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It can be difficult to think about the end of your own life and final wishes. It can be even harder to think about your family and friends having to make these decisions on their own after you’re gone, especially without any plans in place.

Unfortunately, this is too often the case when loved ones avoid having these difficult conversations with each other because it is uncomfortable, awkward, not the right time, or all of the above.

This creates a significant gray area in making the arrangements for an individual that has already passed away, and a gray area during grief is the last thing anyone needs.

Thankfully, in 2016, Michigan passed a law that allows individuals to nominate a Funeral Representative, which is the person responsible for carrying out your final arrangements.

This can include final wishes about burial or cremation, the type of service you have and where you permanently rest, which relieves a bit of the stress of the grieving process. Furthermore, the ability to choose a Funeral Representative gives you space to have these sensitive conversations now, rather than either putting them off or foregoing them completely.

By preparing for your own future, you provide yourself with peace of mind and you provide your family and friends with a bit of comfort and ease during their difficult days of grief.

If you have not nominated a Funeral Representative, Michigan law dictates who has the authority to make such decisions in the event you have not nominated someone. Who has the right to carry out your wishes – or to block your wishes from being carried out – sometimes surprises people.

Nominating a Funeral Representative gives you the flexibility to choose what happens after you pass. Further, your decisions about who should be responsible for carrying out your final wishes can change over the course of your lifetime, often depending on age.

You may want to choose your parents now but, in a few years, you may instead want to choose your close friend. The ability to nominate a funeral representative gives you more control over the end of your own live.

Ultimately, choosing a Funeral Representative can be one of the most valuable decisions that you make before you pass. It can give your chosen Funeral Representative time to understand their role and prepare for it.

And, most importantly, it can give your family and friends the ability to grieve without having to worry about who has the right to make your final arrangements.

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