What kind of funeral do you want?

I recently spent time with my family of origin for a funeral. It was out of town, so I spent a lot of time with my family that day.

Because I’m an estate planning and estates lawyer, I think about death and the processes after death often. Not everyone does.

After the lovely service and reception, I took the opportunity on the way home to ask questions about what kind of service my family members wanted. I’m glad I did, because I certainly learned a few things.

One member of my family doesn’t want a religious ceremony or a typical wake. He wants an open bar for his friends and family at his favourite local pub. Definitely not what I expected, but it certainly makes sense for this person.

Another member of my family said that they don’t want anyone to wear black. If you have met me, you know that 90% of my wardrobe is black. I told them I would buy the brightest outfit possible to wear to their funeral and honour their wishes.

For myself, I’m still trying to figure out what I want. One thing I don’t want is carnations – funeral flowers to me. While I don’t really need any flowers at my funeral, I would certainly prefer something more visually interesting and, well, happier. I also would like something more non-traditional, maybe with live music from some local musicians. I am still figuring it out.

I do ask my estate planning clients about their funeral and wishes for their remains. Most people don’t want to mention it, or will only mention something generally, like yes to burial, no to cremation. Often plans are left for executors to determine. It can be tough to make these decisions in the immediate aftermath of a loss, especially if you have never discussed it.

No one likes to think about death and dying, but having these conversations certainly helps you learn what your loved ones want (or don’t want). It allows you to make plans tailored to them and their wishes.

Of course, if you really want to have a say in your own funeral, you can go ahead and pre-plan your funeral, and pre-pay it. This will allow you an opportunity to think about what you want, don’t want, and will simplify the funeral process after you are gone.

Are you ready to start planning for this? We can help you with decision making and preparing your legal documents. Call or text us at 613-933-7720 today to get started, or fill out an intake here.

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