WHAT ABOUT ANY FUNERAL ARRANGEMENTS AND PLANNING?
Not really something to think about now is it? Funeral arrangements and planning are major decisions to make early than later.
Funeral arrangements, pre-arrangements, cemeteries, cremation, burial, a plot, a mausoleum, a crypt, and columbarium, so many decisions but have we given it any thought or for that matter made any decisions for ourselves and our family?
Funeral stuff is not easy to talk about, and it’s definitely not what we wake up in the morning and say, “I need to go to the funeral home and make my arrangements today.” If you are reading this, then you were meant to hear it. Maybe it will even give you the inspiration to give some of these questions some thought and then you can make some of your decisions.
But, it’s what you do with those decisions is this blog all about.
Have you considered what you personally want to have for yourself and your partner? Have you thought about your parents, and what they would want to have. Because you will be the one involved with all of those! Whether you like it or not.
There will be different degrees where you will get involved in other family member’s funeral arrangements. Sometimes your involvement might be, to be there emotionally for everyone, to help with transportation, to help with sorting out what clothing they would wear, help out with food and meals, support with paperwork, and supporting for phoning and contacting family & friends. Even if it was for a hug, can we actually still do that during Covid 19?? Consideration for this Pandemic has shifted the way that things are done for burial and celebrations. So check in your area about the choices available.
DOING YOUR RESEARCH
It’s a good idea to do some research on what options there are for you and your family before anything happens. Please look at all of the options in your area, review your City cemeteries, and any private facilities. Look at the differences for all of them. Some might look really old and well used, which might not be for you and your family. Some might be beautiful, new, and renovated but maybe too big or not cozy enough. So, it’s what you feel you like, what you feel most comfortable with. What vibes do you get, how organized they are and how well versed and compassionate the employees are. Remember you can see things differently when you aren’t under pressure or frustrated, depressed or sad in your most difficult times. So, it’s a good time to interview them, look at their facility, and see what options they have for burial and cremation.
Now, a City facility might have in your area, different regulations or rules for what products, services or plot availability they offer. City facilities have different rules that those private facilities usually so it’s a good idea to look at that with eyes wide open. Some City burial plots have major rules that you shouldn’t pass by. Burial plots can sometimes allow stacked burial, or over each other burial. That might not be something that you would want for yourself with a stranger. Some City properties allow to dig up the sites after 99 years and re-use the plots. They also will have certain regulations around the headstones, some allow very little or flat, some allow different sizes and heights. Often also referred as Marker or Monument. If you were more interested in cremation, you will have to review what is available around purchasing an Urn either for burial, or for a niche, for travelling, or for sitting on a shelf. There are limitations in some areas to check first.
CREMATION VS BURIAL
For some cultures or religions, burial is the only option. And for many it’s a pure and innocent decision for burial or cremation based on your own personal feelings.
I guess the most expensive version based purely on cost is the burial in land. Because land and property is the most expensive version of the choices it would be useful to review these options beforehand and not during. You definitely don’t want to make any harsh decisions during difficult times. Some say it’s great to invest in the burial plots on land because it always increases. So I guess, that’s has to be part of your own investment decisions. Maybe, just maybe there’s some truth to it, because I have never run across burial plots that haven’t increased every few years.
Can you sell your burial plot? That’s a good question because every location is different with their rules, and it’s definitely something you don’t want to miss because it will form part of your contract. You may not be able to sell it if it is stipulated in your contract. So that would be something to consider to make your decision because you may move locations, or not want to get buried after all, or move countries.
So with burial, there will be the cost of the plot, usually land of some kind. There would be stipulations on how many in that plot are allowed. You can sometimes buy your own estate, that can fit up to 6-10 family members either in caskets, or urns. You can also have your own personal Mausoleum Estate built in some locations as well that can fit up to 6-12 family members and it will only be for those that you have allowed to be buried in your own location.
When you use a a Crypt, it is a space in a wall for a casket, then sealed and covered by a stone of some sort and a name plaque.
Cremation can be buried in a burial plot, or in a niche in a wall, a columbarium, or in a mausoleum, scattered somewhere of your choice, or kept by your side or someones’ mantel or shelf! Not all locations have a crematorium so you will have to check on what is available near you, or near the area of your choice.
There are certain rules about scattering remains in public places, so you should always be concerned and follow regulations in all public areas for deciding to scatter any remains. Especially in parks and beaches etc. Always get permission first for any private locations as well. If you would like to dump the mixed of cremation remains into a resting place that is above ground area for body remains, usually found at a cemetery called an Ossuary.
And remember, one of my clients had scattered her cremation remains in their city in British Columbia, where it was important to them as a couple. By the edge of a small man-made lake that they used to walk to, and sit at together. He decided to scatter her remains there by the bench after she had passed. He followed her service by taking off to Europe for 6-8 months and returned to find out that the lake was gone and they had started construction of large apartment buildings at that location. So remember it’s important to know where you are putting the remains if it means something to you.
You can decide on funeral services, such as pickup of the body, and embalming. If you have the body stay at a funeral home for any length of time, that will also be billable. Things that are extra, are jewellery that you might want made with cremation remains, artwork, or ornaments. A presentation for a celebration, a church or parish service, a dinner or tea/coffee luncheon and service. Along with the service would be, the cost of flowers, location that you choose, food and drinks, cards, photos and slide shows. Also extra is the service at the burial or inurnment.
Having family meetings with each other, also helps with some of these decisions that you need to make or that you will need to make for others close to you. So it’s a good decision to have the “conversation”. What do you want? What do you want for a celebration? What do you want for the burial, or cremation afterwards? Remember, to consider do you think that anyone would visit the burial plot or cemetery years later? Would the family members like a memorial keepsake such as jewelry, a tree, an ornament or photograph? You can also have a diamond made by taking a little bit of the cremation remains and sending it off to have a diamond of your choice made!
Please remember that by having some of these arrangements pre-made will make your family life easier at the time it’s necessary. Because it is difficult to make all of those decisions and know that you made the right ones for them. So if you can pre-arrange before you or your family member has passed away, you will be able to secure your funeral plan cost for any increases, you will also have made all of your decisions so that the family doesn’t have to make any and also that you can pay monthly for the cost over a period of time if that is easier for the budget!
So remember, you also have to think that if you make any pre-arrangements where will you have it written down, so that the family members know what you have. At the time when it is needed, most often the family doesn’t know that you pre-paid for the funeral. So in YOUR BACKUP PLAN APP, you would be able to list all the details so that the family know where it is located when they need it the most!
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