Archive for the ‘Funeral Planning’ Category

Funeral Etiquette for Thank You Notes

Wednesday, March 26th, 2014

Funeral Etiquette for Thank You NotesThe loss of a loved one and the planning of an entire funeral from start to finish is an exhausting affair. It’s not uncommon for those undergoing bereavement to feel both physically and mentally exhausted, and emotions can run through a course of highs and lows in a matter of minutes. Among all the chaos of guests arriving from out of town and navigating the financial side effects of death, it can seem impossible to find time to write funeral thank you notes.

Funeral etiquette dictates that the family of the deceased send out thank you cards in the days and weeks following the funeral. Fortunately, this isn’t the time-consuming, tedious task it sounds like. Not only can you purchase pre-prepared thank you cards and send them out, but you can recruit the help of others and make it a chance to bond and share your grief.

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How to Plan a Belated Funeral

Saturday, March 22nd, 2014

How to Plan a Belated FuneralThere are many reasons to delay a funeral. Maybe it’s a difficult time of year for family members to get time off work or to make travel arrangements. Perhaps the deceased wished for a springtime service. Maybe you don’t currently have the money to cover funeral costs.

Whatever the reasons, it’s becoming more common to opt for direct cremation or direct burial immediately following death—and to hold a formal “funeral” or memorial service sometime in the future. You can wait weeks, months, or even years to do this, which gives you greater flexibility and more options when it comes to saying goodbye.

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Funeral Transportation

Sunday, March 16th, 2014

Funeral TransportationAlthough you can plan an entire funeral service from start to finish without hiring special vehicles or making arrangements for a procession, elegant transportation provides a nice touch to the day. Whether you opt for a fleet of limousines to take you from the funeral home to the cemetery, or if everyone hauls out a bicycle and takes one last ride in honor of the deceased, there are plenty of ways to make a funeral unique with these transportation ideas.

Traditional Funeral Escorts

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Can I Hold a Funeral before Cremation?

Friday, March 14th, 2014

Can I Hold a Funeral Before Cremation?One of the nice things about funeral options today is that families have choices when it comes to how they want to take care of a loved one’s final remains. Burial, cremation, body donation, sending your body into space—with enough money, you can do almost anything to make your final farewell special.

While most of us will probably skip the space step, burial and cremation remain the top choices across cultures and religions. Cremation is less expensive and generally comes with less fanfare than burial, but burial itself can also be streamlined thanks to options in DIY casketry and direct burial.

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Pre-Plan a Funeral Online

Friday, February 21st, 2014

Pre-Plan a Funeral OnlineIf the idea of calling funeral homes and meeting with estate planners to make advance funeral arrangements isn’t one you cherish, you may be able to find online options to save you time and money. Although unheard of just a few years ago, online funeral planning is now a viable option that allows you to plan and even pay for your funeral from the comfort of your own home.

How Online Funeral Planning Works

There are two ways you can pre-plan a funeral online. The first option requires nothing more from you than to make decisions regarding your wishes. For example, you can:

Print out a funeral planning worksheet, which you can then fill out regarding your specific wishes.
Find a funeral planning app or other online option that allows you to make decisions and email your answers to family members.
Coordinate funeral pre-plan options with a specific funeral home, which will use the information provided to contact you at a later date.

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What to Wear to a Wake

Monday, January 27th, 2014

Formal funeral clothingWhat to wear to a funeral and what to wear to a wake are similar but not necessarily the same thing. These two services, both conducted to honor the life and death of the deceased, serve different purposes in the act of bereavement.

A wake (usually held prior to the funeral) is an informal gathering either at the home of the deceased or at alternate location. While the historical traditions of a wake have their roots in physically watching over the body of the deceased in the days leading up to burial, it is now more of a time to get together and eat, talk about loved ones, and remember a life well lived.

A funeral is a more formal ceremony. Taking place either at a church or a funeral home, it is overseen by a religious or community officiant and follows a prescribed format. Prayers, readings, music, and processions all play a key role in a funeral.

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Safety and Good Businesses Practices When Purchasing Caskets Online

Wednesday, January 8th, 2014

Casket with beautiful funeral flower arrangement One of the most common pieces of advice on how to save money on a funeral is to buy a casket online. Funeral homes mark up items like caskets, urns, and other burial effects by hundreds or even thousands of dollars—an amount of money that can seem insurmountable when you’re already facing such a devastating loss. Because the FTC’s Funeral Rule requires that funeral homes accept these items from a third-party vendor, you can shop around for caskets online.

However, buying anything online comes with a risk. Because you’re talking about an item that comes with a hefty price tag (and requires immediate shipping), it’s important to get things right. If you’re hesitant to buy a casket online because of the dangers of internet shopping, here are a few tips to ensure a safe transaction.

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I Want to Plan My Own Funeral, Where do I Start?

Monday, January 6th, 2014

Traditional Memorial Candle of RemembranceAlthough it might sound preemptive and a bit macabre to plan your own funeral, this kind of advance arrangement is becoming more and more common. Not only does pre-planning a funeral allow you to have more control over what happens to your remains after you pass, but it can also save your family quite a bit of grief and money.

Planning your own funeral can be as simple as making a list of your wishes and ensuring your family knows where it is, or as complex as paying for everything in advance (even going so far as to purchase the casket or arrange every detail with the funeral home). There is no wrong way to go about it, but here are a few suggestions for getting started.

 Choose Your Final Interment Plan

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Are Funeral Expenses Deductible on My Taxes?

Thursday, December 12th, 2013

Are Funeral Expenses Deductible on My Taxes?The unexpected funeral costs that arise after a death often put a strain on family finances. With a total price tag anywhere from a few thousand dollars to over ten thousand dollars, paying for a funeral out of pocket is like asking a family to buy a new car. This is a cost few families can cover outright, which is why it’s no wonder that the question of whether or not you can make funeral expenses deductible on your taxes is one that regularly pops up.

The easy answer is no. For the majority of families, the costs they must lay out for a funeral are like any other major purchase (along the lines of a car or new furniture). Funeral expenses are your responsibility, and the government won’t give you any tax breaks come April 15.

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What Does a Cremation Oven Look Like?

Monday, December 9th, 2013

What Does a Cremation Oven Look Like?The cremation process is difficult for many people to picture happening to their loved one’s remains. Unlike burial, which gives a feeling of calm quiet and eternal rest, cremation is hot, messy, and oftentimes frightening. You might be afraid that the body won’t be treated with respect, or that the incredibly high temperatures required to break a body down are uncontrolled and dangerous.

While historical cremation practices might hold this to be true, modern-day cremation and cremation ovens are quite safe, sanitary, and practical. The cremation process is regulated so that it becomes more of a scientific breakdown of bodily remains than a blazing inferno, with the result that it is actually more decorous than the slow decay of a body underground.

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