How To

How To Create A Funeral Directive | GoodTrust

Sep-29 2021

What is a funeral directive?

Funeral directives detail a persons wishes around their funeral including services like depositions and memorial. Decisions also include whether you’d like to be buried or cremated, where your remains will reside, how the funeral will be funded or how you’d like your funeral to be conducted. A funeral directive can be created at any time but is often a complement to medical directives and sometimes also a will. A funeral directive usually appoints a primary person that holds the power to carry out the terms of your funeral. If you're ready to get started, you can create yours with GoodTrust here.

Why do I need one?

The funeral directive helps your loved ones who must make immediate decisions about the disposition of a body and funeral or memorial services. Without a funeral directive your next of kin or spouse/partner will decide for you and by creating a funeral directive your wishes regarding your funeral arrangements and desires will be known to the person you designate and hopefully taken into consideration. It is often a relief for survivors to find a funeral directive with wishes instead of them having to make all these decisions themselves.

In what circumstances could my funeral directive be overturned?

While in most states written wishes of the deceased must be legally honored, there are a few where funeral directives can potentially be overturned. It is still important to record your wishes despite these circumstances just make sure to do research on the laws specific to your state so you are informed of these details. Funeral directives can also be overturned if the wishes are impractical, illegal, or financially taxing.

8 Steps to filling out your funeral directive

Step 1: Appointee 

The appointee will carry out the terms of your funeral directive and make sure all your wishes are respected. If you have any specific requests, they can use their power to make sure these plans become reality. An appointee can be your spouse or executor, but that is not a requirement.

Step 2: Death Announcement 

Decide whether or not you would like to have a death announcement for everyone outside your close family and friends. If you do wish to have one, you can decide whether you want it posted on social media like facebook, or an official obituary in the newspaper. If you have any special requests, let your appointee know by specifying "other".

Step 3: Organ Donations 

Confirm if you are a registered donor in your state or not. If you are, let your family know which one of your organs you would like to be donated, and for what cause. Things you may way want to consider include which ...

Step 4: Final Disposition of My Body

Now it is time to decide on your final disposition. This is a big decision, so you should take some time to think about the choices listed below. Think about previous funerals in your family and perhaps and if you would like have similar arrangements.

Step 5: Service in My Memory 

Your funeral service is the next important part and it will determine how your loved ones will remember you. If you do want a formal funeral service, you have different options to choose from.

Step 6: Your funeral

This is the main part of your funeral directive. Pick the location of your church or any other accommodation where your funeral is going to be held. You can then decide who gets to attend your funeral and you can appoint an officiant if you have one. You will also determine if you want your body to be presented at your funeral, and who will hold a eulogy. You can also note what kind of music you have in mind, and who should play it. Other arrangements like flowers, dress code, and streaming services are open to your choice.

Step 7: Remaining Estate 

This step determines how your funeral will be financed. You should check if you have an insurance that partly or fully covers funeral costs. If you do not have an insurance, you can finance the funeral by taking money out of your estate. The total costs of a funeral depend on location, service, memorial and other arrangements. According to the latest data from the National Funeral Directors Association, the average cost of a funeral and burial is $7,360.

Step 8: Additional end of life wishes

In this step you can write out any additional wishes you have for your appointee. Think about special people you would like to thank or any other personalized arrangements made in your name.

We understand that confronting yourself with your own mortality is often scary and intimidating. Having to think about your own funeral is burdening and lays heavy on ones shoulder. However preplanning your funeral and expressing your wishes will give your family security and doesn't leave them in the dark.

What more features does GoodTrust have? 

In addition to funeral directives, GoodTrust also offers more features and directives to ensure your legacy is secured. This includes our free will service and will soon include an advance healthcare directive and POA (power of attorney). You can find more information on GoodTrust's services in the articles linked below.

Get started with your free GoodTrust account today and explore everything related to your digital legacy and estate planning.