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Two Tips For Preventing Disputes Over Your Ashes

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Cremains seem like an unlikely thing people would fight over, but people develop an emotional attachment to their loved ones' cremated remains so it's not unusual for disputes to develop between those the decedent left behind. Here are two things you can do to prevent this type of problem from happening when you're gone.

Detail Your Wishes

The easiest way to prevent arguments and disputes from arising between your loved ones is to write down your wishes in your will, estate plan, or prepaid funeral documents. In addition to ensuring your ashes end up where you want them, people are less likely to argue about the issue out of respect for you and your desires.

Be certain you assign an estate administrator who won't easily cave into pressure. People can become unreasonable when they're under stress and may attempt to get the administrator to go against your wishes while they're grieving. Having an administrator who can tactfully but firmly rebuff these attempts will ensure your instructions are followed.

Additionally, make sure there's enough money available to carry out your wishes. Problems are more likely to erupt if the estate administrator can't do what you want and the family has to decide on an alternative.

Divvy Up Your Remains

If you know there are two or more people who will want to take possession of your remains, another option is to have them divided between those people. Cremation produces about 1 cubic inch of ash per 1 pound of body weight, so there will generally be enough to go around. You can the crematorium place your ashes in multiple urns and the give them to the people who want them.

Alternatively, you can get more creative and have your ashes placed in jewelry, plants, and other unique items. This will provide your loved ones with something they may find more meaningful than a jar full of ashes. For instance, you can have you ashes incorporated into rings, necklaces, jewels, and bracelets that your loved one may prefer to wear to remember you. You can also have your ashes incorporated into specialty tress that another loved one can plant in his or her backyard for future generations to appreciate.

Regardless of what you decide to do, it's important to write your desires down so the person who takes over your estate can follow though and make it happen the way you want. For more information about cremation and ideas on what to do with your remains, contact a crematorium or funeral home like Morris Nilsen Funeral Chapel.