There are two things that everyone is guaranteed, taxes and death. I get so many clients who cannot face their mortality. It is scary, yes, but it is inevitable. With so many people being crippled by the idea of mortality, it’s astonishing how many times their loved ones have no idea what to do.
Did their loved ones want to be cremated? Buried? Turned into a diamond or made into a tree? Grief is overwhelming. Losing a loved one is difficult.
It is not fair to put the weight on what you may or may not have wanted upon your passing. I also get a lot of people who say it does not matter, they’re dead. Again, you should not put that on your loved ones. I have become a firm believer that a memorial is not for you; it is for the one is you left behind. Everyone should pre-plan and decide who they want in charge of the funeral or memorial and what they ultimately want to be done with their remains.
Individuals should either draw up Revocable Trusts or Last Wills that state their final wishes or write a funeral designation form. It would help if you thought about things like whether you want to be buried or cremated, whether you want a memorial service or funeral service. Whether you follow any religious traditions and where you want to put to rest. I’ve clients that wanted to be spread on racetracks, in bodies of water, in foreign countries, etc.
One of the most significant issues we have run into when funeral wishes are not made or known is fighting that occurs between loved ones. Loved ones fight over who should be in charge, who should get the remains, where the remains go, etc. This comes into play in blended family situations. If you do not decide who should be in charge then this right and responsibility go to the following people, in order:
- A person you name in a “funeral representative declaration” made before your death
- Your surviving spouse
- Your adult children
- Your adult grandchildren
- Your parents
- Your grandparents
- Your siblings
- You are next of kin
- The personal representative of your estate
- Your guardian
- An appointed “special personal representative.”
- The medical examiner
At the Law Office of Sean Patrick Cox, PLLC, our attorneys proudly serve West Michigan families in drafting their estate plans to avoid these types of situations. Most importantly if families find themselves in this situation, we can help guide them through the process and get them to the other side, worry-free.
We offer free consultations, Call Today (616) 942-6404 to get in touch with Grand Rapids Estate Planning Attorneys.