Archive for the ‘Estate Planning’ Category

What to Expect When You Come to the Funeral Home

Monday, February 8th, 2016
What to Expect When You Come to the Funeral Home

What to Expect When You Come to the Funeral Home

After you’ve decided on a funeral home and are ready to begin the process of planning a funeral, your funeral director will ask you to come into the facilities for a visit. This personal contact with the people in charge of your loved one’s remains is an important step in the grieving process. Not only will you get to benefit from face-to-face interaction, but you’ll also be walked through each decision ahead of you. (more…)

What is a Perpetual Care Cemetery?

Thursday, February 4th, 2016
What is a Perpetual Care Cemetery?

What is a Perpetual Care Cemetery?

When you search for a cemetery as a final resting ground for you and your family, you are likely to come across the phrase “perpetual care,” “permanent care,” or “endowed care.” Often included as a charge above and beyond the typical cemetery costs, these are included as a way to ensure that the cemetery grounds remain in good care for decades (or even centuries) to come. (more…)

Should I Invest in a Family Cemetery Plot?

Friday, January 8th, 2016

The History of Family PlotsWhen people purchase cemetery plots, they usually do so in pairs. Because so many spouses wish to be buried together, it makes sense to buy adjoining plots. It doesn’t matter whether you’re buying burial plots in advance, or if one spouse recently passed on and it makes sense to buy both burial spaces now—this is the way the vast majority of Americans approach the burial process.

There is another option, however. Family cemetery plots provide a way for multiple members of a family to be buried in the same place—and usually for a discounted price overall. Because you’re investing in a larger piece of cemetery real estate, you may get a percentage reduction or be able to bury multiple relatives on top of one another. You can also get away with purchasing one large headstone with the family name engraved on it and rely on smaller plaques to identify each individual buried there. (more…)

How to Tell Your Loved Ones You’d Like to Be Cremated

Tuesday, January 5th, 2016

How to Tell Your Loved Ones You Want to be CrematedEven though over 40 percent of Americans opt for cremation over burial, there are still many different kinds of religious, cultural, and personal taboos that make cremation a difficult decision. This is especially true if your family has traditional views regarding funeral planning or has a long history of burial in a particular cemetery.

If you’ve decided on cremation but aren’t quite sure how to tell your family, we suggest you set aside a time to have this important conversation. It’s never a good idea to leave this sort of thing as a surprise, so the sooner you can open up to those you love, the more time you’ll have to enjoy what’s left of your time together.

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Burial Insurance, Part Three: Buying Burial Insurance through a Funeral Home

Friday, December 4th, 2015
Burial Insurance 3 of 3

Burial Insurance 3 of 3

There are two primary ways to buy burial insurance. The first operates like any other kind of life insurance policy, in which you name a loved one as the beneficiary who receives the payout when you die. The second option allows you to name a funeral home as the beneficiary, in which case they receive the insurance money directly.

This second option may seem a bit strange—after all, a funeral home isn’t your family, and you haven’t worked hard your whole life so they can receive a payout. However, it’s actually a quite common occurrence, and it can work out in your favor. Here’s how. (more…)

Burial Insurance, Part Two: How and Where to Purchase Burial Insurance

Wednesday, December 2nd, 2015
Burial Insurance 2 of 3

Burial Insurance 2 of 3

Once you’ve decided that you’d like to purchase a burial or funeral insurance policy as part of your final plans, the real challenge comes into play. There are countless burial insurance providers out there (which range from funeral homes to traditional insurance companies), and you have options when it comes to choosing the right one. (more…)

Five Reasons to Donate Your Body to Science

Monday, November 9th, 2015
Five Reasons to Donate Your Body to Science

Five Reasons to Donate Your Body to Science

Although the option to donate your body to science instead of having it buried or cremated has been around for decades, it’s an option many people have a hard time considering. After all, when your body becomes a learning tool for the next generation of doctors and scientists, you are unable to hold a traditional burial. (more…)

Selling a Burial Plot Online

Friday, June 26th, 2015
Selling a Burial Plot Online

Selling a Burial Plot Online

If you pre-purchase a burial plot at a cemetery, you aren’t necessarily tied to that space for the rest of your life (and afterlife). Most cemetery plot contracts allow for you to sell the plot either back to the cemetery or to a third-party buyer in the event that you move away, get divorced from a spouse or partner who is also part of the plot, decide to be cremated, or undergo any other change of heart.

Of course, like any real estate transaction (and no matter how irreverent it may seem, a cemetery plot is a piece of real estate with a deed and everything), finding a buyer can be difficult. Because you may want to cast a wide net in order to get the most money, here are a few online place where you can post a plot for sale. (more…)

What is the Difference between a Casket and a Coffin?

Saturday, February 28th, 2015

burial in a casket or coffinOutside the funeral industry, the terms “casket” and “coffin” are often used interchangeably to describe the vessel in which the deceased is placed before being buried in the ground. Most people recognize both words, and are comfortable using both in situations related to death and burial.

In reality, a casket and a coffin are not the same things. A coffin (a term that has been around since the 1500s) is the traditional burial box we associate with death. Shaped to fit the human body (with six or eight sides, wider at the top for the arms and torso), a coffin is designed to be built fairly cheaply and with a minimum amount ofmaterials. Because many people in history built their own coffins, or hired a coffin maker to do it, the emphasis was on practical burial that didn’t put a strain on family finances. Coffins are almost always made of wood instead of more valuable metals.

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What to Do with a Wedding Ring when a Loved One Dies

Tuesday, February 24th, 2015

couple sharing wedding vows

Few pieces of jewelry have more meaning than a wedding ring. Although family heirlooms, class rings, sports jewelry, and other items often have sentimental value of their own (not to mention high price tags), it’s the sign of our lasting commitment that carries the most weight.

When a spouse or parent dies, it can be difficult to know how to handle the issue of the wedding ring. Should it be buried with the deceased? Kept aside to be passed down to the next generation? Otherwise memorialized so that everyone can enjoy it? (more…)