New Information ...      

Utah Insurance License Number:

Pre-Need Sales Agent Number: 325672-5802

web counter
web counter

How to Completely Outline Your Final Wishes

You are responsible. If things are not done as you had wished when you pass away, it will be your fault. If money is over-spent or spent in the wrong way, it could result in family feuds or animosity that could last for years. You have the power right now to not only prevent mistakes but also to lower your total costs—in advance.

If you don’t have much together yet, get a notebook such as a composition book and start making notes for your own use. Your final wishes will be more formal documents you give to your family. They won’t need to interpret your notes.

To begin the FINAL DOCUMENT, prepare a first draft of my worksheet Final Wishes Summary. Everything of importance should be summarized onto one sheet of paper. You will also have other important supporting documents.

I have represented and funded for many funeral homes since 1992. In every case, we used some form of "Memorial Guide," "Record Guide," or other planning guide to put your final wishes and preferences all into one place. A very good one that I recommend is Met Life's Funeral Planning Guide (click here to download PDF).

It is very thorough. They offer this when they promote their final expense and group insurance.

The first bits of information under VITAL STATISTICS are for your death certificate. Your survivors may not know or remember your marriage date, etc. Fill this section out first. Social Security number is optional, but it is required at the time of death. You'll also need it to file for the $255 Social Security death benefit.

The reason for the one page summary is to make it easier for your family to look at one piece of paper with the most important information first. It is also easier in most cases for you to think about the most important information first and then to elaborate later. I help you do this with a blank worksheet you can start filling out. If I meet with you, I will take a copy and then put it into printed, easier-to-read form. In addition, I will put a photo of your casket selection on the same page, so when the time comes no one is relying on a written description of what you wanted. Rather, they will see clearly what casket you preferred.

Print out my worksheet “COST CHECKLIST” from this Web site: This will help you determine with more accuracy how much money your family would still need to come up with, and also how you can ensure enough funds are set aside for everything. You can mark what you’ve already taken care of, maybe with the original cost or total cost after funding. You can prepare a separate Cost Checklist for every funeral home you investigate or survey, or you can keep it to one sheet if you’re fairly sure who it is you want to do business with.

The most important reason for the one page summary is to prevent your family from making mistakes. What types of mistakes can happen? They can overspend. This can occur quickly and easily if they choose the wrong funeral home.

The second worksheet, Plan Worksheet, which is the worksheet I use with my clients on every appointment, can be used to put together scenarios for funding what is next—based on your budget, resources, and timetable.

MILITARY RECORD is very important if you are a veteran, because you are entitled to certain benefits if you served with an honorable discharge. One item of considerable expense which veterans get for free is a headstone/marker for your grave, which today for a single person averages around $1,500 to $2,000. See Update on Veteran's Benefits.

Decide whether you want a funeral service with a viewing. Remember that with providers such as Premier Funeral Services, and numerous others throughout Utah, you pay much less for having a church service or a graveside service instead of at a mortuary's chapel. Remember that most of the high-profile funeral homes don't give you a discount for using your church, but they will give a small discount for a graveside service. If you decide to use Premier Funeral Services (which could later be changed), be sure to fill that in under "At time of need contact." The details of the funeral service with respect to music, flowers, etc. can be added later, but be sure to indicate who would be in charge of the funeral, such as oldest child, bishop, etc.

Selecting the casket style, make, and even model is relatively easy. You can draw the line on cost when you fill in this section. You can either go to my caskets page or go to Walmart or Costco's Web sites. You will find the quality you are looking for at the best prices. Don't visit a funeral home's showroom to shop for a casket. You will be wasting your time.

The INSURANCE FUNDING section is where the money to pay for it will come from. If you are freezing costs with me, this would be National Guardian Life Funeral Expense Trust. We would meet to work out the face amount and payment terms.

Under INTERMENT REQUESTS, indicate whether and where you have burial plots and if a burial is your preference. If you plan to be cremated and not buried, it would be best not to indicate where you have burial plots. Again, a mistake could be made costing more money if your survivors thought burial was part of the plan. In addition, you would not want them to overspend on the cremation either. Indicate also whether a vault is already paid for if you're having a burial, as well as grave marker. A grave marker is the last (optional) thing you need, so you can leave this blank for now.

And that's it. The more detailed information can be added later on another document. I have NGL's Record Guide, which is a folder with many other details you can outline. Once the Final Wishes Summary is done, make copies and distribute to your family right away. You're that much closer to peace of mind.

After the one-page Final Wishes Summary is done, you can elaborate with more details on separate sheets:

Or use the Met Life Comprehensive Funeral Planning Guide:

To add more details, click Each Page to Enlarge and Print:

No Funeral Home Pays Me

I make less money showing you better alternatives. This money is paid to me by the funding company I use, National Guardian Life. Funeral homes pay me nothing. No bonuses or commissions are paid to me for promoting any particular funeral service provider.