Archive for the ‘Funeral Planning’ Category

Human Burial in a Pet Cemetery

Wednesday, September 10th, 2014

Beloved dog visiting a cemetery with ownerThere’s good news for pet lovers who want to spend eternity by their beloved animals’ side—according to new regulations in the state of New York, it’s now legal for pet cemeteries operating in the state to accept human remains (in cremated form) to be buried alongside deceased pets.

A dispute about the legality of this practice was brought to light several years ago, when New York state officials refused to let (more…)

What Will the Funeral of the Future Look Like?

Tuesday, August 26th, 2014

Growing city skylineAlthough the funeral industry is typically slower to change than many other fields, there have been great advances lately regarding burial options, memorial services, and funeral technology. More and more people are turning to online platforms to share their grief and make their advance funeral plans, and the traditions of the past—heavy on the more ornate process of burial in a cemetery—are being set aside for more streamlined funeral options. (more…)

Common Funeral Planning Mistakes

Wednesday, August 20th, 2014

Grief - man with white roses at urn funeralFuneral planning is never an easy task, especially since it’s something few people are trained for (and because it’s something you hopefully don’t have to practice very often). Being caught unaware of the correct protocol is one of the easiest ways to overpay or get taken advantage of, which is why it’s a good idea to become familiar with the biggest funeral planning pitfalls ahead of time.  (more…)

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…)

Funeral Planning Glossary

Sunday, August 3rd, 2014

Dove release at a funeral ceremonyFuneral pre-plans, preplanning a funeral, pre-need cremation…there are so many different terms out there related to the funeral planning industry it can be hard to keep track. Although many of the phrases are used interchangeably, there may be subtle differences that provide different financial and personal options.

Here’s our breakdown of what they mean.

  • Preneed Insurance/Burial Insurance/Funeral Insurance: All of these phrases refer to the same product—an insurance policy that provides enough money to cover the cost of the funeral, with little to spare. Although every policy is a little different, the expenses covered usually include the funeral home services, a casket and/or urn, the memorial service, and even burial and headstones at the cemetery. Depending on who you purchase your policy from, you may be able to lock in today’s rates or arrange the entire funeral in advance. (more…)

How to Plan a Simple Funeral

Wednesday, July 30th, 2014

How to Plan a Simple FuneralIn all the hassle of planning funerals and choosing caskets and selecting the perfect spray of sympathy flowers to demonstrate your loss, it’s not uncommon for families to lose sight of the bigger picture of death. A funeral, no matter how or when or why it occurs, is your final chance to say goodbye, and the most important thing is that your focus remains on the deceased. If your goal is to get rid of the elaborate trappings of death and put your attention where it matters most, a simple funeral might be right for you.

Basic Funeral Options

Direct Cremation/Direct Burial: The fastest and easiest way to plan a simple funeral is to opt for direct burial or direct cremation. These options, which take care of the body without a ceremony or any elaborate details, are low in cost and provide much the same results as a more elaborate ceremony—you either end up with a box of ashes or a place to visit the deceased in a cemetery. It’s merely the process of getting there that is pared down.

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What Type of Metal Should I Choose for the Casket?

Thursday, July 10th, 2014

What Type of Metal Should I Choose for the Casket?When making funeral plans for a loved one, around 60 percent of families who opt for burial choose metal caskets. These sleek-looking designs are hailed as the best choice if you are hoping to preserve the integrity of the casket for as long as possible. Although your loved one’s remains will decay no matter what, the metal caskets will stay intact for hundreds of years.

Of course, “metal” is an all-encompassing term, and you have several types of caskets to choose from. Here’s a brief overview of what you can expect.

  • Gauged Steel Caskets: The most common types of metal caskets are made of a lightweight steel alloy, which is offered in various gauges. You’ll most likely see options like 16-gauge steel, 18-gauge steel, and 20-gauge steel. These numbers are used to identify how thick the metal is, with lower numbers being thicker than the higher numbers. (For comparison purposes, most household sinks are 18-gauge steel.) Because of their relative thickness, lower gauges are more expensive than higher ones, and most families can choose the low-cost 20-gauge steel without noticing any difference in appearance. (more…)

Common Funeral Planning Mistakes

Monday, July 7th, 2014

Common Funeral Planning MistakesFuneral planning is never an easy task, especially since it’s something few people are trained for (and because it’s something you hopefully don’t have to practice very often). Being caught unaware of the correct protocol is one of the easiest ways to overpay or get taken advantage of, which is why it’s a good idea to become familiar with the biggest funeral planning pitfalls ahead of time.

  • Waiting until the Last Minute: Don’t wait until a terminal illness or catastrophe brings funeral planning to the forefront. The best funeral plans are made when you and your loved ones are in good health and are able to make calm, rational decisions with plenty of time to think them over.
  • Going with the First Funeral Home You Come Across: You may get a recommendation from a hospital or hospice. You might call the first funeral home you see in the phone book. You could even stick to the same funeral home you used the last time a death occurred. While these are great ways to find a funeral home, be sure and call around for additional (more…)

What Type of Wood Should I Choose for the Casket?

Friday, July 4th, 2014

What Type of Wood Should I Choose for the Casket?

For the typical U.S. burial, an estimated one-third of families opt for wood caskets. Unlike their metal counterparts, wood caskets aren’t pitched as offering high preservation qualities, and instead are chosen for their lower cost and general elegance. Because you are talking about an organic material, wood caskets will decay faster than metal ones, with “softer” woods holding up for a shorter amount of time than hardwoods.

The harder and less porous the wood, the more expensive it will be. So too will the finish of the wood and the details contribute to the cost.

  • Pine: Pine caskets are the lowest-cost option, often coming in at under $1,000 (especially if you look for them (more…)

What to Do When Your Family Doesn’t Like Your Funeral Plans

Sunday, May 25th, 2014

Funeral at a cemeteryLike part of a growing trend of Americans, you’ve pre-arranged your funeral to save your family from heartache after your death. You made the decision between cremation and burial, and set aside the appropriate funds to cover the entire ceremony. Now all that rests between you and completing your advance funeral arrangements is sitting down to inform your family of the details.

While most families appreciate the time, effort, and money that goes into advance funeral planning, this isn’t always the case. If you deviate from tradition or plan for something out of the ordinary, you may find yourself facing a family who not only disagrees with your funeral plans, but who are honestly hurt by the decisions you have made.

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