No one really likes to think about death, let alone plan for it. In many families, it is extremely uncomfortable to bring up the topic of death at all. However, to some people it seems unfair to leave these important final decisions to be made after death, under a short deadline and while their survivors are dealing with great stress and grief. It is a proven fact that family members will overspend for final arrangements when no instructions have been left by the deceased.
Where Do I Begin?
The Michigan Funeral Directors Association (MFDA) offers an informative "Funeral Facts" resource. The booklet includes a list of necessary decisions to be made, whether the arrangements are made “pre-need” or after death. The booklet also discusses the ways to SAFELY pre-pay for the services and lock in the price.
Since 1960, the number of pre-planned funeral has increased by 1000%. This makes sense, since pre-planning allows the entire family to make decisions together in a peaceful and relaxed way. The MFDA accurately notes that pre-planning is NOT a guarantee that your wishes will be carried out. In Michigan, the next-of kin, not the deceased, is empowered to make the final arrangements. However, if the entire family has been involved in the planning, or you have left very detailed instructions, it is more likely that your family will honor your wishes.
Are There Any Guarantees?
It's important to note that the next-of-kin cannot cancel a pre-FUNDED funeral contract. Therefore, if you want to be absolutely sure that your wishes are followed, you should pre-plan and pre-PAY for your funeral. If you just want to clearly state your preferences for your family, please feel free to download our Funeral & Burial Planner.