While the subject of medical, funeral, and burial arrangements during the final moments of life or after you or your loved one has passed away is not a very talked about topic in today's society, most people have an idea of how they would like their last wishes to be carried out. Medical final wishes such as life support or other arrangements, whether they would like to buried, cremated, or something a little more unique; and what type of service, if any, they would like are significant decisions that need to be discussed. Regardless, every person wants to be able to go out with dignity and on their own terms, so it is essential to make sure your family understands your final wishes thoroughly and are prepared to carry them out.
Odds are if you have already made your final arrangements, you have done so for a specific reason. Maybe you have decided that one particular burial or celebration is the only way you would like to be remembered, be it for personal or religious reasons. If your the planner type, perhaps you have researched what you would want to happen compared to the cost of another way to do it that seems satisfactory, and then weighed it against how much your estate or life insurance will cover in order to ensure no undue burden is left on your loved ones. Whatever your reasoning you want to make sure that in the end your family understands your wishes and follows them accordingly.
There are a few things you can do to make sure your family understands your final wishes. One of the things you can do is to write a last will and testament. The last will is a legally bound document created by an attorney and signed, witnessed, and notarized by the appropriate parties, that states in detail what will happen to you and your estate, as well as any last wishes you may have. When you write your will, you will be asked to name an executor. An executor is a person who will make sure that what you wrote in your will is carried out to the letter. By writing your will, you can help to ensure that your final wishes are met.
Another vital way to make sure your family understands and will follow your final wishes is to talk to your family members about them. Even though most people are not comfortable with the subject, or just do not like to think about death, it is an important topic to discuss in depth in order to make sure your family understands what your last wishes will be and why you have chosen them. A lot of the time by explaining why you have chosen the preferences you have it can help your family to understand better and accept why it is important that your wishes be followed. At the same time, by helping your family to understand your reasoning, you have a better chance of making sure they understand your wishes thoroughly and will carry them out as you would like them too.
Even though a lot of these things are discussed casually throughout life, until something happens, you may not realize you have forgotten a detail in your plans. While we cannot predict what will happen as we get older, not knowing does not mean it should not be discussed. At R.W. Baker and Company we encourage you to speak with your family about these arrangements and last wishes as well as talking with an attorney to make sure they are in your will. By doing these things not only does it give you a peace of mind, but will help to ensure your family and loved ones will not be confused and will understand what to do when the situation arises.