What do I need to do to plan my own funeral?
July 14th, 2020
You’ll likely want your funeral to honor what you stood for. Let your deepest values guide you to a funeral that fits. Expand the definition of what the word “funeral” means to you. It could be your friends gathering in a beautiful place to express gratitude that you once existed.
Read up on choices, then decide (you can always change your mind) if you’d like a living funeral before you die, direct cremation, witnessed cremation, green burial, slow dissolve in an alkaline solution, newfangled organic recomposition (possibly coming soon to your state) in wood chips and alfalfa, a surrender to a body farm or medical school, memorial event with eulogies and music, ash scattering by sea or air, soil mixed with your remains to plant a tree. (Sorry no Viking funerals with burning arrows are lawful though your whole body can be bagged and lovingly dropped into the sea!) A lot is possible.
Appoint an agent to sign documents and authorize care for your body after death, especially if you’re unmarried and on the outs with your family. Then find a funeral director or reliable local resource (funeral directors aren’t required in all states) https://www.nolo.com/legal-encyclopedia/planning-paying-funeral
with whom you can communicate, someone who will respectfully and affordably get your body to where it needs to be once you no longer have a use for it. Share your plan and your funeral playlist with the people you hold most dear. Don’t let anyone say you’re morbid for doing this. Say “This is my funeral plan. I love you. What’s your plan? Let’s help each other face the inevitable.”