Many of our clients feel strongly about burial and cremation. Over two-thirds of Arizonans, in fact, prefer cremation over burial. In this podcast episode we discuss some steps you should take to help assure your wishes are carried out.
We often include burial and cremation directions in our estate planning documents. But, as we explain here, that’s not really the best way to direct your funeral/burial arrangements. What should you do? Several things:
- Discuss your preferences with your family. Include any family members you think might not agree with your choices.
- Make arrangements with a funeral provider. Sign any forms they offer to describe your wishes. And, most importantly, pre-pay for your chosen arrangements.
- Do you prefer cremation? Sign a cremation directive. Then put it with your other important documents.
- Do you intend to donate your body to science, or to a particular organization? Make sure that you have contacted them, discussed the process, and signed any documents necessary to accomplish the donation.
- Do you favor burial in a family plot, or with other family or loved ones? And make sure there’s a plot in your name, and make sure everyone knows the details. And prepay for transportation, and the actual burial arrangements.
- In your will and/or power of attorney, spell out your burial and cremation preferences. But that’s not sufficient all by itself — it just helps make sure your family knows you were serious.
Cremation frequency is rising rapidly, with industry experts estimating that well over half of all Americans choose cremation. Interestingly, with a large increase in deaths in 2020, cremation rates appear to have accelerated somewhat. But if you want to direct burial or cremation you should take steps to ensure your wishes are carried out.