Are you planning or in the middle of a divorce? While you may have a lot to think about and do right now, one thing that should not be overlooked is funeral pre-arrangement planning. Why? And how should you pre-plan? Here's what every spouse needs to know as their marriage reaches an end.
Why Is Pre-Planning Important Now?
Every adult American should pre-plan some or all of their final arrangements. After all, tragedy can strike at any time, anywhere. But when a marriage dissolves, additional problems can arise if something unexpected happens to you.
For instance, if you have an accident or health crisis before your divorce is actually finalized, your soon-to-be ex-spouse may still be the legal next of kin. They would make decisions about your remains and your funeral. Vengeful spouses might choose a disposition that you or your family don't want, they can bar your loved ones from the funeral, or they could decide not to have services that are important to you.
Even if your spouse is not angry or embittered, estranged spouses may still end up with the right and responsibility to plan your final arrangements. They may not know what your wishes would be. They might not be in a position to plan. Or perhaps they don't get along with your surviving family. Any of these can cause a lot of problems for everyone.
How Can You Pre-Plan?
Now that you know why it's especially important now, the question is how should you pre-plan. There are two important components to good funeral pre-planning.
The first is to work with a funeral home to codify your wishes, make budget decisions, and choose burial or cremation. In general, you have two options for pre-planning: pre-planning alone or planning with pre-payment. Paying for services in advance goes a long way toward ensuring your plans will be fulfilled no matter what your spouse or ex has to say about it.
The second step is to complete estate planning with your divorce in mind. Your surviving family generally must adhere to your wishes written in a legally valid will. This document, then, gives additional weight to any pre-arrangements you've made with a funeral home — whether pre-paid or not.
Where Should You Start?
Both the idea of divorce and that of planning for your own demise are not fun things to think about. But they're necessary and important. Start by learning more about funeral pre-arrangement plans in your area today.