Funeral Pre-Planning: Take a Lesson From a Pirate
Sailors, and in particular, pirates are often depicted as wearing gold earrings. There are many legends as to why they adopted this particular fashion statement. One has a clearly estate-related basis.
Sailors were often given earrings to commemorate certain sailing milestones, such as crossing the equator or rounding the treacherous Cape Horn. Superstition also played a role, as many believed that gold earrings would improve their eyesight, prevent seasickness or even drowning. Wax was often pressed onto the earrings, which could serve as earplugs when firing a cannon. Another theory is that the gold earrings were just a way for pirates to show off their wealth.
From an estate planning point of view, sailors would wear valuable earrings so that their funerals could be paid for if their bodies washed ashore. If a pirate died on the ship, the value of the earrings could be used to cover the cost of transporting their body back home, so as to avoid a burial at sea (assuming that there is honour amongst thieves, and that the earrings were used as intended).
Actor (non-pirate) Morgan Freeman sports gold earrings. He has been reported as saying that his earrings are worth just enough to pay for a coffin in case he dies in a strange place.
Preplanning a funeral is always a good idea. It alleviates significant stress, both financial and emotional, on those left behind. It also allows the planner to ensure that they are given the burial they want. Take a lesson from a pirate: make a plan.
Thanks for reading. Have a great weekend.