Talk to Your Family

Duksa Family Funeral Homes' staff has successfully guided families in discussing their funeral wishes and putting those wishes into plans that meet their needs. We'd like to share some tips other families have found helpful, whether you are talking with a spouse, adult children or your parents about planning.

Does Planning Already Exist?

If you ask a relative if they have prearranged their funeral, the answer may be a resounding yes. However, if you ask further questions you may learn that your relative has simply told their spouse or family their wishes, purchased a cemetery plot or put directives in their will or safe deposit box or in some cases in a computer file. However this does not necessarily mean that the family will have all the information they will need.

"I told my spouse my wishes." "I told my children what I want."

What if you die together in a car accident? What if he or she is so overwhelmed on the worst day of his or her life that your spouse doesn't remember exactly what you said? Worse yet, what if he or she later feels guilty because he or she knows that your wishes were forgotten and that he or she failed to do as you wished? What if your children don't remember exactly what you told them? If on the best of days your children don't always get along, how will they make group decisions on one of the worst days of their lives?

"I own a cemetery plot."

That is a great start. It completes two of 100 detailed decisions that will need to be made. However, making arrangements at a cemetery does not mean you have prearranged your funeral. By Connecticut state law a cemetery cannot transport or embalm a body. The State requires a licensed funeral director to do that. A cemetery cannot file a death certificate. You may choose to have a service at a cemetery but the cemetery will not staff it, coordinate clergy, place a newspaper notice, put together a program or arrange any of the other details for you.

"I put directives in my will/safety deposit box/on my computer/in a file."

Most wills are not read and most safety deposit boxes, computer and paper files are not discovered until after the funeral is over.

None of the above responses fulfills that most important piece of preplanning: Putting your wishes down in writing with the help of a knowledgeable, experienced and licensed professional in funeral preplanning.

Talk to Your Family