When reviewing your estate planning documents, much of the time with your attorney is spent discussing options for distribution of assets, future decision-makers on your behalf, and who is allowed to obtain critical health information if you become disabled. Something that does not come up as often, but is equally as important, is your funeral and burial arrangements.
MCL 700.3701 provides that a personal representative “may carry out the decedent’s written instructions relating to the decedent’s body, funeral, and burial arrangements” and allows an individual to designate a funeral representative. It is very important to write out your wishes regarding your funeral and burial arrangements because this is often the first task your loved ones must make after your passing. Sometimes there will be a funeral and burial representative appointed in a Will. However, the funeral and burial arrangement decisions usually take place before anyone has reviewed the Will, making the Will an ineffective option for carrying out your wishes. Funeral and Burial arrangements are some of the most emotionally difficult decisions your family must make after you are gone, but having a detailed plan will help reduce stress in these difficult situations. Without a controlling document, your family may have to go to Probate Court in order to get someone appointed to make these decisions and conflict often occurs in this process. Also, going to court is almost always a difficult and expensive process, but court can be avoided with proper estate planning documents.
We include funeral and burial arrangements in all our estate plans created for our clients, as this is a very important document for reducing stress on your loved ones and carrying out your wishes after you pass. If you want to learn more about how to adequately plan for your funeral or any other estate planning questions, the estate planning attorneys of Wakefield, Sutherland & Lubera, PLC are happy to help! Ask for attorney Paul Wakefield or Connie Meech at 248-458-9860.
*This article is meant for informational purposes only. Please recognize that nothing in this article constitutes legal advice. If you have any questions, comments, or seek legal assistance, please call one of the attorneys at Wakefield, Sutherland and Lubera, P.C.