Updated: Aug 21, 2019
Creating your pre-planner is one of the most loving, thoughtful documents you can leave for those you love. Communicating your wishes and leaving valuable instructions eases tensions and provides a road map for them.
This may be difficult for you, but I hope that you will continue reading and begin reflecting upon the significance of developing, writing, and or communicating your wishes to those who will be handling your end of life affairs.
Your instructions can be as detailed or as simple as you wish and is a loving act for those your love. Sudden illness or an unforeseen accident can occur and it is then too late and your loved ones are left to guess what you may have wanted. Lack of instructions often creates unnecessary tension among family and friends, when being unified because you conveyed your wishes may be reassuring to your loved ones.
Stating your wishes provides answers to questions about:
How you want to be buried.
What type of casket you prefer.
Your funeral service.
Religious burial preferences.
How you wish your body to be prepared for burial such as, embalming or shrouding preferences.
The Pre-Planning Burial Guide - My Final Wishes provides an opportunity to communicate your thoughts, beliefs, and wishes, such as where you would prefer to be during your last days, or if you wish to have an open or close casket, etc.,
You may find the Pre-Planner as a guide to think about what you want to communicate to your loved ones. It is also a useful guide for family and/or friends who do not yet understand what the Bahai' Burial Law entails. My Final Wishes contains information about what burial laws are currently binding upon Western believers and which ones are not binding but a personal choice.
The pre-planner is NOT your Will and Last Testament.
Do you know the difference between documents?
There are legal differences between a Will and Testament and a Living Will or Durable Power of Medical Attorney, and a Pre-planner that states your wishes.
Your Will and Last Testament is a legal binding document. The Kitáb-í-Aqdas states, “Unto everyone hath been enjoined the writing of a Will. The testator should head this document with the adornment of the Most Great Name, bear witness therein of the Oneness of God in the Dayspring of His Revelation, and make mention, as he may wish, of that which is praiseworthy, so that it may be a testimony for him in the Kingdom of Revelation and Creation and a treasure with His Lord, the Supreme Protector, the Faithful.” –Bahá’u’lláh, Kitáb-í-Aqdas, Pages 49-63, paragragh 109
The Durable Power of Medical Attorney, sometimes referred to as a Living Will or Advanced Directive, is a written statement detailing a person's desires regarding their medical treatment in circumstances in which they are no longer able to express informed consent. The Advanced Directive or Durable Power of Medical Attorney and Living Will is a legal document, but it is NOT you Will and Testament which states how your assets are to be distributed but instead it designates who will have the legal power and authority to make medical decisions on your behalf should you be unable to do so yourself.
Although the Pre-Planner is not a legal document it is very important and can be as lengthy as you wish, or brief and to the point. It also can be utilized to create dialogue with your loved ones and as an encouragement for other family members such as your parents, to begin communicating to you what their wishes are for their end of life and burial matters.
Forlora, Inc., has created My Final Wishes - Pre-Planning Burial Guide and Bahai Burial Information booklet and is a downloadable booklet in PDF form that contains space to state your final wishes, your last requests, statements and information to the funeral home, and much more. This document is so useful as your first step to stating your wishes and as a method to creating dialogue.