What Happens if You Don’t Leave Written Instructions for Your Funeral?

September 18, 2018 5:53 pm Published by Leave your thoughts

It may be uncomfortable to think about, but imagine if your spouse were to die suddenly, having left no plans or wishes written down. You never really talked about death, and now you are left to piece together funeral plans. You shared many things, but post-death wishes were not among them. Your family has differing opinions on how things should be handled, and it’s making a terribly difficult time even worse.

Thousands of families struggle through this process each year, but the good news is that it’s completely avoidable. Having a written plan in place can save your family the stress of having to decide what your wishes might have been and ease their grief when the time comes. If you have not written out your funeral plans in Lake City, FL, here’s what you need to consider.

Who will decide for you?

If you die before writing out your funeral wishes, your spouse will be responsible for determining what you might have wanted. If you were unmarried at the time of your passing, your children, parents, next of kin or court appointed administrator will decide. That being said, religious or cultural beliefs, family relationships and more can lead to disagreements about undecided funeral plans. This undoubtedly strains family bonds and puts the people you love at odds. A funeral, though unpleasant, should be a time to unify in loss and forge stronger bonds. It should never be a divider.

Don’t leave your wishes in your will

Many people believe that writing their funeral wishes in their will is the best way to solidify their funeral plans. This is not the case. Because wills can be read weeks or months after the death of a loved one, it is not a good place to put time-sensitive information. While you can leave copies with family attorneys, it still does not guarantee your family will see it in time for your funeral.

What should your plan include?

Your wishes should be a simple list of how to approach your funeral. Would you like to be cremated or buried? If buried, what would you like your headstone to say? How would you like your remains transported from the service to your burial site? Would you like specific pallbearers or speakers at the service? Would you like a religious service, or would you prefer that it be secular? You will likely think of several other questions that need answering, but these are the basics.

Write a plan

Now that you have several things to consider, jot down a quick outline of your wishes and share it with your loved ones. Any disagreements should be discussed in advance of your death to ensure that your family does not suffer unnecessarily when the time comes.

Talking about and pre-arranging your funeral plans in Lake City, FL is important. Doing so ensures your final wishes are carried out. It also allows loved ones to grieve without emotions running extra high. For more information about pre-planning services, call ICS Cremation & Funeral Home to speak with our compassionate staff.

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