Few people enjoy the concept of facing their own mortality, which results in family members being left behind having to address all of the legal questions and compile all of the required paperwork after a loved one's death. A growing trend for those who wish to ease that burden is funeral pre-planning. It gives you the opportunity to make all of the necessary decisions so that your loved ones don't have to. If you're interested in pre-planning for your services, you may want to create a storage folder that provides your family members with all of the necessary information. Here's a look at the things that you should include.
Your loved ones will need a lot of personal information and vital records in the days and weeks following your death. You can simplify this by collecting everything and keeping it in one single file folder. Here are some documents that they will need, and why.
- Birth Certificate – this provides a host of vital details that will need to be supplied for life insurance and the death investigation. It includes your date and place of birth, identification of your parents and your family background.
- Social Security Card – Not only will your loved ones need to supply your Social Security number for some identification information, but there may also be instances where your Social Security card itself is required for documentation.
- Marriage Certificate – whether you are survived by your spouse or not, your family members may need to have a copy of this as documentation of your marital status.
- Will and Insurance Records – Some of the most important things you'll include in this file include copies of your will and any insurance policies you have. Don't limit it to just life insurance – your loved ones will need to address your car, health and home insurance as well.
- Financial Records – You'll need to include your bank records, investments, property deeds, cemetery plot records and other financial records.
Bills and Open Accounts
Include copies of your current balances or most recent account statements for all of your open credit lines, your insurance company, your estate tax estimates, and any medical bills. If you have paid for your funeral services ahead, add the printed statements that show what you've paid for, exactly what you want and where your cemetery plot is. Your family will have to settle your outstanding estate costs, so make sure that you include everything that might come due or is already due.
One of the hardest things for loved ones to do is track down contact information for friends, employers, church members and any other important individuals. Consider including a list of all of the people that you want your loved ones to notify, as well as anyone else you think they may need to reach out to.
With the tips presented here, you can complete your funeral pre-planning and provide your family members with a complete folder of everything that they will need immediately following your death. If your goal is to simplify the process so that they can focus on mourning and learning how to move forward, this is the way to go. Contact a funeral home, such as Morris Nilsen Funeral Chapel, for further information about pre-funeral planning.