You may think that after you die, you can rest easy because you are no longer involved with the living world. In reality, your death and subsequent funeral still affects the people around you.
In addition, you may want your arrangements and assets to be taken care of in a certain way. In those cases, here are a few tips for making your funeral easier for your family.
Talk it over
So that your final arrangements don't come as a complete surprise to the people who have to deal with them, it's a good idea to sit down at least once with the people affected and to tell them what you're planning.
You may encounter some resistance because many people do not like to talk about death and its consequences. You can soften the blow by explaining that your discussions are meant to make it easier for those who survive to deal with the aftermath.
Be sure to include any non-family members who will be important to the proceedings, such as members of the clergy, funeral directors, attorneys, financial planners and the executor of your state.
Write it down
Your desires are only as good as the paper they're printed on. Writing everything down not only clarifies your thoughts but gives instructions to your family at a time when they need to consult with you the most. Make clear how you want your body to be taken care of, such as in a burial or cremation, as well as where your final resting place is going to be.
Discuss what services you want performed, if any, and by whom. Finally, end your instructions with words of gratitude and love, so people can benefit from your good feelings at the time that they needed most.
Take care of the legal requirements
Whatever instructions you give are only guidelines that your family may or may not follow. They have no legal standing when disagreements arise.
To prevent your family members from bickering over the details or the government taking over, don't forget to set up legal documents with a lawyer that clarify your wishes. Chief among these pieces of paper's are your last will and testament, which designates what to do with your property and names an executor to carry out your desires.
Then there's the power of attorney, which names someone to take charge of your financial and legal affairs if you lack the capacity to deal with them while you are still alive.
Finally, prepare a living will, which explains what you want done in case you can't speak for yourself if you're incapacitated, and a medical power of attorney, which explains what medical care you want to receive if you cannot make decisions on your own.
Take care of your digital life
When preparing for your end-of-life, it's easy enough to ignore your digital assets because they do not have any tangible form. And yet, what you have online, such as a Facebook page or family tree, may be important to your heirs or be a source of income, such as a website on which you sell ads.
Many websites and online service providers have forms that you can fill out to specify with your Internet life after you're gone. For example, you can tell Facebook to memorialize your page so others can leave messages of condolence.
Leave your passwords with your executor or a trusted family member so your online accounts remain accessible.