Day 26 of the Legacy Notebook Series
More writing for us today.
Today’s topic is something that most of us avoid thinking about if at all possible. For our project today, I’m asking you to answer some questions that might make you squirm a little, but if you can work your way through the questions and jot down answers, it will be really helpful for your loved ones.
Here we go. Grab a piece of paper (or keyboard) and make some notes to capture your wishes. You could copy and paste the questions into your own document if that helps. The idea here is to get your preferences and wishes written down to minimize the number of decisions your loved ones have to make on your behalf after your death (during which time they will be wondering if their guesses are anywhere close to what you would have chosen).
Even if your answer to most of these questions is “I don’t care”, write it down so that the people close to you don’t have to guess. It is a special kind of awful to make decisions on someone else’s behalf when you are clueless about their wishes. Yes, of course, these are things we should talk about with “our people” but it doesn’t always happen. Make it just a little easier on those you leave behind by sharing your wishes.
If there are certain things that you really don’t want to happen after you’re gone, be clear about those too. Your family will want to honor your wishes and that’s way easier to do when they know the details. If you despise the hymn “Amazing Grace” but are fine with any other hymns someone might choose, jot that down.
What do you want to happen to your body after you die?
donation to science – where, arrangements, contact info
burial – funeral home preference, cemetery/burial location preference, headstone and coffin preferences
cremation – funeral home preference, disposition of ashes
What kind of services and rituals do you want to be conducted?
visitation, wake, funeral, memorial, celebration of life, disposition of ashes
burial to take place only with family present or open to the public?
luncheon reception, outdoor BBQ, or three-day party following the service?
If a service will be held, are there particular readings or hymns that should be included?
Are there individuals that you’d like to fill specific roles for the service?
obituary preferences or pet peeves?
Expressions of sympathy: flower arrangements or memorials to certain organizations?
Today’s Action Items:
- Make notes about your wishes and add it to your notebook
- Pat yourself on the back for tackling this one – no small feat
thanks for reading,
P.S. Looking for the rest of the series? You can find it here.
Stronger Wallet’s Legacy Notebook series information is intentionally general in nature and covers typical scenarios. You may have special circumstances that need to be considered. Always consult a trusted advisor before making big decisions about your financial legacy. Feel free to send me questions along the way at lesley[at]strongerwallet.com.
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