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It's Your Funeral and Last Party: Have You Planned Anything?

Updated on November 3, 2011

Well, heck. Back in the real old days, now I'm speaking aways back, back to the early early 1900's or before then, not a lot of planning for one's end occurred. You just died in your final act, put in a pine box, a brief sermon from the preacher and lowered into Mother Earth. Things have stayed that way for many, depending on the amount of wealth one accumulated. Seems like, the richer you are in this life, the more planning and complicated it is, legally, to prepare for your final day. The day when your time is up. Period. Forever.

Regardless of your age, the whole topic is difficult to even address for many. Others, seem to enjoy planning every nuance of the funeral-what to share, when, theme of party, etc. Of course, the younger you are, the more distant this "plan" seems to be needed, even though, death can and has visited many at any age. The reason for this is because most young people have not accumulated much to hand down to loved ones. But there is also this feeling of immunity from death, I mean, geez, I am too young, it's not my time. Or is it? Older adults continue with this feeling also, consider it a legacy thing from their youth. It is just hard to believe that this party of life will end. Forever is a long time. It is hard to grasp. Sooner or later, the older adults start seeing obituaries of people in their own generation with birth dates close to their own. Hmm, now it is more of a reality. Those in their 70's+, know death is around the corner somewhere, no more denying it. It is just a question of "when".

The easiest way is create a Will or a Living Trust that details the specifics of your estate and who gets what and when. You designate a trustee who will handle the Trust upon your death. The whole thing is only complicated when you have a lot of material things and real estate. The more you have, the more work it is. If you make changes to the Trust, you do so via a Codicil, which is basically an amendment.

Is being cremated better than being buried? I mean, you are dead. You will never know when you are put into an oven 3000 degrees and turned to ash to be sprinkled on a favorite plant or on the ocean. Being buried is the same, just takes way longer. The difference is cost. Cremation is much cheaper. Being buried requires a casket and tombstone and plot. I know, it is just the thought of being put into an oven. Auchswitz comes to mind.

Some planners have their obituaries already written, waiting for that dead end day. They have already selected the highlights of their life in film, video and photos for the funeral party. Are we celebrating their death or life or both? They have selected where to be put or scattered. But of those over 50 yrs, 80% still have not seriously planned for their death. Only a small portion have prepaid their death costs.

Like I said, facing reality bites. Don't wanna do it.


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    • perrya profile image

      perrya 6 years ago

      I agree, my mother did something similar and it did make things easier, but still........

    • DarylnCochrane profile image

      Darylen Cochrane 6 years ago from New York, NY

      I think planning your own funeral is about the most responsible and generous thing anyone can do for their loved ones. Most of the time it's the person who is mourning the most who ends up making the arrangements. It will make things so much easier if everything is already in place. For those who don't have substantial death insurance, it would be especially convenient to plan ahead. I have an aunt 82 years old with cancer. She is doing okay for now, but of course we don't know how much longer she will be around. She has planned her funeral already. She wants to be cremated and have a small memorial service for the family. All taken care of - total cost: less than $5,000. Her obituary is written. I think it's pretty cool to be able to have input into that while you are still alive! I know that when she passes the family will very much appreciate everything already being arranged and paid for.

    • FGual profile image

      FGual 6 years ago from USA

      Being reminded of something difficult to face is unpleasant. Mama will be 91 this month, how much longer? The thought won't leave me alone, as we did not have a good relationship and I moved far away decades ago. I'm 30 years younger and have no end plan.

    • vrajavala profile image

      vrajavala 6 years ago from Port St. Lucie

      Interesting. I just read an ad in a Veteran's magazine, Bivouac, that this funeral parlor will cremate Veterans for free.

      I was glad to hear about that.

    • perrya profile image

      perrya 6 years ago

      I agree. My mom had a living trust 10 yrs before she died. She would always remind me of changes. I did not want to talk about it. Then, she did die. I was the trustee and simply followed out her instructions.

    • Gail Meyers profile image

      Gail Meyers 6 years ago from Kansas City - United States

      I had never lost a loved one until I was 41 years old, but did not realize how fortune I was. In the last six years since that time, I have lost three extended family members. Having your affairs in order and prearranging your funeral is a huge gift to the loved ones left behind. The death of a loved one is very difficult and having to make a lot of arrangements and decisions during that time really adds to the stress in my opinion.