End of Life Arrangement FAQs

  1. What does “estate planning” include?
  2. Estate planning arranges for all of your assets and property to be appropriately handled when you die. It includes a will, trusts, property and gift designations, as well as designating beneficiaries and giving power of attorney.

  3. Do I need to hire an attorney for my estate planning?
  4. With the legal intricacies involved in the many levels of estate planning, it is advised that you hire an attorney to handle all aspects of your estate. However, you are not legally obligated to hire an attorney.

  5. Do I really need life insurance?
  6. Having life insurance is a choice, but it is a wise choice for any stage of life. At a minimum, life insurance can cover the costs related to your funeral expenses. It can also protect your dependents, your property, your business and provide for your surviving spouse.

  7. Who benefits from my life insurance policy?
  8. Life insurance policies differ in their purpose and end results. Generally speaking, you can choose dependents or beneficiaries who will receive assistance if or when you die. These beneficiaries are named by you, so you determine who benefits from your life insurance policy.

  9. What does a traditional funeral include?
  10. A traditional funeral includes a wake (sometimes called a viewing or visitation) and then a funeral service, culminating in the burial at a cemetery.

  11. What is the difference between a funeral and a memorial service?
  12. A funeral is held shortly after death. There may or may not also be a wake, or a viewing/visitation. A memorial service or celebration of life can be held at any time as it is typically done without the presence of a body.

  13. Should I choose my own casket?
  14. It is a good idea to pre-select and pay for your own casket if you intend to utilize one. Be sure you know the terms of the sale to ensure there are no issues when the time comes to use it.

  15. How much does a funeral cost?
  16. Traditional funerals can cost thousands of dollars. You will need to consider everything from the cost of the casket to the funeral home to the burial plot and the headstone or marker. It is best to plan ahead for these costs so your loved ones don’t get stuck with a large bill in their time of sorrow.

  17. Is cremation good for the environment?
  18. Cremation emits greenhouse gases and other harmful chemicals into the air during the process. However, there are new methods aiming for “green” burials. If your main concern is the environmental impact of your death, be sure to do local research to find a company trying to offset that impact.

  19. Can I have a funeral if I choose to be cremated?
  20. Absolutely. You can rent or purchase a casket for a service prior to cremation. You could also have a funeral with the urn instead of a casket.

  21. What are alternatives to a traditional funeral?
  22. You can choose a memorial service to be held at any point in time, you could choose to donate your body to science or you could choose to be cremated with the ashes scattered. What happens is a personal decision, best made with all the options and details known.

  23. Who should write my obituary?
  24. You can choose to draft your own obituary ahead of time, if you’d like. Otherwise, a loved one should write your obituary after you pass. The decision can be up to your family and friends, or you might ask someone ahead of time to be responsible for the task.

  25. Why do I need to plan ahead?
  26. You don’t need to plan ahead, but it is wise to make arrangements if at all possible. When a loved one passes, the many decisions to be made can be overwhelming during an already difficult time of grief.

  27. How do I know if I have done everything to plan ahead?
  28. You can peruse our in-depth guides to ensure you have made all the necessary arrangements ahead of time. There is much to consider, but the more you take care of in advance, the less your family and friends will have to do when the time comes.

  29. Can’t someone else deal with all these arrangements?
  30. Yes, absolutely. Whether you don’t want to or can’t make your own end-of-life arrangements, someone else can take over that responsibility when the time comes. It is still a good idea, however, to try to discuss your wishes with the person who would be responsible for decisions.


What Are Some Alternatives to Funerals?

Seniors making end-of-life arrangements should be mindful that they have various alternatives to funerals. Some of these options include donating your body to science and cremation. To find out more alternatives seniors have when making end-of-life arrangements, download our guide today.


How Can Seniors Protect Their Families Financially After Their Passing?

There are several ways a senior’s family can be financially protected after his or her passing. Seniors can consider managing their debt, writing a will, setting up a trust or enrolling in life insurance, for instance. To learn more about how a senior can protect his or her family financially, download our guide now.