Make Sure Estate Planning and Funeral Planning Are Among Your New Year’s Resolutions

By: VGFS
Sunday, December 23, 2018

It’s once again the time to start thinking about those new year’s resolutions. While most resolutions tend to focus on self-improvement, we‘re suggesting a more practical idea that’s actually achievable, too.

This year, get your ducks in a row by including funeral planning and estate planning among your resolutions. Having an estate plan in place ensures that your assets are protected if you lose your mental capacity and are distributed according to your wishes after your death. Advance funeral planning allows you to design your funeral or memorial service just as you wish while easing the burden on your grieving family members.

If you don’t have a will or estate plan in place, you are like 60 percent of American adults. While planning for the end of your life may not be on your bucket list, it’s one of those things you know you should do. The basic elements of an estate plan include the following:

A will: A will or living trust outlines how you want your assets divided after your passing. If you leave no instructions for surviving family members as to how to divide your property they will have to make educated guesses to honor your wishes. Or worse,  the state may even make those decisions about your assets should be distributed.
Durable Power of Attorney: This document allows your designee, or agent, to take control of your financial and legal matters.
Healthcare Power of Attorney:  This document allows your designee, or agent, to make medical decisions on your behalf.
Living Will: This document includes specific instructions regarding what kind of medical care and treatment you want or do not want, if the medical determination has been made that there is no realistic hope of your significant recovery from your end-stage condition. If you don’t want to use life support devices or wish to donate your organs, this document would state those choices.

Being proactive about planning for the end of your life isn’t fun, but it ensures your wishes are made clear regarding your money, property and medical treatment. Contact a qualified estate planning attorney for assistance in creating these important documents. If you already have an estate plan in place, make it a point to review the documents and beneficiary designations to ensure they still reflect your wishes.

There are plenty of good reasons to funeral planning on your list of new year’s resolutions, too. Most people like to feel in control over decisions that affect their lives, and often that extends to their end-of-life choices. While no one can predict the time and circumstances of death, many take comfort in knowing they’ve selected the type of burial, location and funeral they want.

Pre-planning lessens the likelihood of family conflict. Have you ever planned a family party or reunion? If you have, then you know that know that suggestions and differing opinions abound. Factor in the intense emotions surrounding a loved one’s passing, along with personality clashes among multiple family members, and you’re looking at the recipe for some serious family squabbles. While you can’t guarantee your family members will abide by your choices, advance funeral planning documents and checklists outline your funeral wishes and provide a helpful guideline.

Reducing the stress for your loved ones is a wonderful, thoughtful gift.  Making funeral arrangements is a massive undertaking for grieving family members who are physically and emotionally exhausted. If some or all of the funeral service planning has been done in advance, the burden of making rapid, costly choices at a difficult time is eased.

You can find plenty of helpful information about funeral preplanning on our website. If you have additional questions or want to learn more, please reach out to us anytime. Our knowledgeable, compassionate funeral directors are always happy to assist you.

About Vaughn Greene Funeral Services: For more than 20 years, Vaughn Greene Funeral Services has been providing a ministry of care to Baltimore’s African American community. As a leading local, minority- and family-owned provider, we promise to provide our highest level of service and respect to families who entrust us to honor their loved one. For more information, please call us at 410.655.0015 or visit us online at https://vaughncgreene.com/.

Leave a comment
Name*:
Email:
Comment*:
Please enter the numbers and letters you see in the image. Note that the case of the letters entered matters.

Comments

Please wait

Previous Posts

These Eight Simple Things Can Help You Live Longer and Stay Healthier

Tales of eternal youth have been around for thousands of years. While the Fountain of Youth may only exist in folklore, the possibility of living longer has become a reality thanks to advances in...

Choosing a Cemetery? Here are Six Important Considerations

Selecting a cemetery property for yourself or a loved one requires careful thought. It’s wise to enter the process armed with as much information as possible so you can make the best decision for...

Get the Facts About Cremation Urns: Six Questions to Consider Before Buying

As you search for the perfect cremation urn for a loved one’s remains, you might be surprised by the endless array of options available. From plain, economical wooden boxes to intricately-carved m...

Follow These Six Simple Guidelines to Reduce Your Risk of Stroke

It is estimated that every 40 seconds, someone in the U.S. suffers a stroke. African Americans have a higher prevalence of stroke than any other racial group. The fifth leading cause of death in A...

Funeral or Celebration of Life: What’s Right for Your Loved One?

There are many ways to honor a loved one’s passing. From traditional funerals to festive celebrations of life, there is a service that allows you to pay tribute to the departed in just the right ...

Funeral Attire 101: What to Wear and What to Avoid

When it comes to funerals, dressing in a way that demonstrates respect for the departed is always in good taste. As styles change and the rules for these events continue to evolve, it may leave yo...

The Shakedown on Salt: Six Tips for Avoiding Hidden Sodium

Consuming too much sodium can be harmful to your heart. It’s been linked to high blood pressure, a risk factor for cardiovascular issues including heart disease and stroke. Research has also conn...

The Practical Guide to Estate Planning: Eight Important Facts Everyone Should Know

Everyone can benefit from having a plan in place if the unexpected happens. Still, more than half of American adults lack basic estate planning documents, according to the American Association of ...

Do You Know How to Plan for Your Pet’s Care After Your Passing?

What would happen to your pet if you passed away unexpectedly? Without a plan in place, the results can be tragic. Part of responsible pet ownership includes taking the necessary steps to ensure ...

Expressing Sympathies at a Virtual Funeral: Seven Essential Rules of Digital Etiquette

When the pandemic forced the world to remain apart, virtual funeral services allowed family members and loved ones to come together regardless of physical distance. Now that restrictions have ease...