How To Carry Out Final Wishes While Grieving

Person providing a supporting arm to a grieving person

Losing a loved one can challenge your sense of purpose and meaning, leaving you wondering how you can manage without their presence. Further complicating the grieving process is that you may be responsible for carrying out their final wishes. How can you possibly do everything by yourself?

Fortunately, you don’t have to handle everything on your own. At Wujek-Calcaterra & Sons, we know what you’re experiencing and are here to help alleviate your stress.

In this article, we’ll cover some of the most basic tasks you can do during this challenging time.

Build a Support Network

A woman comforting a crying womanPeople transition through the grieving process in different ways. Some prefer to grieve alone, while others need to talk about their emotions and thoughts.

Never hesitate to reach out to family or friends who have supported you in the past. Let them know how they can best help you deal with grief. Sometimes, a person may want to help you but may not know what they can do for you until you express your needs.

Local or online grief support groups also offer the chance to communicate with individuals going through a similar experience. Sharing thoughts and emotions with people going through the same process can give you a sense of community and the idea that you are not alone in your grief.

Understanding Final Wishes

Final wishes can take many forms. Most people have at least one or two final wishes, while others leave numerous instructions and documents behind. Common examples of final wishes include:

  • Distribution of Assets: Assets be bank accounts, cash on hand, properties, and vehicles.
  • Guardianship of Dependents: Children are typically dependents, but in Michigan, any individual who received more than half the cost of their support from another person (claimant) is considered a dependent. So, if anyone received exceptional financial support from your loved one, they could be considered a dependent.
  • Naming Executors & Beneficiaries: Your loved one may have a specific person who will act as the executor of their will and beneficiaries who receive assets.
  • Burial & Funeral Instructions: Funeral or burial instructions could include traditional burial, cremation, scattering of ashes, body donation, type of casket, type of marker, epitaph wording, etc.

Finding & Identifying Their Last Wishes

A handwritten last wishes letterIn some cases, family members or friends of the decedent may not know if they made a will, left behind a written note regarding their final wishes, or shared their last wishes verbally with a relative or friend.

If you can’t find a will for your loved one, you should carefully search their home for any papers or documents that could contain their last wishes. You could also ask close friends or family members who spoke frequently with your loved one if they ever had a conversation about their final wishes.

When loved ones do not leave behind a will or any documentation stating their final wishes, a funeral home can help you plan and coordinate the funeral, handle burial permits, and register death certificates. Many funeral homes will even provide grief support.

Share These Wishes With the Appropriate Parties

If you were able to identify your loved one’s last wishes, you must share them with your funeral director to ensure everything is done according to their instructions. You may also need to share your loved one’s last wishes with family members and friends if they are listed in them.

Get the Support You Need From Wujek-Calcaterra & Sons

Wujek-Calcaterra & Sons provides grief support, funeral planning, and burial services for families across Michigan. Please contact us today or give us a call at (586) 588-9438 if you have recently lost a loved one and need a shoulder to lean on—we’re here for you 24/7 during this challenging time.

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