The Importance of Communicating Final Wishes

By Brittany Cotton

End-of-life discussions are one of the most challenging conversations most of us would like to avoid. It’s easier to talk about happy times than emotionally charged and near-taboo subjects of dying and death.


Despite the difficulty, these conversations are beneficial to you and your loved ones. The best time to discuss your preferences and available care options is before a crisis or life-threatening illness. Doing so minimizes the stress of making key decisions when in distress.


How to Prepare Your Family and Loved Ones for This Time in Your Life



Proper preparation will also help you avoid anxiety and uncertainty about your wishes.


If you make a solid plan ahead of time, everyone will understand what to expect, making it easier to deal with your passing. Organized and well-thought-out arrangements also take away the financial burden from those close to you.


Plan for a Family Meeting



Setting aside time to discuss end-of-life wishes gives each person time to prepare mentally for the discussion.


Look for a relaxing and comfortable place, be it your home, a park, or a favorite restaurant. The space should be comfortable enough for you to communicate your preferences confidently.


Ensure the primary decision-makers and any other loved ones whom the discussion will impact attend. Keep in mind that there may be potential disagreements due to the emotional nature of the talks. What’s important is expressing your thoughts and carrying on the discussion after the initial meeting.


Document the Final Wishes



It’s essential to note down your final wishes concisely and clearly. They should include particular details, such as:

  • Directions on whether to cremate or bury you
  • Preferred readings, speeches, and music
  • Expected speakers
  • Type of service and venue
  • Casket options and flowers


You can share this document with other family members so everyone is on the same page.


Explore Funding Options



You can eliminate the financial burden of a funeral by looking for funding. Some funeral homes offer pre-payment plans, funeral trusts, and funeral insurance. Discuss different options before selecting one that most suits your family’s financial capacity.


Prepare Key Documents



Having access to the necessary documents simplifies the pre-planning process. Important documents include financial records, wills, insurance, and identification papers. Ensure you have easy access, but keep them in a safe place.


Tips for Making Funeral Planning/Arrangements Less Stressful



Organizing a funeral can be overwhelming and stressful. Making decisions when grieving is often challenging, especially because your loved ones wish to give you the best send-off.


Although the process may be unpleasant, you can make it less stressful in several ways.


Create a Budget



Funerals are often expensive, but you can reduce expenses with thoughtful planning. Ensure you set a specific budget after considering your final wishes.


You can start by comparing funeral home options, services, and prices. Request itemized price lists to determine the costs of particular options.


The casket is another critical consideration. It’s essential to remember that the casket you select doesn’t lower the love and respect for you. Instead of an expensive, elaborate design, you can opt for a more affordable model.


If you prefer hosting the service at a venue, find out whether you can borrow or rent equipment like chairs and audio systems. It’s more affordable than hiring through the funeral home or buying the items.


Select a Funeral Home



When selecting a funeral home, opt for a compassionate and reputable provider. Instead of making an online comparison, consider visiting several funeral homes in advance. Doing so will give you confidence in your choice and comfort in knowing where you will rest.


Go for the funeral home with the most comprehensive services. The staff should also understand your religious or cultural preferences.


Decide Between Cremation and Burial



Your choice of whether to opt for cremation or burial depends on factors such as your culture, religion, and personal beliefs.


It’s a good idea to order a customized headstone or monument if you prefer a burial. For cremation, consider how you want your family to handle the ashes. You can choose a final resting place with a monument, preserve the urn, or opt to scatter or bury the ashes.


Embrace Final Wish Discussions



Discussing final wishes is beneficial for multiple reasons. Being aware of your preferences gives your family a better perspective and saves you some money. It also eliminates the need to make tough decisions when emotions are likely to cloud judgment.


Furthermore, pre-planning and sharing final wishes give you peace of mind while nurturing relationships.

Leave a Reply

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.