A Will Writer’s View about Funeral Plans

Posted by on Apr 18, 2014 in Pre-Paid Funeral | Comments Off on A Will Writer’s View about Funeral Plans

A Will Writer’s View about Funeral Plans
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I am a will writer and I see clients regularly who know nothing about what happens when someone dies. Here I hope to share some of my thoughts with your readers.

It is a very difficult time for anyone, young or old, to deal with the death of a loved one. Having had personal experience with this I can relate to this, first hand.

I do feel that there is a need to supply clients with a breakdown of ‘what to do when someone passes away’. I strongly feel that the list should not be over extensive, but to indicate the initial matters to deal with.

Probate and estate administration should be at the bottom of the list and should not go into a great deal of detail, but give an indication of how to obtain further information once the funeral has been dealt with.

People have indicated to me that they have no idea what to do when someone dies, other than contacting a doctor. It is somewhat a little easier when someone dies in hospital as some of the initial matters are dealt with by hospital employees.

Many people have no idea why it is necessary to have a post mortem. However, some are daunted by having to go to the register office to register the death and are totally out on a limb. If someone takes out a funeral plan it does take a lot of the pressure off the family in trying to sort the initial matters out.

I know myself that elderly people do not talk to their children or family about their wishes for their funeral and this can make things extremely difficult at a time of grieving, especially to sort out the final arrangements for a loved one and deciding what they would actually like.

Very often only the choice of a burial or a cremation is indicated in a will.

Having had the forethought to choose a funeral plan indicating their funeral choices, it is one less burden for the family to deal with.

I do agree that many relative’s second thoughts are ‘How much are they getting from the will,’ but it is also important for the deceased to have left details of where the will is and to know who the executors are.

Many people do not even discuss with their families who their doctor is. I know when my mother passed away she was in hospital, but if she had been at home I would not have had a clue who her doctor was. I think it is this sort of information being jotted down with easy access to the family, so that they can help at a most difficult time.

I think one of the basic faults with many people is that ‘dying’ and ‘funerals’ are taboo subjects and are not openly discussed with families, everyone just thinks that ‘Oh they will know what I want,’ when in actual fact they will have no idea.

My mum was typical of this. I did not know what hymns or anything else she would have wanted, other than a cremation. All that she would say to me was that when she passed away she was leaving me loads of stuff to sort out (which she did feel guilty about) and nothing else.

I did a talk a while ago with a disabled group about estate planning matters & will writing and the talk lasted around 20 minutes or so. I did an open ‘clinic’ afterwards which lasted around 4 hours and I had a continual stream of people asking all sorts of questions, of which some were an eye opener to me.

Many had wills made 25 years ago and had no idea where it was now stored. Others were unmarried couples and they thought that their ‘common law’ partner would receive everything when they died, which they do not, automatically.

One of my hopes when a client contacts me regarding will writing is that I will spend time with them discussing all aspects of their wishes, unlike a local solicitor who will have a half hour appointment to take down details for their will and then a follow up appointment the following week, for signing. The majority of clients that I see are actually amazed at what little information they actually knew about wills and estate administration.

I thoroughly recommend that every client at least looks into the provision of a funeral plan, whether that’s for their parents or for their own use.

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