Funeral Planning: An Important Part of Estate Planning
When crafting your estate plan, it’s important to remember to arrange for your funeral. While this is not likely to be a pleasant process, planning your own funeral can save your loved ones considerable headaches in the hours and days after your passing.
The following are some considerations to keep in mind as you begin this process:
- Know the local cremation laws: Cremation has become a popular alternative to traditional burial, but there are some laws of which you should be aware. State laws regulate where ashes can be scattered, so if you wish to have your ashes scattered, make sure your chosen location is legal.
- Plan how your funeral will be financed: Depending on the type of funeral you are planning, you could be looking at significant expenses. Include provisions in your estate plan that address paying for your funeral. You might, for example, have a life insurance policy payable to an irrevocable trust fund that can help you avoid taxes on the proceeds, thereby making it easier to cover the expenses.
- Be careful with pre-paid funerals: Pre-paid funeral plans have certain drawbacks. If you make the payment long before you die, your payment amount might not keep up with inflation. If you move, you might not be able to get a refund if you change your mind and decide to have your funeral and/or burial somewhere else. Finally, a funeral home could change ownership or go out of business after you have already paid.
- Funeral costs are regulated: The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regulates funeral costs. Legally, you do not need to purchase an entire funeral package, despite what a funeral director might tell you. You only need to purchase the services you desire.
To learn more about arranging for your funeral and a variety of other issues related to wills and trusts, consult a dedicated Florida estate planning lawyer with The Charles Law Offices.