My Mom Buried Wedding Rings in her Grave

Buried wedding ringsBuried wedding rings can be problematic when your decision is left with loved ones.

I believe every person can use their will or estate plan to prevent family stress and anxiety.

Below is a brief process outlining how to find a resolution to the buried wedding rings dilemma.

Estate Planning for your buried wedding rings

If a person wants their wedding ring buried in their casket or placed inside a tomb, these wishes should be specifically described.  Generally, I prefer a funeral directive along with a Will or Trust.

In my experience, a funeral directive, which is a document outlining specifics for your funeral, can be easily shared with funeral directors, spouses and adult children.  Having this decision prearranged reduces guessing.

In my experience, using your will to outline your decision is not necessarily a practical document during the funeral planning process because:

  • You shouldn’t share your will with everybody around you unless required, and
  • Reading your will this soon and openly may cause family conflict.

Additionally, I think a prudent person shares their desires specific to a wedding ring inside their revocable trust and or will.  Yes, to reduce stress and risk, assuring neither document contradicts one another is a significant goal.

Estate Planning to prevent having buried wedding rings

Likewise, people wishing to gift their wedding rings versus the alternative described above can utilize the “specific gift” process within their estate plan.

Yes, this process can be as simple as affirming where, who and how your wedding ring should be gifted at the time of your death.

On the other hand, I have heard many adult children claim their mom told them specifically that they would receive the wedding ring.  As might suspect, it can be surprising to many people when it is discovered neither the will or revocable trust shared or expressed this intent.

I am telling you now – this issue can be solved fairly easily with concrete planning methods expressing your wishes.  Otherwise, risking having buried wedding rings or leaving everything up to chance under Minnesota’s intestacy laws is uncomfortable at best.

Buried wedding rings and your Medical Assistance

Another common question arising from including your wedding ring in an estate plan is whether gifting it now or later will impact medical assistance.

Every situation is different.  In general, medical assistance programs support excluding “personal effects” as an asset.  Sometimes, people seeking this benefit are able to define wedding rings as a personal effect and excluded from a MA calculation.  Wedding Rings and my Will

On the other hand, jewelry (like a wedding ring) retained because it has value or an investment will likely fail the the “personal effects” exclusion.

Help with buried wedding rings

Buried wedding rings or not, every person has a choice.  Yes, an estate plan is a wonderful way to reduce stress and anxiety for your family.

Please contact me if you need help.