The Importance of Final Arrangements

by MSO
Funeral planning means your family won't have to make all those decisions in their time of grief.

Planning your funeral helps to take some of the burden off your family in their time of grief and also allows you to arrange how you want your life celebrated.

As much as we would like to strive to live forever, the truth is, we all die trying – and while death is unavoidable, there really isn’t an excuse as to why our final arrangements haven’t been made.

It’s easy to dismiss the idea of death and to leave the responsibility of arranging our sendoffs with the care of our family. But is this really the best thing to do given the circumstances?

When our final arrangements aren’t planned, family members are bewildered with a heavy burden upon our deaths. From the emotional grief to the preparation of our funeral, our family will be forced to take on some heavy responsibilities, and when final arrangements aren’t planned in advance, the responsibility is forced upon one or more of our family members.

Even if the final arrangements were addressed in the will, it could be up to several weeks after your death before the will is located and during that time, the preparations and the arrangements would have already been made. Besides, a will, most times, is reserved for the directions on how to divide and distribute your property and assets.

Without a simple letter instructing your preferences for final arrangements, the right and responsibility to pay for the costs of preparing and disposing of your remains rests with either a spouse or registered domestic partner, children, parents, next of kin or a court appointed public administrator.

However, when two or more people share the responsibility over the fundamental decision of whether your remains should be buried or cremated, if there should be an open or closed casket viewing, if there should be a service and what should be included in that service, disputes often arise.

The best thing to do is inform your relatives of your wishes well in advances. Not only does this save family members and friends a world of grief,  it also helps in keeping costs low, allowing you, your family members and friends to practice comparative shopping and allows you to make the best decision for how you’ll be remembered.

When making final arrangements, it is important to keep the following in mind:

1. Whether you want to your remains to be buried or cremated;

2. The name of the mortuary or other institution that will handle the burial or cremation;

3. Whether or not you want your body to be embalmed;

4. The type of casket or container in which your remains will be buried or cremated;

5. The details of any ceremony you want before the burial or cremation;

6. Who your pallbearers will be;

7. Where your remains will be buried, stored or scattered;

8. The details of any ceremony you want to accompany your burial, interment or scattering; and

9. The details of any marker you want to show where your remains are buried or interred.

10. The location of any information indicating that you have pre-paid or have insurance to cover costs.



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