“What will happen to your body after you die?” It’s a morbid question, but it’s one each of us should spend some time considering. The reality is that our loved ones will be making the decision for us, if we do not make it ahead of time.
Traditionally, people choose to either be buried in a cemetery or to be cremated with ashes retained by loved ones, scattered somewhere meaningful, or interred in a cemetery plot. There’s a new option in Arizona for people who want their ashes scattered in nature. Arizona’s Conservation Memorial Forest offers people a “sustainable alternative” to traditional cemeteries.
Loved ones will choose and buy a tree in the Conservation Memorial Forest, private to that family, where they will spread the ashes of the deceased person. Purchasing a tree instead of buying a burial plot and a tombstone, and paying for a burial, also helps create a permanently-protected conservation area future generations will be able to enjoy. According to the company behind this venture, “Better Place Forests” in Flagstaff, AZ, this is also a cost-effective option. While the national average for a burial for one person is $15,000, purchasing a tree in the Conservation Memorial Forest costs half that amount for two people.
Do you know what you want to have happen to your body after you die? It’s OK if you don’t know yet, but it is something to consider. There is not a single “right” answer to that question, although your belief system may guide you toward an answer.
When you do make a decision, you can leave instructions for your Health Care Agent in an Advance Health Care Directive, documenting your wishes for cremation or burial. To learn more and to create or update your estate planning documents, contact us at The Estate Planning & Legacy Law Center today!