Do I need to put my wishes for my funeral or memorial services in my will in South Dakota?


With the mounting cost of funerals and memorial services, it’s become more common for people to include instructions for post-death events with their final arrangements documents and wills. These documents give you a way to state your final wishes for how you want to be remembered when you pass. While this addition to your final arrangement documents is not necessary, it can help your family know specifically what your wishes are beyond the basics of your estate planning in South Dakota.

In a final arrangement document or will in South Dakota, you can leave a portion of your South Dakota estate to help pay for your funeral. This will allow you to specify what you want after you pass. Some of the common questions people answer in this portion of their will are:

  • Where you want to be buried?
  • Whom you want to officiate at the service?
  • What pictures you want to have displayed?
  • What type of ceremony do you want to have?
  • What are your preferences for location, décor, or music at the ceremony?

There are a number of items that you can specify to make your funeral truly be a celebration of your life. At the same time, giving clear and specific instructions will also help reduce any controversy among your family members, or disputes on how you would have wanted your funeral and who will pay for your funeral.

As you sit down with your South Dakota estate planning attorney, let him know that you want to add this section into your will. This way, you can be sure that your wishes will be met and that you are doing your part to help your family avoid disputes so that they can grieve together.

Brooke Swier Schloss
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Family Law and Estate Planning attorney helping families across South Dakota plan and protect their loved ones