Category Archives: Funeral Services
Yesterday, I began to talk about the importance of making your final arrangements in advance. In our funeral home, we have seen countless families come into our care without having made arrangements in advance. The wear and tear on the family is so much greater than those families who have had things in order.
The first step in planning your final arrangements is to Gather and Organize Documents. This is probably THE most important step in the process. It is important that you family knows where to go to find this important information. Have a place in your home…maybe in a file cabinet…where you gather all of your important documents. Then tell your family where this information is located so that everyone knows where to find it. When your death occurs, your family will need to know all of your vital statistics for the recording of the death certificate. Other information they will need to know about are:
- Locations and account numbers of bank accounts, retirement accounts, credit cards, and life insurance policies.
- Instructions for your funeral and/or cemetery wishes.
- A list of people to be contacted in the event of your death.
- Location of a living will, if one was drawn up.
- A copy of your will.
And that final item is of utmost importance. If you want the state government to become the executor of your estate, then don’t have a will. It’s pure and simple. The only way to avoid probate and the state becoming your executor is to have a will. If you are married, have children, and have any assets at all, you need to have a will.
So step number one is to Gather and Organize Documents. Plan ahead so that your family is ready in the event of your death.
(If you would like a free planning guide to help you with this process, let me know and I’ll get one to you!)
Funeral pre-arrangements…that is the focus of my job. I never dreamed that I’d be working in an industry whose focus is death…especially because I’ve had such a fear of death and dealing with death over the years. But here I am, working in the death industry, helping people to plan for their deaths in advance. And what is really amazing is that I like it and making pre-arrangements is something that I have really come to believe in.
Some of you may not have even known that you can prearrange funerals. You can…and in fact, it is very wise to do so. In a future post I will discuss why it is important to consider doing, but right now I want to make you aware of the three steps to making your final arrangements in advance. I will discuss these steps in greater detail in coming posts. Just know that these three simple steps taken today can prevent three difficult steps from having to be taken in the future.
1. Gather and organize documents – When a death happens in a family, do the family members know where the important documents are located? And did the deceased actually keep the important records that a family would need upon his/her death?
2. Funeral and/or cremation arrangements – If you were to pass away today, would your family know your wishes regarding a funeral or memorial service? Would they know if your desire was to be cremated? Would they be able to afford those costs in a lump-sum payment if you suddenly passed away?
3. Cemetery/memorialization arrangements – If you passed away today, would your family know where you wanted to be buried or have your urn placed? Would they be able to afford a cemetery plot, mausoleum space, or cremation niche?
These three steps can be taken ahead of time so that your family is not left with the burden of figuring these things out when you pass away. And I can tell you already…the families who come to our funeral home are THRILLED when they know their loved one had planned ahead. The process is much more difficult at the time of need.
I would encourage all of you to begin to think about these three steps and how you can plan ahead for the sake of your family. It will be a huge blessing to them!!!
Hi again! It has been a while since I have been posting regularly to this blog. But it is time for that to change! There have been many changes in my life and it is now time for me to begin blogging again.
One of the big changes in my life has been a career change. I am now working as a Family Service Advisor for Dignity Memorial, which is the largest funeral services company in the North America. We have over 2000 locations in the USA and Canada, including funeral homes and cemetaries. Essentially, my job is a sales position. While I provide follow-up care to families who have recently experienced a loss, my main role is to educate people on the importance of pre-planning for their future funeral needs and to help them to purchase what is best for them and their family.
So many people have told me that they can’t imagine working in the funeral industry because it is too creepy and too depressing. But really, that is not true. After you begin to experience seeing dead bodies and helping grieving families, you get used to it and it all becomes very normal. Death is something that happens to 100% of the people in this world so it is a positive thing to build a healthy understanding of death and not to live in fear of it.
I have gotten a HUGE education on death in the past month since starting this position. Part of what I want to do as I continue to blog (though it will definitely not be the subject of each entry) is to demystify the subject of death and to give a view into the funeral industry. Along the way, I will also be providing helpful tips so that all of my readers can learn what they need to know when they face having to interact with a funeral home…because everyone will at some time or another. I want everyone to be prepared for when that time comes.
So I’m back to blogging!