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How to Talk to Your Parents About Their Funeral Plans
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You might start by letting your parents know you and your partner have begun discussing your own estate plans and end of life arrangements. You can emphasize how important it is for you personally to be aware of their wishes on how they want to be honoured.
You should discuss some of the fundamental things of the funeral, like whether or not the final disposition is through burial or cremation, and which type of memorialization option in the cemetery is preferred for family reflection. Try to speak about what type of ceremony or service your parent would prefer. Not everyone wants a religious ceremony. People may want a ceremony that is more reflective of the lifestyle that they lived and hobbies they enjoyed; a ceremony that is more reflective of who they were specifically as a person.
Don Clarke, a licensed funeral director and Funeral Home Manager at Glen Oaks Funeral Home & Cemetery in Oakville, says that properly documenting the conversations that you have with your parents is imperative. “You need to document them because not all of your family members are necessarily going to be present for all of the conversations,” says Clarke. “When it’s written down it’s exact, it’s what your parents wanted.”
It’s just as important to then provide that written documentation to a funeral home or a cemetery, who can store the information in a permanent repository.
“It doesn’t help if, when the time comes, that document is in the sock drawer and nobody knows where it is,” says Clarke.
The Estate Planning kit is also an extremely helpful tool that helps families ensure that all of the important, personal details are documented with full input from your parents.