Midlife singles are used to directing their own lives, but many worry about what will happen when they die. With strains of The Beatles' song Eleanor Rigby in their ears, they worry that their funeral will be unattended and sad. This is one problem that has a solution: planning ahead.
The Pew Research Center's 2014 study, A Record Share of Americans Have Never Married, found that there's been a steady increase since 1970 in the share of the U.S. population that remains never married by the time they reach ages 45 to 54.
Forbes' recent article, "Single People Worry: Who'll Be There For Us?" sought advice from some of the funeral industry's leading experts, who offered these recommendations:
Pre-plan the Funeral (or Cremation). Making your own funeral arrangements sounds like a great idea, but in fact, very few people actually do this. A 2015 consumer research study found that 69% of adults over the age of 40 said they'd prefer to pre-arrange their own service, but only 17% had made arrangements. You have to bite the bullet and visit some cemeteries and funeral homes and discuss planning options and prices.
Discuss Your Last Wishes With Those You Trust. If you're single without close relatives, ask a good friend to help and have a serious discussion about how you'd like to be remembered when you die.
Try to Keep Perspective. Remember, the great memories of your life aren't tied your remains' location.
One of the benefits of being single is being able to make your own decisions, relying on your community of friends to become your family of choice and following your own path. With the help of an experienced estate planning attorney, you can plan your own funeral to be whatever you wish it to be.
Reference: Forbes (March 11, 2016) "Single People Worry: Who'll Be There For Us?"