What to Do When Families Disagree on Final Wishes


When it comes to planning funerals, cremations, and burials, scenarios like these are more common than you might think:

“Twenty years ago, my Dad told me he did not want a funeral. He died recently, and my sister wants to have a service for him anyway. I think we should honor Dad’s wishes. We cannot resolve this conflict.”

“My wife has dementia and insists she wants to be cremated, but she’s never said this before, and we’ve had a burial plot picked out for decades. Our kids have mixed opinions. What should I do?”

“Before she died, my sister told us she wanted a small, private funeral, but she’s well-known in our community, and I think a public service is appropriate. My brothers disagree. Do we adhere to her preferences or do what I think is best?”

There is no way around it: Losing a loved one is extremely difficult on many levels, and the 100-plus decisions that need to be made can lead to tension or even discord. Every family has its sources of conflict – even under happy circumstances – so you can only imagine the added stress when grief enters the picture.

Our Krause Funeral Home staff has many years of experience helping families throughout Milwaukee, Brookfield, and New Berlin. Part of this involves navigating situations involving differing opinions. One of the biggest causes of arguments after a loved one dies is money. There are disagreements over who should pay for the funeral, how much to spend, and how to manage the tendency for some to overspend when emotions are running high.

In these situations, our knowledgeable team explains all of the options, along with the costs involved. While there are no cut-and-dried solutions or one-size-fits-all scenarios, we will walk alongside your family as you figure out what is best for you and what your loved one would have wanted.

In spite of disagreements, families are united when it comes to this: Everyone wants to pay tribute to the person they loved in a meaningful way. We can help plan a tribute that reflects a person’s personal preferences and the life they lived. This might mean featuring a video tribute, a favorite song, or a Scripture passage. We also have the ability to host in-house receptions that include appetizers, full meals, wine, and beer.

The options are endless, and we have countless creative ideas that we’re happy to share. We also want to remind you that you can protect your family from this stress and conflict by preplanning your own funeral arrangements. You can even make your selections from the comfort of your own home using our online planning form. When you put your wishes and preferences in writing, you remove the guesswork and lessen the chance of any disagreements within your family.

Planning a final farewell for someone you love will never be easy but gathering together with those who are special to you is essential to the grieving process. Our professional team can work with your family to design a tribute so healing can begin. Turn to Krause Funeral Home during your time of need.

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