Get the information you need to help care for your eyes at the AARP Eye Center. Visit it today!
by Michael T. Palermo, JD, CFP, AARP, December 2007
People differ greatly in their attitudes towards an autopsy—if one is suggested or seems to be called for—as well as in their preferences as to burial or cremation. Our loved ones likewise have different, but deeply held beliefs. Some people seek closure and resist an autopsy under any circumstances; others will be anguished without “all the answers” they hope an autopsy will provide. There are those who would have a traditional religious service and burial even for one who did not embrace religion. Others in the family may feel it is more appropriate to the life just ended to cremate the remains and spread the ashes someplace special.
It would be a shame to diligently plan your affairs to avoid ill-will among your survivors, only to leave a couple of emotionally charged matters unaddressed, possibly setting the stage for bitter disagreement. So provide as much guidance as possible to your agent. Indicate clearly your wishes as to your remains. Discuss the circumstances under which you believe an autopsy would or would not be appropriate. Despite their personal preferences, those you leave behind will almost surely agree and be content with any decisions they know reflect what you wanted.
From “AARP Crash Course in Estate Planning: The Essential Guide to Wills, Trusts and Your Personal Legacy,” by Michael T. Palermo, JD, CFP, 2005, p. 83.
Please leave your comment below.
You must be logged in to leave a comment.
Enter address, city, state, or ZIP code.
Driver Safety (0)
Tax Aide (0)
Entertainment & Dining (0)
Healthcare & Insurance (0)
Financial Services & Insurance (0)
Member Local Offers (0)
Visit the AARP state page for information about events, news and resources near you.
Get tips and resources to protect yourself from fraud and see the latest scam alerts in your state.
Members save 15% on in-store purchases of frozen yogurt, treats and apparel.
Exclusive program for members from The Hartford.
AARP members receive exclusive member benefits & affect social change.
You are leaving AARP.org and going to the website of our trusted provider. The provider’s terms, conditions and policies apply. Please return to AARP.org to learn more about other benefits.
Your email address is now confirmed.
Manage your email preferences and tell us which topics interest you so that we can prioritize the information you receive.
Explore all that AARP has to offer.
In the next 24 hours, you will receive an email to confirm your subscription to receive emails
related to AARP volunteering. Once you confirm that subscription, you will regularly
receive communications related to AARP volunteering. In the meantime, please feel free
to search for ways to make a difference in your community at