Q: What paperwork should I keep current to complement my pre-arrangement?

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A funeral prearrangement is definitely one component of a well done estate plan, and definitely goes beyond just funeral arranging.

And it’s important, uh, in your planning to have a current Will. Uh, managing and keeping that up to date, naming an executor – someone who is going to be your voice – once you’ve died – to ensure that your directives and your, um, your wishes are followed thought on. Uh, two other documents which are helpful, um, I think the first – which gonna help most with financial matters if you are not able to, uh, for whatever reason, look after your financial affairs – a Power of Attorney is a document which does that. Any lawyer could draw one up for you and, basically, you give someone the power – your attorney – to basically be your signature and to sign for things of importance on your behalf.

Now with your, your Power of Attorney, wherein you’ve given someone the ability to sign your name for financial matters, if you want to add to that Health Directives – specific instructions concerning the quality of care and your expectations for what should be done under various circumstances – that document is called a Representation Agreement. You basically empower someone to be your representative, your voice, concerning your care, uh, if you can’t speak for yourself. And in a consideration of a Living Will, where you and your doctor have decided, “You know, if I am just being kept alive, uh, by mechanical means, um, it’s OK to pull the plug. I am happy do die naturally.”

When, um, a family comes in – or a couple comes in – to prearrange at Springfield Funeral Home, um, a lot of the paperwork that is done is not only your final wishes, um, however we also would take information such as who the next of kin is, and these records should be updates on the regular basis, so we would know who the executor is, their current address, and so on.

And having in a secure location, having things like your Social Insurance Number, and your marriage certificate are really important. Other things like your family history, cause you do need to know your mother’s and father’s names and where they were born.

The basic forms that most people have is: they have a Will, they keep it updated, uh, they have Power of Attorney, uh, Representation Agreements, a Living Will – just to give some health care mandates on to their next of kin. And if any of those choices change, it’s very important for them to also update that and let their next of kin know.