Monday, February 25, 2008

Funeral Planning

Today's Washington Post published Hey, It's Your Funeral. I find it a bit on the lightweight side and a bit on the eccentric side. I cannot imagine many building their own coffins. As a lawyer, I think emphasizing an ethical Will over estate planning and a Last Will and Testament is a bit silly.

The article made two points I cannot quibble (much) over.

"Create an end-of-life planning kit. Include everything personal about you, from the simple (name and Social Security number) to the more complex (your pet's veterinarian, your funeral wishes, whether you want to be an organ donor, the locations of important documents)."
Pre-planning the funeral ought to have been by you. Funeral wishes need not be followed. I will repeat that a power of attorney and a healthcare power of attorney are necessary documents. Get them.

I really cannot quibble with this:
Know the legal issues. Understand what is and is not required at the time of death. Your postmortem options depend on where you live. In most states, embalming is not required, and your family need not go through a funeral home. Families can file the death certificate themselves, hold a funeral at home and transport your remains to an appropriate resting spot without intermediaries. This depends on your state's right-to-disposition laws, which govern who is able to deal with your body.