If you are getting ready to make your estate plans in Charlotte, one aspect you might want to include in your provisions are funeral arrangement instructions. Though you have specific preferences for burial, your spouse and family members may have other ideas.
A funeral directive can help to prevent conflict and anguish and ensure your funeral wishes are honored.
Contents of a funeral directive
Your primary thought may be to avoid expense through cremation, or you may believe that with a large funeral, you can bring together family and friends to renew their relationships to each other. You can provide a broad overview, simple instructions or an elaborate plan to accomplish your goals. Here are some things to include:
- The type of casket or container you want for your remains
- The final resting place of your remains
- Transportation to the facility you choose for cremation or burial
- Ceremony details, such as service, eulogy and pallbearers
Where the funeral directive should be
Wills go through probate, which can be a lengthy court process. First, a probate judge has to verify that the will is valid before the executor can begin fulfilling his or her duties. These delays can continue long after you are in your final resting place, so you should not include your funeral plans in your will.
Instead, leave your plans with the person who you have named as the executor of your will, and with your estate planning attorney. You may also want to send copies to your loved ones to ensure that everyone is on the same page and to prevent challenges and disputes at a time when family emotions are running high.
If there is a dispute about your funeral, and you have not left directions, the state typically determines which of your loved ones gets to make the decisions. A spouse is generally the first choice, and then children, parents and other next of kin.