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After a death in the family, “When Does a Family Have its First Real Dispute?”

Why planning the funeral of course!

A funeral comes at a time when the death of a loved one is recent and close, and many people are still in shock and in some cases struggling with the reality of loss. Planning a funeral after a death is closing the barn door after the horse has gone. Funerals help grieving loved ones come to terms with death and say their final goodbyes… but for the person planning the funeral the experience can sometimes be frustrating, painful, and expensive. Planning ahead for your own funeral—discussing it with your loved ones and even including your wishes in your estate plan—can remove this burden from their shoulders when the time comes.

Although pre-planning a funeral is essential and pre-paying for a funeral may make good financial sense. That being said, before you prepay these costs, you need to comparison shop the same way you comparison shop for any other large item you purchase. According to The Funeral Consumers Alliance , if you don’t choose properly, things can go wrong.

In addition, in just about every will or trust you will find something about the estate “paying the deceased’s final expenses," otherwise known as funeral and/or memorial costs. As a small portion of what can sometimes be a very large and intricate document, this “final expense" clause can seem unimportant—but our firm knows better.

Talking about your wishes for “your funeral and for the final disposition of your remains" is something that should always be discussed with Ilene during the estate planning process. Whether you choose to pre-plan your funeral or not, having some basic instructions in your Red Estate Planning Binder or your health care directive for your preferences regarding burial, cremation, organ donation and so on will be a huge help to your loved ones during a difficult and emotional time.

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Ilene L. McCauley and Frederick H. Goldinov are licensed to practice law in the State of Arizona. The law firm of Goldinov & McCauley, PLC provides legal services for clients in the State of Arizona. The information provided on this website and our blog is general and educational in nature and should not be construed as legal or tax advice, nor does the use of the website create an attorney/client relationship. Laws of specific states or laws relevant to a particular situation may affect the applicability, accuracy or completeness of this information which cannot take the place of one-on-one personal legal consultation and advice. Federal and state laws and regulations are complex and subject to change. No legal representation is created, and we make no warranties with regard to the information or results obtained by its use. Neither the authors nor anyone forwarding or reproducing this work shall have any liability or responsibility to any person or entity with respect to any loss or damage caused, or alleged to be caused, directly or indirectly, by the information contained in this website or blog.

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