End-of-Life Issues: Funeral or Memorial Service Preplanning

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Many people decide to preplan their funeral or memorial service to help their loved ones. Arranging a funeral or memorial service can be daunting to someone who is grief-stricken. Many decisions have to be made in a short period of time. If you've left instructions, your loved ones can be reassured they are doing things as you wished.

Before you talk to your loved ones, think about what you would like to have happen at your funeral or memorial service. You may even want to write down any details that are very important to you. The laws governing funerals and memorial services vary from state to state. Make sure that your wishes comply with the laws of your state. Some things you may want to consider:

  • Do you want a funeral or a memorial service?
  • How many people would you like to include?
  • Do you want the service to be formal or informal?
  • Do you want the service to be faith-based?
  • What do you want to happen to your physical remains?

You also might want to think about the cost of any service. Costs can vary widely and you don't want your loved ones to be surprised by any unexpected expenses. Some people choose to prepay their own funeral and burial expenses to ensure that everything is done exactly as they prefer.

Once you have made your decisions, it can be a good idea to talk to your loved ones about your wishes. It also can help to choose a person who is close to you and who understands your wishes to oversee your service in case any questions have to be answered.

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