Put Your Last Wishes in Writing

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An article found on jsonline.com provides a poignant example of why estate planning is so important.  It tells the story of a longtime friend who was entrusted to make decisions on her friend’s behalf and arrange the funeral. Although she tried to carry out the wishes of her deceased friend, problems arose because the two were not related. Confusion over policies left her feeling helpless and frustrated.

Problems can also arise among family members. Several years ago, daughters nearly came to blows over funeral arrangements for their father. He had moved to Wisconsin after a divorce in another state, and had been estranged from them for more than 20 years. When one of his friends informed the daughters that their father wanted to be cremated with his ashes spread across his favorite trout pond, several objected and hired an attorney to press their case.

Luckily, Wisconsin has had a simple solution since March 2008. A new law created the “Authorization for Final Disposition.” You can now designate who is the legal representative for handling the funeral. You can set out specific instructions. We recommend these Authorizations to everyone regardless of whether they have done pre-planning with a funeral home. It eliminates any problems.

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