- Dec 23, 2012
It’s a macabre proposition to think about, but it’s a necessary part of life: planning what happens after you die.
We all have to face this at some point, and while it’s possible you’re too young to consider a lot of the legalities involved (as well as a generally disconcerting thing if you’re quite young), but if you’ve got any preferences as to what happens with your estate or body postmortem, it’s never too early to get things lined up by being your own funeral planner.
Take these tips to heart to ensure that once things are out of your control, you’ve already applied your control to it.
1. Your Estate
Think about your possessions, both strictly physical and nonphysical. We don’t mean ideas or something abstract when we say nonphysical, we mean money stored in banks and bonds, stocks, titles, leases and anything you own in legality but may not physically be in possession of.
Then think hard about how they would be best distributed among those surviving you, and don’t be afraid to get into the minutiae.
Also consider charities and other organisations you’ve always supported or appreciated. You may want to donate some of that money or those physical items to places they can be guaranteed to be put to good use.
2. Your Body
You may want to donate your body to science, but those surviving you may disagree.
It’s not our place to say to what extent you should do only what you want for your funeral, but do consider the emotions, finances and beliefs of those surviving you, to some extent what happens to your body includes them, so take all your options into consideration. Cremation? Traditional burial? Something else?
If you’re doing cremation, be specific about what you’d like done with your remains, as well.
3. Your Service
There are unlimited possibilities for how to put on a service, so make sure you’re clear on what would be apt for you and how you lived your life.
Do you want it to be more like a celebration, with food and bright colors? Maybe stipulate that no one wear black to promote positivity. Also note if you’d like any sort of music or presentations to be made.
Religious considerations are big, as well. If you prefer a certain type of religious service (or non-religions), make sure that’s known.
4. Paying for the Service
Do you have a prepaid plan? Maybe this is the time to look into one.
You don’t want your family to carry the burden of paying for an expensive funeral on their own, so take all things into consideration with how much it’ll cost and how you can help relieve some of that stress with your estate or your preferences.
If money is a big issue, maybe stipulate a modest service to go along with it if you won’t have the resources to help out after you’ve passed.