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Let's Not Talk About That Now...
Too often families do not like to
talk about issues surrounding death, dying and funerals.
Why should they ask? Soon enough we all will have to
deal with these issues. So what’s wrong with waiting
till the need arises?
Just like you need to know about health insurance, life
insurance, social security benefits and living wills,
knowing about funeral arrangements and cemetery property
helps you make the financial and emotional decisions you
will be comfortable with in years to come.
Over the years, the funeral and cemetery industry has
changed. It makes sense for the consumer to pre-plan
their arrangements, not only because there is incentive
to do so, but even more, because there are also many
emotional benefits to pre-arrangements.
ASK YOURSELF AND YOUR FAMILY TO CONSIDER THE FOLLOWING
What’s really involved in a funeral arrangement? Most
families, if asked this question will answer “They pick
up the body and take it to the cemetery.” Nothing could
be further from the truth! A good funeral director will
sit with your family and hear what your family members
are saying. Do you all want the same kind of funeral? Do
you all agree on the same casket? Are there “Feuding
Members of the family” who will all want to be heard at
the funeral? Who will speak? What type of clergy will be
appropriate for your family? How will your loved one’s
memory be reflected at the service? Will you have a
service at all? And if not, will you regret that
In addition to preparing many documents and obtaining
appropriate signatures, arranging for the death
certificate to be signed and notifying Social Security
of the death, the funeral director is also a liaison
between the family, clergy and the cemetery staff. If
selected wisely, your funeral director will be your
family’s advisor, helping them to feel comfortable and
making sure your wishes are being honored. Funeral
directors “work behind the scenes” from the moment they
are contacted, insuring things are being done correctly
and in a timely manner.
What is involved in purchasing cemetery property? Most
cemeteries have many different properties that you may
purchase. You may choose a niche (A space in a mausoleum
to place the cremated remains), a grave in a section
with a headstone or a grave in a section which only has
flat markers, a crypt in a community mausoleum or a
separate, private family mausoleum. There may be a
requirement for an outer enclosure (sometimes called a
vault) as well as labor fees for burial.