If you pass away without making your own funeral arrangements, someone will be required to make these decisions for you. If you have not designated a person (executor) to make these decisions, the responsibility will land with your closest living relative, often referred to as your next of kin.
Next of kin is determined in the following order:
- Spouse/domestic partner
- Adult children
- Authorized guardian
- Nieces and nephews
- Grand-nieces and grand-nephews
- Fiduciary (a legally appointed trustee)
After your passing, your next of kin will be required to make several important decisions on your behalf including whether you should be buried or cremated, whether to hold a traditional funeral service or a memorial service, which religious traditions might be followed, where the interment or service should take place and often much more.
The loss of a loved one, especially if the death was unexpected, can be very overwhelming and emotional, making it challenging to make decisions. It is additionally challenging if you are making decisions without any direction from the deceased. Your loved ones want to honour you and your final wishes, which can be very difficult if they don’t know what they are.
The best way to ensure your wishes are followed, and to relieve any pressure from your loved ones, is to designate someone for this role and to share your wishes with them. Since there can often be disagreements among families after a passing, it is best to document your wishes and to formalize them legally where possible. It is also advisable to share your wishes with your immediate family circle so there is no question as to what your wishes were.
Another alternative to ensure your wishes are followed and that there are no difficulties or emotional burdens placed on your family is to pre-plan your funeral and make the arrangements yourself. Before an emergency or unexpected health issue arises, it is ideal to work with a funeral home to formally create final disposition and funeral service arrangements.
Pre-planning your funeral is a simple process that the experienced and compassionate team at Country Hills Crematorium can assist you with. You can make the selections that are right for you and have the peace of mind that your final arrangements will be carried out how you wanted with little additional input required from your loved ones or next of kin. If you choose to pre-pay for your arrangements you may also find a financial benefit to securing today’s pricing without incurring any cost adjustments due to inflation.
More information on Pre-Planning Your Funeral can be found here.
Our Funeral Directors would be happy to answer any questions you may have and to help you get the process of planning your final arrangements started. Please contact us at (403)274-0576.