In addition to ticking items off the proverbial “bucket list,” many people are also considering their final wishes.
If you’ve planned a unique end-of-life celebration for a loved one or pondered whether you even want a traditional funeral, you’re not alone. Attitudes toward final wishes are changing.
The National Funeral Directors Association projected that more people chose cremation over burial in 2015. (Some of the reasons why include people's environmental concerns with burials, the weakening of religious restrictions on cremation and greater acceptance of cremation.) And they also project that over 70 percent will choose cremation by the year 2030. Trends on the rise include personalizing final wishes and celebrating the end of a life with a one-of-a-kind memorial.
Today, final wishes can be just as creative as the person who died. The concept of personalization has resulted in a multitude of unique services that reflect the hobbies, passions and interests of the person who passed away. Through these funeral alternatives, a person’s passing can have additional meaning.
Just a few funeral alternatives that are gaining in popularity include:
- Turning the ashes of a loved one into something renewable. Companies like Eternal Reefs and The Neptune Society will enclose your ashes in a natural cast concrete vessel that serves as a new marine habitat for sea life. And through initiatives like the Urban Death Project, ashes can be turned into soil-building material to beautify a garden.
- Having an alternative burial. Some cemeteries, like Bestgate Memorial Park in Annapolis, Maryland, reserve areas for “green” or natural burials where graves are dug by hand. Caskets made of pine or wicker that biodegrade more easily are another option.
- Digitizing your memories. Imagine a headstone that includes a small tablet with an embedded microchip. It’s called the RosettaStoneTM Microchipä and it displays personal information about the deceased when scanned with a smartphone.
- Launching your loved one into space. Houston-based Celestis offers memorial space flight services for both human and pet remains.
Whatever your final wishes are, be sure to make them clear to your loved ones. This includes letting them know where information is stored and what kinds of financial arrangements you’ve made. Your thoughtful planning now can make life easier for your loved ones after you’re gone, while life insurance can help ensure funds are available to carry those plans out. Talk to an Erie Insurance agent in your community to learn more about your life insurance options.