Notifying Social Security about a Death

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. Read the rest of this entry »

Disposing of a Loved One’s Personal Effects

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. Read the rest of this entry »

Where/How to Buy Funeral Clothes

January 7th, 2015

 Where/How to Buy Funeral ClothesAlthough there is no rule that says you have to go out and buy all black clothes for a funeral, many people find that nothing in their closet seems to fit the overall tone of a funeral—the somber atmosphere, the desire to be respectful, the fact that you’ll be seeing friends and relatives for the first time in years. Read the rest of this entry »

What Do Crematoriums/Funeral Homes do with Prosthetics?

January 3rd, 2015

Loved one buried with prosthetic During funeral planning, one of the things most families already know is that they’ll need to have devices like pacemakers removed before a loved one can be cremated. Any medical device with an electronic component (pacemakers, internal cardiac defibrillators, etc.) has the potential to explode when in contact with the high heat associated with cremation.

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Funeral Planning for Your New Year’s Resolution

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. Read the rest of this entry »

Top Ten Items to Place in a Casket

December 30th, 2014

 Items to Place in a CasketFor as long as people have held burials, they have been placing items into the grave to accompany the deceased on their final journey. Coins over the eyes to gain passage across the River Styx, the elaborate tombs of the kings and queens of Egypt, earthenware pots that showcase a simpler life—humans are no strangers to wanting to provide the deceased’s remains with the comforts they enjoyed in life.  Read the rest of this entry »

Military Funerals and Burial Assistance for Veterans

December 27th, 2014

 Military Funerals and Burial Assistance for Veterans  When you or a loved one serves as part of the United States Armed Services, there are certain death benefits and assistance you become eligible for. Navigating the system can be difficult if you’re reeling from a sudden loss, and there may be certain funds that you have to seek out to receive, so it’s a good idea to look into all your options. Any help you can get during this difficult time is worth considering—especially if your loved one served the country in any capacity. Read the rest of this entry »

Everything You Need to Know about Funeral Costs

December 22nd, 2014

How do most people pay for funeralsWhen it comes to questions about funeral planning, almost everyone wants to know more about money. How much does it cost to have a funeral? How can I cut back and save money on funeral plans? What is the cheapest burial option?

Although funeral prices will always vary depending on location and the type of ceremony you choose, most funeral homes follow a similarly prescribed format. Here are some of our best questions-and-answers regarding money, funerals, and how to get the most out of both. Read the rest of this entry »

How to Do Your Hair for a Funeral

December 14th, 2014

Woman at funeral mourningAlthough what you wear to a funeral is important in showcasing your respect for the deceased and his or her family, it’s equally important to pay attention to your hair. As is the case with any semi-formal gathering, it’s the overall image you present that determines how appropriately attired you are—so take a few minutes to ensure that your hair matches the rest of your ensemble. Read the rest of this entry »

How to Choose a Funeral Director

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?

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