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Mobile Phone Etiquette At Funerals
Nov 26, 2019   09:29 AM
by Karen

Today many of us are so attached to our mobile phones that we carry them around every moment of every day. These devices have more or less become an extension of us. However, as attached as we may be, there are some places and instances where it is disrespectful and impolite to use our phones. One such example is a funeral.

A funeral is a personal and sacred event where loved ones pay their respects and say their goodbyes to someone who has passed. As such, certain etiquettes need to be followed, even when it comes to mobile use. We discuss these etiquettes below.

 

Don’t use unless absolutely necessary

Generally, cell phone use should be limited at funerals. If you are always texting, scrolling through social media or taking phone calls, it is considered extremely disrespectful to the family of the deceased and the memory of the departed as well. Put simply, don’t use your phone unless it is crucial. If you do have to take or make urgent calls or send texts, make sure to excuse yourself and step outside politely.

Keep your phone on silent mode

Always keep your phone on silent mode when you are at a funeral. Sounds coming from your phone such as ringing sounds, notification sounds, etc. can be very disruptive and distracting at solemn events such as funerals. Remember to keep it on silent, and not vibrate, as the vibrating sound can still be audible.

Avoid taking pictures/selfies

Taking pictures or selfies, whether it is of you, you and your friends, of others, the casket, etc., should be avoided at funerals. This can be considered an invasion of privacy, unless you have permission from the family to click snapshots with your phone. Also, if you have permission to take photographs, be quick and don’t distract the other guests. And don’t forget to silence the sounds. 

 

Thanks for reading,

Karen

How To Decide Who To Put In Charge Of Your Funeral
Oct 29, 2019   09:22 AM
by Karen

A funeral is an important ceremony that allows people to say their final good-byes to a loved one who has passed away. As such, there are many significant decisions that need to be made while planning the funeral.

Some of the most significant decisions regarding funerals include whether the body should be buried or cremated, where to bury, where to scatter ashes, whether a certain religious tradition should be followed, etc.

These decisions make up your funeral, and if you haven’t already left instructions or decided on who should make choices on your behalf, it’s time you consider it. If you have made your wishes known, then it is a statutory obligation for your survivors to honor those wishes. 

There are various ways a person can make their funeral preferences known, including who will make the decisions. Some of these include a Living Will, a Last Will and Testament, as well as other legal documents such as Disposition Authorization Affidavit, Authorization for Final Disposition, or Appointment of Agent to Control Disposition of Remains.

 

Keep in mind--If there are no instructions left by the deceased

If you do not leave behind any instructions or preferences regarding your own funeral, then the responsibility to make these decisions fall upon your nearest relative. This could be your husband, wife, children, parents, sister, brother, etc.

To qualify as a relative who can make decisions regarding a funeral, a person must be over 18 years old. First, the spouse or domestic partner is considered, after which the children are prioritized. If neither of these is present or available, then parents, siblings, authorized guardian, grandchildren, aunts and uncles, and even cousins can qualify as next of kin and make decisions regarding a funeral. 

In some situations, a very close friend of the deceased can even be considered as next of kin if blood relatives are not available.

 

Thanks for reading,

Karen

What To Do If Someone Dies In A Different Country
Oct 15, 2019   09:06 AM
by Karen

When a loved one dies in a foreign country, it can be easy to worry and feel helpless. What do you do to get the remains back? Who do you have to contact for help?

Depending on the country of death, local protocols can be very different. However, there are three main steps that you have to follow if a loved one dies in a different country.

 

  • Contact your embassy or consulate in the country of death

The first thing you can do is contact your embassy or consulate in the country where the death occurred. They will help you get in touch with the foreign offices so you can get the remains back safely and as quickly as possible. They will also provide you with instructions on how to send the funds required to cover the costs.

Apart from making arrangements for the return of the remains, they will also issue a Consular Report of Death Abroad, a legal document with important details of the passing.

 

  • Find out if you have to travel to the country

In addition to the Consular Report of Death Abroad, there are many documents that you need to get the remains back home. These may include a Foreign Funeral Affidavit, a Consular Mortuary Certificate, a Transit Permit, etc.

Depending on the country of death, the rules may be different regarding who can claim the body and sign the required paperwork. So, make sure to work out these details with your consulate or embassy so you can decide if you need to go abroad.

 

  • Find a trusted funeral home in the US to help you

While the foreign side of the process will be taken care of the consulate or embassy, a trusted funeral home in the US can help you with arrangements back home. Always make sure that the funeral home you choose is willing to accommodate the time differences.

 

Thanks for reading,

Karen

What To Do With Social Media Accounts After Death
Aug 27, 2019   09:35 AM
by Karen

When someone dies, their loved ones handle their important financial and legal works. But one thing that many people tend to forget, although everyone has them, are social media accounts. In today’s 21st century digitized world we live, what do you do with someone’s social media accounts after they die?

  • Google

Google has what is known as Inactive Account Manager, which enables the account holder to set a time period, after which the account will be automatically deleted or designated to someone else if it is inactive for that selected time period. This can be three, six, nine, or twelve months. But if the account holder has not used this option, you can directly contact Google to manage the account of the deceased. Although the company won’t give out passwords, it does entertain requests to close accounts.

  • Facebook

The Facebook account of someone who has died can either be memorialized or deleted.  Memorialization is a common option, as it keeps all the posts from the account visible, and friends can post on the timeline depending on the settings. The word “Remembering” is placed next to the name. Memorialization requests can be made in the Help Center page of Facebook.

Another option is to delete the account, which would require you to provide documents to prove that you are either an immediate family or estate executor of the deceased. You can then send a request to Facebook to delete the account.

  • Twitter

The Twitter account of someone who has died can be permanently deleted. However, you need to prove you are an immediate family or the executor of the estate of the deceased. You will have to submit documents like a death certificate and your own ID.

  • Instagram

Like Facebook, an Instagram account can either be deleted or memorialized.  However, deletion can be requested only by immediate family members, for which you will have to provide proof

 

Thanks for reading,

Karen

Giving Away a Lost One's Clothes to Charity - Things to Know
Aug 06, 2019   10:07 AM
by Karen

Donation in any form is a generous act. There are many people who are in dire need of food and clothing who can benefit from it. When you lose a loved one, it is difficult to part from their belongings. Most of us cling to them in our mourning their death. What if they can be honored by helping those in need? Why not give away a lost one’s clothes and some belongings to charity?

Before you donate to charity, keep the following points in mind:

  • Find a charitable organization to donate the items. Call or visit them to know what is accepted as a charity. Find an organization that is willing to accept the clothes of the deceased.
  • Wash or dry clean every clothing item to be donated and make sure that they are not contaminated with mold or anything that can cause health problems.
  • Treat any stains, tear, rip, or damage before you donate them as these clothes are reused by people in need, and charitable organizations cannot do it.
  • Check all pockets and folds for personal belongings. Many times charities have found cash, jewelry, cards, and other valuable items in the donated items.
  • Try to donate seasonal clothes as most charitable organizations do not have ample storage space. If you have winter clothes to donate during summer, hold on to it and donate at the right time.
  • Consider separating all clothing items before you put them in a box. Label each box. This will help the volunteers in the charitable organization send those items quickly where it is needed.
  • Children’s clothing can be donated directly to any orphanages that are willing to take it.
  • Towels and sheets with a tear, rip, or huge stains can be donated to an animal shelter as they can be used there.

 

Remember, when you donate your loved one’s clothes to charity, you honor them by helping someone in need.

 

Thanks for reading,

Karen