How a Widower Can Ensure His Final Wishes Are Carried Out

By Rachel Zeldin, Founder of Funerals360

As a widower, you’ve most certainly dealt with an enormous amount of stress and grief at the time of your partner’s passing. During that excruciating time, spouses often have the added burden of making plans for final wishes and funeral services of their loved one. This is an incredibly trying time for everyone who’s ever been there.

If you have already gone through the funeral-planning process for your loved one, you may have some ideas of your own final wishes, and you might have thought about ways to lessen the burden on your surviving family members when your time eventually comes.

Whether it’s buying family plots or discussing wishes with loved ones, pre-planning a funeral can have several advantages.

Remove Additional Stress For Yourself and Your Loved Ones

As you already know, loved ones are often caught in the midst of processing the grief and shock of a passing as they plan the end-of-life arrangements. This creates a stressful situation in an already emotional time.

By pre-planning a funeral or end-of-life ceremony, you can reduce the burden for your loved ones to plan a funeral later.  Of course, mortality can be an uncomfortable subject to discuss with your family, however, planning ahead can take away some of the sting of “the unknown,” and can help you and your family prepare mentally and emotionally for what’s to come.

Make Informed, Thoughtful Decisions

Planning ahead helps you make strategic decisions about your end-of-life proceeding. You can identify your wants and needs, and even compare prices with a number of providers. By making funeral arrangements in advance, you spare your family the pressure of making fast decisions at a time of duress.
One of the most important considerations in planning a funeral is what will happen with the decedent’s remains – where they will be buried, scattered, entombed, or something else. A short period of time generally exists between a person’s death and his or her burial, which means, for example, surviving family members might be rushing to buy a plot without foresight or personally visiting the site. It’s in the best interest of an entire family to think out and make these important decisions before the time comes.

Consider Financial Responsibility for the Funeral

Pre-arranging a funeral can also allow you to remove a financial burden–and the stress that goes along with it–from your loved ones by making sure your affairs are in order when the time comes.

Start to plan ahead now for the costs involved in the funeral arrangements for your own wishes. First, you’ll need to map out each step of the process, so you can associate an approximate cost with each piece.  Then, you can determine how the financial aspect will be handled.  For example, options like funeral insurance and funeral trusts can help you secure your final wishes without passing the financial burden on to your surviving family.

Where to Start

Planning a funeral ahead of time is now easier than it has ever been.  An online resource like Funerals360 can help you effectively plan for the future and compare the costs of services.

The Funerals360 website is full of resources to help you organize all of your wishes and plans. You can use the My Funeral Wishesfeature to outline your final wishes, and it’s easy to print and share electronically so you can have a conversation with your family and/or next of kin.

The interactive funeral planning checklist is an invaluable tool that can help ensure you have all your bases covered so nothing gets missed.  It lets you know everything that needs to be done–from information needed to obtain death certificates to utilities and accounts that would need to be closed–and keeps your information organized in a central and shareable place.

By pre-planning or pre-arranging a funeral, you can effectively relieve the stress later and ensure the fulfillment of your final wishes. You’ll also have the benefit of comparing prices and ensuring the best outcome possible.

Life as a widower is full of enough stress and grief, and for many, even the thought of planning out arrangements for a funeral in advance can be too much to think about while already dealing with the loss of a spouse. However, the act of pre-planning your own funeral can provide a sense of relief in having one less thing to worry about – for you, and your family.

About the Author

Rachel Zeldin is the Founder of Funerals360, an online resource that helps families find local product and service providers for their funeral or memorial.  Her inspiration came from the frustration she experienced trying to find reliable funeral planning information online when her uncle passed away unexpectedly without any prior arrangements in place.  A passionate consumer advocate, Rachel is also the Founder of Funeral Consumer Alliance of Greater Philadelphia , a non-profit advocacy group that is a chapter of the Funeral Consumers Alliance.

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