Pre-Planning Makes Perfect Sense

Talking about your final arrangements isn’t easy. But it doesn’t have to be hard.

For more information regarding prepaid funeral contracts, go to the website located at www.prepaidfunerals.texas.gov 

You could be encouraging a loved one to pre-plan. Or you could want to broach the topic of your own plans with your family. In either case, it’s all about approaching the topic with confidence and care. Don’t be surprised if discussing final wishes brings up strong emotions. Just reinforce that you’re doing this out of love, to make things easier in the future.

Questions and answers.

Your family is everything. So the last thing you’d want is to put them in a difficult position. A time of loss is a time of confusion, but your final arrangements don’t have to add to the uncertainty. Pre-planning your cemetery services can save your loved ones from having to make decisions while they’re grieving. And they won’t have to guess what you’d want. Making pre-arrangements is the financially responsible and emotionally conscientious thing to do. Instead of getting bogged down in details, your family will be able to focus on celebrating your life.

  • Why are you considering pre-planning?
  • How would you like your family to be involved in the process?
  • Now that we know your wishes, what should we do next?
  • Does this mean you anticipate needing a funeral soon?

Conversation starters.

Here are a few common reasons people pre-plan. These benefits could help guide your conversation.

  • Even if it’s far into the future, you’ll assure that a difficult time is less stressful for your loved ones.
  • When everything is determined in advance, families can focus on celebrating life, knowing that last wishes are perfectly fulfilled.
  • Planning a funeral can require over 150 decisions, and making those choices now, together, can be an experience that brings families closer.
  • Some people go so far as to pre-pay, and this is a gift to loved ones, because funerals often come at unexpected times. This act unburdens family members from what can be a sudden expense.

Appointment for Disposition of Remains.

WHO’S IN CHARGE AROUND HERE?!?

My family is perfect. We never argue and we always agree on everything…and if you believe that, I have some beachfront property in Arizona to talk to you about. I really do have a wonderful family but, as families go, our individual personalities make our family both blessed and challenged at the same time.

As a Funeral Director, I have the opportunity to meet with many different kinds of families during a time that is usually very difficult and stressful for them. It’s during these times that family dynamics and emotions are magnified. Both the blessings and challenges of each family are magnified to such a level that often it is difficult to make decisions that the whole family can happily agree to or even agree at all.

That brings us to the great question, who’s actually in charge when a person dies?

I’ve heard just about every different kind of claim to authority you can imagine. “I’m the favorite child” or “Daddy always said” or “I have power of attorney, so I decide”. As important as all of that is, it doesn’t give you the right to control the disposition of your loved one. (Gasp!) But…I have power of attorney! Did you know that ALL forms of power of attorney expire when the principal dies? True story. If there are not any kind of formal and legal written instructions to be found (such as a will or appointment of agent) when a person dies, the state of Texas says that the decedent’s next of kin has the authority to decide what happens. We are not going to get into how the next of kin is determined but we are going to loudly and with all of the emotion of loving Funeral Director proclaim that THERE IS A BETTER WAY!

There is a very simple, one page, document that you can fill out and sign in front of a notary that will give one person all of the needed authority to decide what happens to you when you die. It’s called “Appointment for Disposition of Remains” and it’s powerful. If that document is in place and a copy kept on file at the funeral home (or other safe place), whoever is designated on that form is in charge. Period.

You can look for it yourself by going to the Texas Health and Safety Code, Section 711.002.(b) or you can contact the funeral home and we’ll print one for you, email it, send it tied to a pigeon, or whatever it takes for you to have it.

Obviously I feel strongly about this document and for good reason. Too many times I’ve seen the pain and struggle of families that don’t get along and, while this document won’t solve family strife, it does provide a path for progress when needed.

It is a supremely loving gesture to have made the decisions for your family regarding your final disposition. No matter how you slice it, it’s a hard time and grief complicates things. When you meet with a Rest Haven staff member to talk about your options and make plans, allow us to serve you with this document and notarize it for you with our compliments. Blessings!

Dan Adams

Funeral Director

Rest Haven Funeral Home

Start the process together.

Our Pre-Planning Guide is a comprehensive resource for families, and our
Pre-Planning form walks you through decision making online.

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