Archive for the ‘Estate Planning’ Category

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.


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…)

Creative and DIY Memorials to Make from the Deceased Belongings

Sunday, January 25th, 2015

Creative and DIY Memorials to Make from the Deceased BelongingsThrowing away personal effects can be a difficult process for those in mourning over a loved one. Whether you’re clearing a room or an entire house, discarding cherished memories or donating items to charity can feel like saying goodbye all over again.

If you aren’t quite ready to get rid of the entire closet full of clothes, or if you’d rather not sell off furniture that’s been in your family for years, here are a few creative ways to memorialize your loved one.

  • Make a Blanket or Quilt: Old clothes can make an excellent source of fabric for a commemorative quilt. Choose your favorite (and most memorable) items of clothing, and cut squares of fabric to be made into a blanket. If you sew, you can do it yourself, or there are specialty providers who can make it for you. This item can be cherished forever without taking up too much space. (more…)

Notifying Social Security about a Death

Tuesday, January 20th, 2015

Notifying Social Security about a DeathManaging the death of a loved one might seem like a highly private and personal affair, but there is actually a complex maze of paperwork, bureaucracy, and government involvement that has to take place before the deceased can be laid to rest. Although most of the initial paperwork will be filled out by city officials and your funeral director, it’s a good idea to know what is being filed where—and why.

Social Security Administration

Just as the Social Security Administration must be notified of a child’s birth, so must they be notified of an individual’s death. This is necessary to stop the deceased’s Social Security Number from being used (either legally or illegally), and to ensure that there is an official record of death with the U.S. Government. (more…)

Disposing of a Loved One’s Personal Effects

Friday, January 16th, 2015

Disposing of a Loved One’s Personal EffectsAfter the funeral plans have been completed and life has settled into what will be your new normal, it’s time to deal with the personal effects a death leaves behind. Although some of the deceased’s belongings might have been divided among descendants according to the will, most people leave closets (and even homes) full of stuff behind. Clothes, furniture, books, pictures, mementos of vacations long gone…all of these things eventually have to be sorted through and taken care of.

For most people, this is a bittersweet time. Painful memories are sure to arise as you sift through the remnants of a loved one’s lifetime, but you may also find that there are positive associations, as well. Although there is no right or wrong way to go about things, here are a few tips for sorting through a loved one’s personal effects after they are gone. (more…)

Funeral Planning for Your New Year’s Resolution

Thursday, January 1st, 2015

Funeral Planning for Your New Year’s ResolutionFor most of us, New Year’s resolutions are an opportunity improve our lives. We make promises to eat better, exercise more, remember to visit the dentist twice a year, and otherwise look after our health. After all, a new year is a fresh start, and what could be better than to find ways to enjoy a more positive, fruitful life?

One answer might be to find a way to enjoy a more positive, fruitful death. (more…)

How to Choose a Funeral Director

Wednesday, December 10th, 2014

How to chose a funeral directorWhen you’re choosing a funeral home to help you with funeral planning, you’re not just considering which facility is best—you’re also interviewing funeral directors. Because you’ll be relying on one individual for so much of your support and decision-making, it’s important that you feel a connection with your funeral director built on trust and understanding. Although you probably won’t have time to call and get to know every funeral director in the event of a sudden death, you can take a few minutes to chat with them to get a feeling for who you’d like to work with.

 What Does a Funeral Director Do?


Financial Spring Cleaning

Tuesday, August 5th, 2014

Estate Planning PaperworkSpring is a time of renewal and rebirth, when the melting snow gives way to new life and people start reorganizing their closets for the warm season to come. Financial experts also suggest you use this time to consider pulling out your estate and funeral planning to ensure that everything is in order and up-to-date.

Where to Start?

When we talk about making advance estate and funeral plans, we mean much more than putting money in a 401(k) or taking out a life insurance policy. While both these things are great first steps, they don’t encompass the breadth of options available to you as you organize your end-of-life plans. (more…)

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