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Do any of you, for example, know of an arrangement for the funeral or other source for burial wishes?

Funeral assistance | Where to start | Step by step process | Collingwood Funeral Services

Follow body bequeathal instructions. If the person made arrangements to donate his or her body to a medical school, the family must respect those wishes. An advance directive, living will or health proxy may guide you to a particular institution. If the person hasn't made arrangements, the next of kin can donate the body, but the decision needs to be made as early as possible.

Consider funeral preparations. If possible, bring together key family members for an early conversation. Factors to consider:. Choose a funeral home. Most people want a funeral home to transport the body from the morgue to its facility. The deceased may have identified which home to use — and even prepaid for funeral services. If there's been no conversation about arrangements, the choice will be up to the family.

Notify close friends and extended family. Make a list of as many people as you can. Find contacts through email accounts and personal telephone books. Contact an employer and organizations the deceased belonged to, if necessary. Secure property. Lock up the person's home and vehicle. Is the car parked in a secure and legal area? Will the home be vacant? If so, you may want to notify the police dial a non-emergency number , landlord or property manager. Have someone care for pets until a permanent arrangement is made. Notify the post office. Use the forward mail option.

This will prevent accumulating mail from attracting attention. It can also inform you about subscriptions, creditors and other accounts that need to be canceled. It can be a treasure trove of information," Hurme says.

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Meet with the director handling the funeral or memorial arrangements. Use instructions your loved one might have left and the earlier family discussion to guide the many decisions to be made. For a veteran, inquire about special arrangements. A range of benefits can help tailor a veteran's service. You may be able to get assistance with the funeral, burial plot or other benefits. You can find many details about options at the U. Department of Veterans Affairs website pdf. Or call Veterans Affairs at or your local veterans agency, often included in local government listings.

You can also inquire about veteran's survivor benefits. Consider whether you need or want other financial assistance for the funeral and burial. Help might be available from a number of sources, including a church, a union or a fraternal organization that the deceased belonged to. Phone or send an email to the local group. Enlist help for the funeral. Relatives and friends may be needed to serve as pallbearers, to create or design the funeral program, cook meals for a repast gathering or simply for the household of the deceased , take care of children or pets, or shop for any items needed for the funeral or household of the deceased.

Arrange for headstone. You can typically purchase a headstone through the cemetery or from an outside vendor of your choice.


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Consult the cemetery about rules, regulations and specifications such as color and size, particularly if you go with an outside vendor. Organize a post-funeral gathering. Depending on your tradition, it's called a repast or a wake. It can be held at the church, a banquet hall or someone's house.


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Enlist the help of friends and relatives to plan. Spread the word about the service. Once a date and time have been set for the service, share the details with those on your contact list. Include an address to send cards, flowers or donations. Make a list of well-wishers. Keep track of who sends cards, flowers and donations so that you can acknowledge them later. Prepare an obituary. The funeral home might offer the service or you might want to write an obituary yourself.

If you want to publish it in a newspaper, check on rates, deadlines and submission guidelines. Don't include such details as exact date of birth that an identity thief could use.

How to Plan a Funeral or Memorial Service

Handle the ethical will, if there is one. An ethical will isn't a legal document, but rather a letter of sorts written to your family and friends that shares your values, life lessons and hopes for the future. If the deceased left one, arrange to share it, maybe even have it printed. Get duplicate death certificates. You may need a dozen certified death records to complete upcoming tasks, though some will require less expensive copies. Your funeral director may help you handle this or you can order them from the vital statistics office in the state where the death occurred or from the city hall or other local records office.

Send thank-you notes.

Our advice can keep a sad event from becoming even more painful

The policy or trust is designed to increase in value over time to keep pace with any increases in funeral cost over that same period. Our inflation-proof and price-guaranteed pre-funded plans are offered through Physicians Mutual. Payment programs are also available. Pre-planning your funeral delivers piece of mind to you today and your family tomorrow.

We offer inflation-proof and price-guaranteed pre-funded plans through Physicians Mutual. We also offer traditional payment programs. These items will include: Clothing for the deceased Social security number of the deceased The deceased's birth date and city and state of birth The deceased's parents names, including mother's maiden name Information about the deceased's education Marital status of the deceased Veteran's discharge papers or Claim Number A recent photograph of the deceased Pre-arrangement paperwork if applicable Cemetery lot information if applicable Ask your Funeral Director to provide a Certified Celebrant, Clergy person, or to contact your Clergy.

The funeral home will assist you in determining the number of copies of the death certificates that you will need and will order them for you Make a list of family, friends and business colleagues, and notify each by phone. You may wish to use a "branching" system: make a few phone calls to other relatives or friends and ask each of them to make a phone call or two to specific people Decide on an appropriate charity to which gifts may be made church, hospice, library, organization, school Gather obituary information, including a photo, age, place of birth, cause of death, occupation, college degrees, memberships held, military service, outstanding work and a list of survivors in the immediate family.

Include the time and place of the funeral services.

Funeral Planning Checklist

Keeping a careful record of visitors and flower deliveries will make it easier to thank people later on If Social Security checks are deposited automatically, notify the bank of the death Coordinate the food supply in your home for the next several days Delegate special needs of the household, such as cleaning, food preparation, etc. Send appropriate acknowledgments, which may be a written note, printed acknowledgments, or both.

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Include "thank yous" to those who have given their time, as well Notify insurance companies of the death Locate the will and notify the lawyer and executor Carefully check all life and casualty insurance and death benefits, including Social Security, credit union, trade union, fraternal, and military.

Check on possible income for survivors from these sources Check promptly on all debts and installment payments, including credit cards. Some may carry insurance clauses that will cancel them.