July 7th, 2014
Funeral 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 Read the rest of this entry »
July 4th, 2014
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.
May 25th, 2014
Like 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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May 18th, 2014
Most funeral plans revolve around a fairly traditional ceremony. Whether at the funeral home or at a local place of worship, family and friends gather to say prayers, sing hymns, share stories about the deceased, and pay their parting respects. While the details surrounding this ceremony vary (in addition to location, you can make decisions regarding funeral music, funeral attire, food and beverage options, audio-visual components, and the officiant), most of us have a fairly good idea of how the process works.
So too do we envision the graveside service. When the deceased chooses to be buried, it’s common to hold a second service at the cemetery, to say prayers and watch as the deceased is lowered into the ground.
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May 13th, 2014
There’s no denying that funeral planning is an expensive endeavor, and any way you can cut funeral costs is worth looking into. And one of the most costly parts of the funeral—the casket—is high on that list.
A casket for burial or cremation can cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars to several thousand dollars, depending on the material, finish, and quality of the casket. While a simple container or box is usually sufficient, most families opt for more ornate hardwoods or stainless steel to better display the body (especially if there’s an open casket or viewing). In an effort to reduce prices and still provide families with what they want, some funeral homes are turning to rental caskets.
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May 8th, 2014
There’s no denying that it has become commonplace to send sympathy flowers and funeral bouquets to show your regard for the dearly departed. Adding a touch of color to the memorial service and bringing hope to the family, funeral flowers are a great way to demonstrate support and love.
However, funeral flowers aren’t for everyone. Whether the family asks you to skip the blooms in lieu of a charitable contribution, or if the deceased was concerned for the environment and is asking for a green funeral, you may be asked to send an alternative sympathy gift. Here are few ideas.
- “In Lieu of” Donations: The most common non-floral gift is one of money. Many families will select a charity that meant something special to the deceased and ask for contributions to be made in his or her name. You can also find a charity of your own to support. Whether you formally make the donation in the deceased’s name, or if you give the money and leave things there, these kinds of gifts are lasting and meaningful. Read the rest of this entry »
May 4th, 2014
One of the most time-honored parts of planning a funeral is choosing what kind of music you’d like to have played for the service. Evoking the right mood and playing favorites of the deceased is a great way to make a funeral memorable without huge costs, and it adds a personal touch that is both respectful and appropriate.
Music at funerals is often played in the background as people arrive and depart. It can also be used as a part of the service or to accompany the casket being lowered into the ground. Some families also have music playing during the funeral luncheon or reception. However you choose to set the stage is up to you.
While selecting songs and playing them on an iPod or sound system is perfectly acceptable, you can also take things one step further by hiring live Read the rest of this entry »
May 1st, 2014
If you’ve recently cremated a loved one and are looking for creative yet respectful ways to dispose of the ashes, an ash scattering ceremony is a good choice. Although not every public or private area allows for this kind of option, these locations are some of the favorites for scattering ashes and saying goodbye.
- Garden or Flowerbed: There’s no reason why you have to travel to the ocean or far away to send the proper respects to the deceased. One of the most popular places to scatter ashes is in the deceased’s garden, orchard, or flowerbed. Because it’s your own land, you don’t have to worry about getting permission, and you can erect any kind of monument you want afterwards. Read the rest of this entry »