August 29th, 2014
Before we had YouTube and home video recorders, prior to social media and voice recordings that could be stored online, there were few ways to connect on a personal level with the deceased. You might be able to look through old photos or visit the cemetery to help you in your grief. Personal belongings might also contain memories and—if it hasn’t been too long—may even retain sensory impressions, like the lingering scent of a favorite cologne.
These sorts of tenuous connections to the past are important in the Read the rest of this entry »
August 26th, 2014
Although 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. Read the rest of this entry »
August 5th, 2014
Spring 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. Read the rest of this entry »
August 3rd, 2014
Funeral 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. Read the rest of this entry »
July 13th, 2014
Most people tend to look at high funeral costs as a modern thing. We know that burial space is at a premium, and that families will pay extra to ensure that their loved ones are treated with respect and ceremony, and assume that this is the result of present-day attitudes toward death and dying.
In reality, today’s funerals are often less ostentatious than those of our forebears. The Victorians were notorious for making burial into a lengthy and expensive process, often going into mourning for an entire year after the headstone was erected. Not only would they pay to have the full procession, wake, and burial, but they’d continue to purchase black mourning clothes and avoid parties for months afterward.
The Victorians weren’t the only ones to make a show out of death. Some of the most expensive funerals in history took place during a time when money was tight and the everyday man paid the biggest price.
Read the rest of this entry »
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.