Spare your family future conflict by making plans today
Life is too busy to think about dying, and that’s the way it should be.
But for many people, the experience of burying a parent makes them think about the day their own kids will be in their shoes: “How can I make things easier for them? What can I take care of now that will save them stress later?”
That’s exactly the sentiment that brings many people back to Coleman Funeral Home of Olive Branch after we’ve helped them with a loved one’s service. Having the chance to sit down with a funeral director and make their own plans in advance gives them peace of mind. They know things will be easier for their own family someday.
Getting your affairs in order is about more than just making sure your final wishes are followed. It also helps protect your family from conflict at a time when you would want them to come together for comfort and support.
Particularly if you would have more than one family member making important decisions — about your end-of-life care, your funeral service, your estate — making those decisions for them in advance is one of the most caring gifts you can give.
Here’s where to start:
Talk to a lawyer
Have a lawyer draw up a will. It clearly states how you’d like your property distributed among your heirs.
A good will helps stave off conflict among your family members, so that they can focus on grieving and on taking care of other arrangements after your death. Not having a will can lead to your estate winding up in chancery court, which no one would want.
A lawyer can also help you create documents to cover you in the event you’re not able to make medical or financial decisions for yourself.
Talk to an estate planner
A lot of people think they don’t have enough wealth to warrant using an estate planner. Our advice is to let the estate experts tell you whether that’s the case. You may underestimate all the things you’ve accumulated over your lifetime, from savings and investments, to your home and land.
An estate planner can also help you think through your options in leaving everything to your family, or giving some to your church or a favorite charity. Setting up trusts or college funds for grandchildren is also something to consider. An estate planner can also explain the tax implications of each option.
Talk to a funeral director
When it comes to getting your affairs in order, pre-planning your own funeral is actually the simplest piece.
Meeting with a funeral director gives you an opportunity to think more deeply about what you really want, and consider options you may not have though of. At a pre-planning meeting, you can expect to answer questions like:
- Do you want to be buried or cremated? Would you want the casket open or closed? If you prefer cremation, how would you have the ashes stored, or where would you have them scattered?
- What kind of memorial event would you prefer? A more traditional, religious service? Or a celebration of life that’s more contemporary and casual?
- How would you personalize your service? What favorite music, themes or refreshments would you include?
If you want to take care of pre-planning but don’t want to meet with a funeral director, you can simply fill out our Online Pre-Planning Form. It comes directly to Coleman Funeral Home of Olive Branch, and we will keep all your information on file.
Talk to your family
Working with professionals to get your affairs in order gives you the benefit of their experience and advice. But ultimately, the most important people to talk to are your loved ones.
For the younger generation, it’s important to listen. When your parents — or grandparents, or aunt or uncle — are at a place where they want to talk about their wishes, don’t shut them down. It’s not an easy thing for them to bring up. Respect them enough to let them share what’s on their mind. Someday, you’ll be glad you did.
Is getting your affairs in order is something you’d like to check off your list in 2018? If so, come see us at our new facility in Olive Branch, off Goodman Road by the YMCA. We see every day the difference pre-planning makes for families in their time of grief. While it may be a sobering task, rest assured: Your loved ones will be so grateful.
Learn more about pre-planning through Coleman Funeral Home of Olive Branch
This article originally appeared in the Saturday, Feb. 17, 2018 edition of the DeSoto Times Tribune.