Orange County Will and Trust Lawyers on Making Your Funeral Wishes Part of Your Estate Plan

Writing a Last Will and Testament is a crucial step in planning for your future. But did you know that it’s also possible to create a plan for the way you want your funeral and memorial service to be conducted? It may seem daunting, but it doesn’t have to be. Read on to learn how you can make your funeral wishes part of your estate plan.

Create a Health Care Power of Attorney

The person you name as agent (health care agent) in your Health Care Power of Attorney (HCPOA) will have legal authority to determine what happens to your remains. Although you can specify your funeral and memorial wishes in your HCPOA, unless you are close to death, we recommend creating a separate document outlining all of your funeral wishes, so that you can change it over time without redoing your HCPOA.

Create a Separate Document to State Your Wishes Create a separate document outlining all of your funeral wishes so that your family members and health care agent are aware of them when the time comes. This should include descriptions of the type of service you want, any religious elements involved, who should officiate or give readings, types of music that should be played, and any other details you feel are important.

Communicate With Your Family Members

When writing down what you would like for your funeral arrangements, it is important to communicate with any family members who may be involved in making these decisions after you’re gone. Letting them know why these arrangements are important to you will help them understand why they should take steps to ensure they are carried out properly. In addition, if there are certain items or decorations that have special meaning or significance to you—like flowers or photographs—you should let them know so that they can make sure those items are included in the planning process.

Pre-pay or leave money

Make sure that your funeral and memorial arrangements are either pre-paid or leave money that your health care agent or family can access without an estate process. You don’t want to cause a financial burden on your family or health care agent. For example, you might leave some money in a joint bank account with your health care agent or a family member.

Getting Started

Planning ahead for our departure is never easy but having an estate plan helps us ensure our loved ones don’t have too many difficult decisions once we're gone. Creating specific instructions around our desired funeral arrangements gives us control over how we wish our memorial services to look while also taking some burden off our families during an already trying time. If done correctly and communicated effectively, we can make carrying out those wishes much easier on everyone involved after we're gone.

To start the process of planning your estate and making your final wishes known, contact our Orange County will and trust lawyers. We will help you create the plans you need to ensure every detail is carried you as you desire. Simply contact our office at 919-376-2361 to get started.

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