Making a Will – Part 2Posted on September 30th, 2012 under Wealth of Advice
By Francisco J. Colayco
However, a Will need not only be about money. There is such a thing as a “Living Will” which clarifies what your wishes when it comes to life prolonging medical treatments. When you are sick and need all kinds of special medical treatments, your family and relatives may end up spending all your money, including their money and even borrow just to make you well. Perhaps, that will not be fair if you are already at an age when you have lived a good life and your family should keep the money so they can live a good life. This is something you should think about ahead of time and prepare a “Living Will” for.
Funeral Arrangements can also be part of a Will. It could specify how you want your funeral arrangements to be. Do you want to be cremated? Do you want to have a wake so that family, friends and associates can have their last chance of viewing? How much do you want to spend for your funeral? Do you prefer that people send you flowers or do you prefer that they give the amount they would spend to your favorite charity. I personally would prefer to be cremated and with a one-day, at most two days, wake with a mass and simple funeral. I think that what is most important are prayers. For me flowers could be dispensed with. I’d rather sympathizers donate their budget for flowers to support my advocacy instead.
Part of your preparation for your eventual demise is considering a Memorial Plan.
Memorial Plans in the Philippines, were conceived some time in the 1960s to provide for immediate services needed at the time of death thus lessening the stress on the loved ones left behind. Those who have experienced death in the family, especially if sudden, know the emotional trauma involved. While wanting to grieve at the place of death, the reality is that the body has to be immediately transferred to the morgue. At that point, minds black out and unfortunately, business-seeking agents start pressing the loved ones on options available for the deceased body. The law of supply and demand becomes operative; the higher the demand, the higher the cost. Since the demand for the services is immediate and cannot wait, the price of the services could be more expensive and discounts are not entertained. It therefore made sense for each family to have some kind of memorial plan available at anytime to provide the service in time of need.
Generally, Memorial Plans include the physical services needed for handling the remains from the hospital to the morgue to the place of viewing and the actual burial. There are different types of plans. The decision points on the type of plan to take revolve around:
- cremation or regular burial
- type of casket if with viewing
- type of urn
- viewing location
- funeral car
- burial location
The choice of a cremation or a regular burial is dependent on the person while he is alive. If he/she did not make his/her choice known, then the nearest of kin’s wishes will probably be followed.
A regular viewing and burial takes more physical toll on the loved ones left behind. It is difficult to leave the viewing place when the body is there versus just bringing the urn with the cremated remains home at night.
If a cremation is chosen, an immediate cremation is much more convenient versus having a viewing first before cremation. Of course, a lot of emotional issues have to be considered in making this choice.
Of course, one of the perks of dying is that we will not have to worry about our burial and all the arrangements. We can choose to literally say “bahala na.” However, if we can afford it, I think we should buy a Memorial Plan, much like insurance, to protect our family from the inevitable stress of our passing. The type of plan would of course depend on our personal financial situation. Memorial Plans can be passed on to others who go ahead of us. Just remember to purchase another one if the one meant for you is passed on to someone else.
You can program your savings and investments to be able to afford a Memorial Plan.
More next week on preparing to leave something for your Loved Ones who rely on your income.
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