People need to say goodbye. That’s why 37,500 Americans work as funeral service employees. They help arrange all sorts of services to honor deceased people.
Yet funeral service workers cannot work alone. People preparing for the end of life need to describe what service they want. They can do so through a final arrangements document.
What is a final arrangements document, and how does it compare to a will? Who should a person talk to before writing one? What should go into the document?
Answer these questions and you can honor your loved one in the way they want to be remembered. Here is your quick guide.
Distinguish Amongst Your Different Documents
A final arrangements document serves as funeral wishes documentation. It is different from a will, which describes how the author would like to distribute their personal holdings.
A living will details an individual’s end-of-life plan. It mentions what treatment they would like to receive during their last days, including their desire to decline resuscitation.
There may be some overlap between a living will and documents for family final arrangements. If a living will affects where a person will receive care, their final arrangements paper may need to change. But the documents are largely separate from each other.
Touch Base With a Funeral Provider
An individual should have a good idea of who they want arranging their funeral. It is not necessary to name a particular funeral provider. But it expedites the process after the person dies.
They should visit websites like lavistamemorialpark.com and see what services are available. They can contact the website owner and receive a free quote on a funeral package. Some packages are adjustable, allowing a person to have the funeral they want.
A person can ask for services besides a funeral. Many providers are happy to arrange a celebration of life or a similar ceremony. They can also find a secular or non-Christian service as well.
If a person needs help with their document, they should talk to a lawyer. But they do not need to draft a formal paper if time is an issue.
Describe Your Wishes
Once a person has found a particular funeral provider, they can write about their final arrangements. They should begin the document with identifying information. Their name, address, and Social Security number may be enough.
They should then mention who they want to arrange their funeral. They should name a chaplain or religious official if they have one in mind.
The author should acknowledge where they want their remains to go. This is very important for cremation. Family members can sprinkle ashes anywhere, so the author should have a place in mind for them.
The author can also ask for additional means of memorialization. They can ask that others start a fund in their name or build a memorial in a certain place.
How to Write a Final Arrangements Document
A final arrangements document is not a will. It describes the author’s wishes for memorialization and deposition of their remains.
An author should talk to a funeral provider about their options and quotes. They can examine cremation or burial. They can get a religious, secular, or informal service that reflects their personality.
The document should be formal, containing identifying information. It should then give specific details about the funeral, naming who will be in charge of it.