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Funeral planning as part of an estate plan

Some people in Florida might wonder whether they should include their wishes for funeral arrangements in a will. The advantage of putting this in a will is that it can be enforced. The disadvantage is that reading over the will is generally not the first step people take following the death of a loved one. Once the family finds and reviews the will, the funeral may have already taken place.

A better option may be to create what is known as a funeral planning declaration. This can include a person's instructions for the funeral or another memorial. It can also appoint someone to manage those arrangements. FPDs used to be rare, but they are growing in popularity. An alternative is discussing funeral plans with a funeral director. While this is not legally binding, it is a way that people can make their wishes known, and usually, loved ones make an effort to fulfill those wishes.

If there is no FDP, the person named in the financial power of attorney may have control of a person's remains. However, an FDP may be the best choice to ensure that a person's wishes are carried out with fewer misunderstandings.

It may be best if people discuss their funeral wishes with family members as well. While these may not be comfortable conversations, making them ongoing can help loved ones get more accustomed to having them. This is also true for other estate planning documents. For example, people may have a living will that outlines the kind of end-of-life care they want, but they can discuss this with loved ones as well. They can also talk about the will or trust and why they have made certain decisions about who will inherit what assets. These conversations help family members understand the rationale behind the estate plan and may make challenges to it less likely.

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