Traditional funerals overseen by a funeral director in a funeral home can be very expensive. Many are choosing the even older option of having home funerals.
Having a mortician embalm the remains of the deceased and having a funeral director oversee a public mourning now seem like the traditional ways of burying the dead in the U.S. However, that hasn't always been the case.
Before the Civil War most people were buried at home by their families.
The New York Times reports that many Americans are now looking to go the older route and have funeral services conducted in their own homes by family members in "Start-Ups Take Rites From the Funeral Home to the Family Home." One of the big benefits for many people is that home funerals are much less expensive than using a funeral home. Other people prefer the intimacy of services conducted in the home.
It is a good idea to think about how you would like your funeral to be conducted at the same time you are creating an estate plan.
Whether you would prefer a home funeral or a funeral home, you can make your preferences known in your will or in another document. As long as your preferences are reasonable and legal, then they can be followed.
Ultimately, if you do not make your preferences known, then it will be up to your family to make the decisions and they might not choose the method which you would have been most comfortable.
Reference: New York Times (Jan. 30, 2016) "Start-Ups Take Rites From the Funeral Home to the Family Home."
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