Planning for the end of life can be a daunting task. Be it the departing of a loved one or your own personal plans, it’s a ceremony that involves a lot of people and proceedings. There are legacy considerations, legal obligations, religious rites and planning a proper farewell. With proper care and planning you can make the most of your days and let everyone know what your final wishes are. In recent times typical funerals are instead being done as a ceremonious celebration of one’s life.
Planning a funeral has several aspects to it. You need to gather the family and loved ones for a meeting and present them with the news. Then plan the ceremony step by step, taking into consideration everyone’s input and delegate work accordingly. You need to make an assessment of the personal preferences and choices of the departed.
Preferred modes of cremation and/or burial are to be selected as well. Apart from funeral urns and caskets, today we also have keepsake artifacts and jewelry that lets you keep a part of your loved one’s ashes. Elaborate grave marking and headstone services are available that allow for customized places of final rest.
Once you have an idea of all the steps involved in the ceremony, it is important to make an estimate of the cost. You should account for things like refreshments for the guests, music requests of the deceased or any other personal ceremonies requested, proper facilities for making speeches and eulogies and costs of proper burial. You might consider simplifying your ceremonies if the costs exceed your budget. There is no harm in toning down some of the superficial details as long as it’s a proper farewell.
Today there are many professional funeral planning services and forums available. They present a wide range of packages to choose from. They plan your every step of the funeral for you including taking care of cremation. However, in order to utilize their services, you need to be the one to make the first call.
Everyone should plan for their end of life. Bidding a proper farewell to the world is as important as celebrating life.
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Death is never easy to handle for loved ones. While many times the unfortunate news is unexpected, sometimes with prolonged terminal illness, there is a forewarning. Despite all the forewarning, it can still be very difficult to take in the news of death of loved ones. While time and support of family and friends are the best ways to allow for natural healing to happen over time, there are some things that one can still do when there is enough time to prepare for a loved one’s death.
Preparing well in advance could also be necessary since in times of acute grief, there may not be enough strength to think clearly to carry out the required tasks with respect to the funeral.
Here is a checklist to help prepare as much as possible for the funeral:
With a little pre-planning you can ensure that the end-of-life care and the funeral are carried out in a manner that reflects the love and respect you have for your loved one.
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Funerals are not the most pleasant experience for all of us. On top of that, they can be extremely expensive. The average cost of a funeral is around $8,000, and can be even more. However, you don’t necessarily have to spend a huge amount to say goodbye to your loved ones.
Funerals can be inexpensive, yet meaningful. Here’s how:
1. Location is important
Where you choose to have the funeral service can really affect your budget. Instead of a funeral home, if you hold the service in your own home, then a major portion of your expenses will be cut. You can also have it at a church, where the cost will be much cheaper than a funeral home. Clergy members may not charge you, but it’s respectful to offer at least some amount of money called a stipend.
2. Don’t over-spend on caskets
Caskets are usually the most expensive parts of funerals. Especially if you are on a tight budget, you can always opt for cheaper ones. For example, a standard 18-gauge casket will be priced at around $1,000. Cloth-covered caskets will cost you about $500.
3. Don’t buy flowers
If you want to save money, don’t hire a florist, or get your flowers from the funeral home. You can just get them on your own from your own gardens. Even if you don’t have a garden, ask relatives and close friends who do.
4. Skip embalming
These days, many people choose to opt out of embalming. The formaldehyde used in it is toxic for the environment and not only that, it increases your bill by a significant amount.
5. Make use of veterans’ benefit
If the deceased served in the military, the Department of Veterans Affairs will have funeral and burial benefits available. Learn more on their website.
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Letting go of loved ones forever is never easy. However, funerals are also a celebration of the life that was lived. Especially for those who served in the military and made their country safe, there’s plenty to celebrate and honor.
At National Memorial Planning, we have funeral and memorial merchandise designed specifically for veterans. We have Marine Veteran caskets, Army Veteran caskets, Navy Veteran caskets, Air Force Veteran caskets and more. We also offer various designs of veteran monuments made from different materials.
There are a number of ways you can make use of such merchandises. Here are the top 4 ideas that will help you out.
Veterans spend a huge part of their lives serving their country, making many sacrifices to keep their country and all the people in it safe from danger. Their devotion to their career should definitely be highlighted. Mention and display all their medals and awards, from the least significant to the most significant.
Another respectable way of honoring all a veteran has done for the country is by burying them in their uniform. This is a personal choice though. Many prefer it as it represents how proud they were of their profession. However, you may have to plan ahead.
The U.S Department of Veteran Affairs (VA) will provide a flag free of cost when a veteran is deceased. All you have to do is fill in a form which is available at post offices. Funeral directors can also help you get a flag. Usually, the flag is draped on the casket during the funeral.
As important as it is that you highlight their career, you should not forget their life at home, too, and the kind of person they were. It is quite a task to balance a military career and personal life. So, don’t forget to remember their dedication to family.
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We will have to plan a funeral at least once in our lives, whether it’s for a loved one or we are pre-planning our own. However, funerals can be very expensive, especially if not done right. For this reason, it is extremely important that your funeral home is trustworthy and has your best interests at heart.
Here are 5 useful tips to help you plan any funeral efficiently:
Know the basics of a funeral
Inform yourself about what happens at a funeral, and the options you can choose from. First is to prepare the corpse, and then comes the ceremony, followed by the interment. You will have to choose cremation or embalming, where the service will be held, whether there will be body viewing, ground or tomb burial, and so on.
Always ask for a general price list, if you are not given one
When you inquire at a funeral home, you must always be given a price list. If not, ask for one. You can even take this home if you need more time to think. Even if you’re on a call, the funeral home should inform you about the price list one way or the other. Emailing it to you is effective. This will help you make informed decisions.
You don’t always have to choose a package
Many funeral homes offer packages but they may include too much or too little, depending on your needs. Know that you are not required to buy the whole package. You can unbundle and buy individually.
Learn what you have to know about caskets
Caskets are often the most expensive part of a funeral. They can even go up to thousands of dollars. When you approach a funeral home, you should be shown the price list of caskets first. Only expensive caskets may be displayed, so don’t hesitate to ask to see the cheaper ones. Check with independent providers as well.
You can always opt for more affordable options
If you cannot afford to spend a lot, you can always opt for less expensive options like a direct cremation or a direct burial. These can cut out a lot of expenditures and are more budget-friendly.
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