Avoid family arguments about final expenses with three steps

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by John Tetzloff
Advanced Case Specialist

You can save your family additional struggles while they grieve. Follow these three steps to communicate your wishes on final expenses and estate planning decisions.

As I conduct many Estate Planning and End of Life Issues seminars, I discuss the importance of communication. Why? Having the courage to communicate our wishes to our spouses, kids, and our estate plan advisor is crucial to a good, solid plan. And good communication translates to savings. Typically, a pre-planned and pre-funded funeral could potentially save you and your heirs thousands of dollars.

Without a final expenses plan, a grieving family is left with making the decisions regarding funeral arrangements, church services, and burial details. And, they have to deal with the most stressful question: where is the money going to come from to pay these final expenses? Unfortunately, disagreements between kids and parents about these arrangements and bills inevitably happen.

Using appropriate documentation, you can save your family this additional struggle while they grieve. Follow these three steps to communicate your wishes on final expenses and estate planning decisions using appropriate documentation.

1. The pre-funding of your last expense costs is vitally important. By having a good, pre-funded plan, your heirs don’t have the worry or burden to find from the remaining estate the $10,000 (or more) that a funeral could potentially cost.

2. Decide on your funeral and burial arrangements in advance by working with the staff at your local funeral home. Casket choices, cremation urns, burial plots, and headstone inscriptions are all things you can pre-arrange, thus relieving your heirs of these decisions, details and potential arguments.

3. If you wish to have your Catholic faith represented, you must fill out a Catholic End of Life Health Care directive which will direct your heirs on Catholic services you wish to have from the hymns, pallbearers, Masses, and readers.

Remember, you shouldn’t have to do this on your own. The qualified sales representatives at Catholic United Financial can help guide you through all aspects of last expense planning:

 – assist in gathering the information
 – discuss the various options
 – provide applicable paperwork

Your local representative can work with you to make the last expense planning process easy, private, dignified, understandable, and thus, complete.

No matter the level of funeral and last expense planning you complete, communication is the most important aspect of that plan.

Catholic United Financial and John Tetzloff are not permitted to give tax or legal advice. The information given is based on our understanding and interpretation of laws and regulations currently in effect. You may wish to consult your personal tax or legal advisor with questions about your specific situation.