Estate planning is an essential task that many do not complete. Death is a taboo subject in many places, and the impending loss of a loved one makes it difficult to approach the topic. However, while sufficiently organizing your estate is an important thing to do, among that is another topic that is helpful to think about: your funeral. Some may not care what their funeral looks like, or if they have one at all. However, many people have funeral wishes, but the problem is that family and friends may not be aware of said wishes. While having conversations with the important people in your life will help clarify your requests, having written instructions will alleviate many of the planning struggles, especially while your loved ones are going through grief.
If no instructions have been left, then it is the state of California that will determine who plans your funeral. The state follows a specific order of who to assign such a role, but this can cause unnecessary drama if family members do not agree on what should be done. However, leaving written instructions will ensure responsibility is distributed according to your wishes. What is important, is that your wishes are not left in a will. Given the time-sensitive nature of funeral requests, the instructions are best left with an attorney, your executor, and/or other trusted people.
The instructions can include how you wish to be buried or cremated, where that should take place, the details for an accompanying ceremony, the people involved in the ceremony, and who should be fulfilling each of the requests in the instructions. Something else that you can also do is to set aside some of the funds for your funeral ahead of time. Other possibilities include pre-determining the mortuary or funeral home that fulfills some of the detailed requests.