Pre-plan your funeral, sort out inheritances, and put your estate in order.
Benjamin Franklin once wrote that “an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure.” In other words, it’s easier to stop a problem in the moment than to correct it after the fact.
You can’t pinpoint the exact moment your life will end, but you have the power to take the burden off your family by pre-planning your funeral, sorting out inheritances, and putting your estate in order.
Follow the steps below to see how far an ounce of prevention goes when your loved ones are in their time of need.
Get the Ball Rolling With Funeral Pre-planning
Before you call your local funeral home, put some thought into the following prearrangement steps.
Who would need to know about your passing? Create a list of family, friends, co-workers, and any clubs or organizations who should receive notification of your death. Include as much contact information as possible, including email addresses, phone numbers, and mailing addresses.
What do you want everyone to remember about your life story? How have you impacted the world around you? Your obituary will answer these questions. An obituary should include the following:
- Brief details of your professional career
- Community service
- Date and place of birth
- Favorite hobbies
- Maiden name (if applicable)
- Military service
- Names of your close family members
- What makes you unique
A visitation gives family and friends a chance to share their memories of you. You could keep things simple during this time, or you could include a PowerPoint slideshow, videos, or displays of your favorite art, clothing, and medals. If you want to hold a visitation, decide whether you want your body to be on display. If you have a casket, decide whether it will be open or closed.
List any quotes, poems, or spiritual passages you want to be read during the funeral. Talk to your church if you want a traditional religious ceremony. You may want to go a different route and have a celebration of life at a banquet hall or VFW. That’s the beauty of pre-planning: you make the decisions now so they’re carried out later.
Burial or Cremation
You can choose cremation, burial in a casket, or environmentally conscious options such as biodegradable coffins. If you want a traditional burial, you can purchase a memorial stone, a burial plot, and a coffin ahead of time.
If you served in the U.S. Armed Forces, you may qualify for military funeral honors.
Get Your Insurance and Finances in Order
Consider the following steps as you put your insurance and finances in order to cover the cost of your final expenses.
List Accounts and Policies
To make it easy on your loved ones, create a list of your insurance policies and bank accounts. Without a list in place, it could take months or years to find and settle bank accounts, savings bonds, or investment accounts.
Check the beneficiaries listed on your insurance and retirement policies. You should indicate a primary and a secondary beneficiary to guarantee your benefits are paid out to whomever you choose.
Review Bank Accounts
If your name is the only one on your bank account, a judge will determine what happens to that account after your passing. Add a payable-on-death beneficiary to determine who will assume control of these accounts, or set up your account as a trust with a designated beneficiary. If necessary, discuss the specifics with your banker or lawyer.
When you prearrange your funeral and get your finances in order, you lessen the likelihood of leaving your family with funeral expenses and stress from handling so many details.
Contact Pekin Life Insurance Company to find a pre-need agency in your area to discuss funding your funeral at today’s prices with Pathway® products.