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Have you considered your end-of-life celebration?

We often tout the benefits of considering your end-of-life decisions now. Whether that looks like setting up a health care proxy so someone can make decisions on your behalf during an emergency or creating a will so your wishes regarding your assets are carried out, we think estate planning is important. One thing that goes along with this type of thinking for many is preplanning end-of-life celebrations.

Although rarely a matter of legality, end-of-life celebrations are important to many people. You might have very specific wishes on how you want your remains treated or how you would like to see family and friends memorialize you. If you don't put those wishes in writing or let others know about them, then your family might have no idea how you would want an end-of-life celebration to go.

One option, for example, is whether you would like to be cremated or buried. If your wishes aren't recorded, then family members might opt for the most traditional route, which is usually considered burial. That can be the more expensive option, depending on how the service is carried out. By handling details in advance, which can include planning and payment, you can remove some of the burden of this type of decision from your loved ones, allowing them time and ability to simply grieve your loss.

Some people believe that these types of wishes should be recorded in a will. While you can certainly put some of this information in your will, you can't always rely on it to be known before action has to take place. Sometimes, probate proceedings occur much after the funeral. To better understand what belongs in a will and what might be better suited to other documents and planning tools, consider working with an estate planning professional.

Source: Neptune Society, "Cremation vs. Burial," M. P. Chandler, accessed Aug. 19, 2016

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