Archive for April, 2012

Writing a Letter of Last Instructions

Monday, April 30th, 2012

Writing a Letter of Last InstructionsThere are many different types of official arrangements for funeral planning and other end-of-life issues. From wills and living trusts to funeral insurance, the right amount of preparation can leave a clear and easy path for the loved ones you leave behind.

Of course, not everything is always so formal. For many people, a discussion about burial wishes or resuscitation orders is enough. These require a lot less planning and legal work, leaving you to enjoy life while you still have it.


Writing an Ethical Will

Friday, April 27th, 2012

Writing an Ethical WillEthical wills are one of the oldest funeral planning tools in existence—even though they have a lot less to do with funerals and a lot more to do with leaving a legacy behind. Historically popular in the Jewish culture as a way to pass ethical values from one generation to the next, ethical wills are now being adopted by a large percentage of the population, across generations and religions. In fact, the American Bar Association recommends writing an ethical will as an addendum to traditional estate planning.


Types of Cemeteries

Wednesday, April 25th, 2012

Types of CemeteriesThere are several different types of cemeteries to choose from if traditional burial or cremation interment is part of your funeral planning efforts. In the United States, most people have a choice of four cemetery categories. Each one has its own pros and cons, and the cost of each one varies depending on location and cemetery organization.


Should You Have a Memorial Service Instead of a Funeral?

Monday, April 23rd, 2012

Should You Have a Memorial Service Instead of a Funeral?Most people use the terms memorial service and funeral interchangeably—and with good reason. During the funeral planning stages, the differences between the two often become blurred, and your focus is on your grief rather than the semantics of the funeral industry.  For more in depth guidance, download our guide, “7 Insider Tips You Need to Know Before Funeral Planning.”

However, if you’re looking to save money on funeral costs, or if you are hoping to understand more about funeral planning (especially if you’re opting for a funeral pre-plan package), it’s a good idea to know what the differences are and how they can affect your decision-making process.


How to Choose a Funeral Service Provider

Saturday, April 21st, 2012

How to Choose a Funeral Service ProviderThere are no laws in the United States that require you to choose a funeral home for all your funeral planning needs. Technically, you could coordinate the entire interment on your own (or under the guidance of a licensed provider), as long as you adhere to all the legal requirements in your county and fill out all the appropriate paperwork that accompanies death.  For more in depth guidance, download our guide “7 Insider Tips You Need to Know Before Funeral Planning


Eulogy Ideas

Thursday, April 19th, 2012

Eulogy IdeasIf you have recently lost a loved one or are planning a funeral for the first time, you might be intimidated at the prospect of writing a eulogy or giving a funeral speech. After all, this is your one chance to let everyone know in words just how important the deceased was to you and how he or she affected your life.


Maintaining Privacy at a Funeral

Tuesday, April 17th, 2012

Maintaining Privacy at a Funeral Funeral planning can be stressful under the best of circumstances. Any family conflicts, unresolved arguments, or issues related to privacy that arise tend to make matters much worse than they need to be, often interrupting private grief and taking the focus away from where it should be—celebrating the life of the deceased.

Because death notices tend to be made public, it can be difficult to keep a funeral private and restrict attendance, especially if the deceased was a popular figure in any way. Here are a few tips to keep a funeral a small, intimate affair without hurting the feelings of those who aren’t invited to the funeral.


Tribute Videos and Funeral Planning

Wednesday, April 11th, 2012

Tribute Videos and Funeral PlanningIf you’re planning the funeral of a loved one, you may come across a pamphlet or advertisement for a tribute video. Funeral videos are a way of creating an audio-visual tribute to the deceased through a series of photographs, images of favorite items, captions or titles, and music. Popular in recent years because of the blurring of the lines between the funeral industry and technology, video tributes are also a unique and beautiful way to provide a touch of personalization to the memorial service.  For more in depth funeral planning guidance, download our guide “7 Insider Tips You Need to Know Before Funeral Planning


How to Officiate a Funeral

Monday, April 9th, 2012

How to Officiate a FuneralNine times out of ten, funeral plans call for a religious official or funeral home director to oversee the proceedings at a memorial service. Although there are no rules about who can or can’t officiate a funeral, it is usually best to have someone who can provide comfort without breaking down in the face of such a sudden loss.

However, this doesn’t mean that you can’t opt to officiate a funeral on your own. If you would like to feel a deeper connection to the funeral planning process, or if you have a history of public speaking and would like to ensure that the funeral has a personal touch that everyone can connect to, you may wish to be in charge of the service yourself. If this is the case, here are a few steps for planning the ceremony.


Women and Funeral Planning

Friday, April 6th, 2012

Women and Funeral PlanningWhen it comes to traditional financial planning, the majority of long-term fiscal decisions are made by men. For years, financial professionals have been trying to create specialized programs that focus on women and how they can plan for retirement or life after the loss of a spouse.

Funeral planning, on the other hand, is a process that has long been dominated by women. In fact, an estimated two-thirds of funerals are planned and paid for by women—usually because a wife outlives her husband, and is called upon to determine how to best lay her spouse to rest. Adult female children are also the ones most likely to act as caretakers for their aging parents, so the task of funeral planning often falls to them.