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Common Scams You Should Avoid After Losing a Loved One
Jul 25, 2019   10:39 AM
by Karen

When a loved one dies, there is no doubt that it is an overwhelming experience. You have to deal with your emotions while having to make funeral arrangements and taking care of financial matters.

Knowing what a challenging time it is for people who are grieving, there are some who take advantage of what you are going through by trying to scam you. They know that you are in a vulnerable state, and they try to trick you into falling for these scams. Make sure you do not fall victim to these common after-death scams:

  • Medicare scam

Often times, scammers call you or send an email asking for the birth date and Social Security number of the deceased on the pretext that their Medicare insurance information has to be updated. Their real intention is identity theft so make sure that you do not fall for this scam.

  • Fake life insurance policy

You may be contacted by scammers who claim that your loved one was behind on their life insurance policy payments, asking you to complete their payment so that you can be paid out a huge sum of money. Before you transfer the money, make sure you have documents proving that your loved one really did have said insurance.

  • Fake IRS calls

Scammers sometimes pretend to be IRS employees and aggressively nag you on the phone saying that the deceased owes tax money. They may even threaten legal action if you do not pay. The IRS has announced that it never contacts people by phone and asks for money in this manner.

  • Long lost relatives

Finally, there are those scammers who claim to be long, lost relatives. These people come out of the blue after death and claim that they are owed inheritance. Make sure always to confirm their identity first. And, of course, check the Last Will and Testament with a lawyer.

 

Thanks for reading,

Karen

4 Reasons for Publishing Obituaries
Jul 09, 2019   11:15 AM
by Karen

Obituaries have always been an important funeral tradition for years. Initially, newspapers would publish obituaries free of cost as they were considered news stories. However, today, most newspapers charge a fee. Of course, many funeral homes can publish obituaries for free on their website too.

Obituaries may seem like a thing of the past, but there are many benefits to acknowledging the death of a loved one in print. 

  • To honor the memory of the person who has died

Publishing an obituary is a great way to honor the memory of the person who has died. It shows that they are loved and missed and also shares important details about their lives and the kind of person they were. Details like name, date of birth, date of death, survivors, and their accomplishments are usually included in obituaries.

  • To inform others in your community about your loss

When you publish an obituary you are informing other people in your community about your loss in an effective, efficient manner. This way, you save lots of time as you don’t have to call up each one individually. Once informed, they can reach out to you to offer their condolences and prayers.

  • It can help you understand your own loss better

Publishing an obituary can sometimes help you accept your own loss and understand it better. It can be difficult to come to terms that someone you care about has passed away, and seeing the news of their death in a tangible manner can help you come to terms with reality. Besides, writing an obituary brings back fond memories of your loved ones to remember them by.

  • To record history

When you have the news of your loved one’s death in print, it can prove to be very valuable in the years to come so that future generations know about this person and the kind of life they lived.

 

Thanks for reading,

Karen

4 Common Cremation Myths
May 30, 2019   04:46 PM
by Karen

Cremation is a common practice that many people choose over burial to say goodbye to the worldly bodies of their loved ones. However, despite its popularity, it is still shrouded with misconceptions and many people believe myths about it that are far from the truth.

If you or a loved one is considering cremation after death, then you should know that these common myths below are not the truth:

  • The body will have to be lit on fire

Many people tend to believe that in a cremation, the body is directly lit on fire. However, in reality, the body is kept in a specially-designed furnace where flames are used to produce extreme heat. The furnace, also known as a retort, reaches temperatures as high as 1800° F. As a result of this intense heat, the body is reduced to gas and bone fragments, which are then converted to ashes.

  • You can get someone else’s ashes

People often fear that they will be mistakenly given the ashes of another person instead of their loved one. However, in order to prevent this, there are strict laws in place which every crematory authority must follow. So you can be confident that such mix-ups will not happen to you.

  • Cremation means no traditional funeral

A common misconception is that if you have a cremation, you cannot have a traditional funeral. Many people choose to have a funeral or memorial service with the urn present after the cremation process. It all depends on you or the wishes of your loved ones. A body can also be present at a funeral prior to cremation.

  • Scattering ashes is illegal

While some public places do forbid the scattering of ashes, meaning that you cannot scatter ashes anywhere you want, there are plenty of places, both public and private, that allow it. Make sure that you consult the authorities first before doing so.

 

Thanks for reading,

Karen

Why You Should Consider a Memorial Bench to Honor Your Loved One
May 23, 2019   09:25 AM
by Karen

 

Death is a painful truth that we all have to accept one day. A loved one leaving for heavenly abode creates a void in our lives that can never be filled. While there is nothing a grieving family member can do to reunite with their deceased loved one, they can pay tribute to the departed soul by getting a memorial bench placed in a public or private place in their memory.

Available in a range of styles, memorial benches can be placed in parks, gardens or cemeteries. Many people get a memorial bench installed close to their deceased loved one’s burial site. Memorial benches remind people of the deceased person, ensuring that their legacy lives on. Some popular materials used to make memorial benches are wood, metal, stone, and synthetic materials. 

The best way to honor a loved one is by creating a remembrance product that is valued not only by you but also by other community members. A memorial bench can not only help you remember your loved one but can also contribute to the community, providing community members and their visitors a peaceful refuge where they can rest and contemplate life. 

Passersby heaving a sigh of relief after resting on the bench for a while will be the best tribute to the departed soul.

When placing a memorial bench in a public place, make sure to learn and abide by regulations. If you want to bury ashes under the bench, consult local authorities as many cities prohibit people from doing so. When ordering a bench with a plaque, consider the following things:

  • The size and design of the bench
  • Your budget
  • The spot where you want to place the bench.

Make sure the plaque is durable. Many manufacturers supply as many plaques as their clients order. Even if your supplier is unable to deliver multiple plaques, you can opt for additional pieces at a later date.

 

Thanks for reading,

Karen

Glossary of Common Terms Used in Wills and Trusts
Jan 31, 2019   10:08 AM
by Karen

 

It’s normal to feel overwhelmed when dealing with legalese. After all, most of us don’t use these terms in our day to day lives. Lawyers tend to write documents in legalese because it makes it easier for other lawyers to understand what they’re saying.

Have a look at these common terms used in last wills as well as trusts so that you don’t feel quite as lost the next time you have one of these legal documents in front of you.

  1. Testator – The person who makes the will as well as signs her or his name is called the testator. The word testatrix is sometimes used if the person making the will if female.
  2. Beneficiary – Legal documents usually have people who inherit money or other property. The person who inherits these things is known as the beneficiary.
  3. Bequeath – This is another word for 'give'.
  4. Heir – Each state has different laws that state how your property and other assets will be divided in the event of your death. Heirs are the people who will inherit your property and assets from you. Usually a person’s heirs are their spouse and children. If the person didn’t have a spouse or children other relatives are then considered.
  5. Intestate – People who do not leave a will behind specifying what is to be done with their property and other assets are intestates. The state intestacy laws will then be followed to decide who those people's heirs are.
  6. Executor – An executor is a person who executes your will—a person who is in charge of distributing your estate according to your will after you pass. Executrix is sometimes used for a female executor.

There are many other terms used in wills as well as trusts. However, these terms are the most commonly used ones.

 

Thanks for reading,

Karen

What You Need to Know About Remarriage after the Death of Your Partner
Jan 29, 2019   10:20 AM
by Karen

 

Although it may take some time to move on after the death of a loved one, it eventually happens. Many people find that they have a sense of guilt before they move on or when they move on, preventing them from ever really living their life again. This can be quite unhealthy for you in the long haul.

It is important to understand that after the death of your spouse, finding someone else isn’t wrong. It doesn’t mean you are betraying them. You have the right to carry on with your life and find someone who loves you for who you are. There is no right time to get married again after you have lost your spouse. It is crucial that you do it at your own pace, in your own time without any external pressure.

Here are some important things you should consider before making the decision:

  • Make sure you are emotionally and mentally ready

You need to be prepared for a new marriage mentally and emotionally. After all, you will be the one who experiences the most change. Before making any decision, take the time to figure out where you stand and what you are looking for in a relationship. Understand that it is unfair and unhealthy to bring your unresolved issues and attachments from your previous marriage into your new one, unless you and your new partner can openly speak about it.

  • Make sure the kids are ready

If you have kids from your previous marriage, you need to consider their feelings also. Your kids may not be ready to welcome a new member to the family, and often kids feel that when their parent remarries, the new spouse is trying to replace their deceased parent. You need to help your kids understand this isn’t the case.

  • Consider the changes it will bring into your home

Remarriage not only brings changes to your personal life, but your home and family traditions as a whole. You need to make sure that you are ready to welcome such changes.

 

Thanks for reading,

Karen

What Is Embalming And Why Is It Done?
Oct 16, 2018   05:27 PM
by Karen


Many funeral homes offer a service performed on the body of a loved one who has passed away known as embalming. It is the process of preserving a body after death so as to delay decomposition. It also involves disinfecting the body and making it visually appealing for visitation by applying make-up.

For many years humans have been practicing embalming in various forms. Thousands of years ago, the Egyptians practiced it, and we still continue this today in different cultures and religion, although the forms may vary.

There are two main types of embalming, both differing in process. The first is called arterial embalming, where the blood in the body is replaced with certain embalming fluids or solutions. Blood will be removed through the veins, while the embalming solutions enter the body through the arteries. These solutions are usually a mixture of formaldehyde, ethanol, glutaraldehyde, phenol, ethanol, and water.

The other type of embalming is known as cavity embalming. Here, a small incision is made through which the natural fluids found in the abdomen and chest are drained. The embalming solution replaces the natural fluids, thus preventing early decomposition of the body.

Before the embalming process starts in both cavity and arterial embalming, the body is thoroughly washed with a disinfectant solution. To prevent any stiffness of muscles and joints, the body is also massaged.

Why is embalming done?

There are three main reasons why embalming is done:

      Preservation

The first reason for embalming is to preserve the body of the deceased so that it can be displayed longer for visitation, or if the burial is several days away.

Restoration

Embalming restores the body of the deceased, making it more visually appealing.

General hygiene

Embalming is done so as to protect anyone coming in contact with the body, as well as to prevent any odor before burial.

 

Thanks for reading,

Karen

 

Why Funerals Are Significant For The Living
Aug 28, 2018   11:58 AM
by Karen

 

Funerals are an important ritual when a loved one has passed away. Many argue that there is no point in holding such elaborate rituals when someone is already dead, but what these people do not understand is that funerals are for the living, not for the dead. It is necessary that we have a positive reception of funerals so we can learn to respect and appreciate the role they play in our understanding of life and death.

Below we discuss a few points to help establish why funerals are for the living.

  • Funerals provide us with a physical point of departure

Funerals provide us with the proper time and space to say goodbye to our loved ones who have passed. This is one of the most important reasons why we have funerals – they serve as a ritual that helps us acknowledge that someone is no longer with us.

  • Funerals help us move on with our lives

Since funerals provide us with a chance to say goodbye to those people we have lost, they also allow us to move on with our lives without them. Once we acknowledge our loss, it becomes easier to move on and start our lives without them.

  • Funerals allow us to reach out to family and friends

Another important role of funerals is that they serve as a time and place for family, relatives, and friends to lend their support to each other and to those who are grieving. Since a lot of people from the community come together, it becomes easier to feel strengthened even amid loss.

  • Funerals allow us time and space for reflection

As living beings who go on with our daily lives, we hardly think of profound topics such as life and death. However, it is important to reflect on these, so we know just how precious life is. Funerals allow us this time for reflection.

 

Thanks for reading,

Karen

Why Do We Bury The Dead In Caskets?
May 31, 2018   12:21 PM
by Karen

 

It’s common practice for Christians to bury the dead in caskets, six feet underground. But have you ever wondered why? How did this funeral ritual develop? How did we bury the dead before the invention of caskets? Let’s take a look at a brief history of caskets and coffins.

Burial is among the oldest forms of funeral ritual in the world, and many cultures across the globe adopt it. In fact, it can be traced back to about 600,000 years ago, when the Neanderthals, living in Eurasia, used to bury their dead in shallow pits on the ground with a few of their personal items.

Fast forward to 3150 B.C, and you will find that the Egyptians were using advanced burial techniques to preserve their dead even during that time. It’s no wonder archaeologists today still find Egyptian mummies dating back to thousands of years, laid in decorated wooden or stone containers. Then, it was about 700 B.C, when the Celtic people in Europe started the practice of laying their dead in burial boxes constructed from flat stones instead of burying them directly in the earth.

Adopting modern encasements

From this progression, it is clear that as man evolved, burial practices and methods evolved also. Earlier, people did not cover the body before burying them. They believed that the body should be united with the earth once again. As time passed, boxes were made to keep the bodies in and this evolved to be what we know today as coffins and caskets.

The word “coffin” was coined by the French, which literally translates to “basket” or “cradle”.  The word “casket”, on the other hand, was first used by undertakers in North America. When the civil war broke out, coffins were produced in bulks since so many soldiers died every day and this greatly catapulted the casket industry to where it is today.

 

Thanks for reading,

Karen

Things The Bereaved Don’t Want To Hear
May 26, 2018   10:55 AM
by Karen

 

Losing a loved one is difficult. The experience is more difficult when people come up to you and start saying all the wrong things. If you want to comfort someone who is grieving, here are the four things you should never say to them.

"Everything happens for a reason."

This is a very common phrase that people often tell others during hard times. You may think that it may bring them some sort of comfort, but more often than not, it does exactly the opposite. When someone we love dies, we go through an overwhelming feeling of loss and grief, and we simply do not want to hear that losing someone you love “happens for a reason”, especially when the reason is unknown.

"I know exactly how you feel."

When someone is grieving, the most important thing is to let them know that you are there for them. It may seem like the right thing to say, but don’t tell them you know and understand exactly what they are going through, because you don’t. Yes, you may have lost a loved one too, but you can never know just how deeply someone is feeling a loss.

"What can I do for you?"

Don’t ask a grieving person what you can do for them, or to tell you how you can help. Instead, just do what you see needs to be done. They are already in a difficult place and asking them to reach out for your help only puts more responsibility on their shoulders.

"At least…"

It’s easy to say things like “At least he/she had a peaceful death”, “At least he/she lived a long life”, or “At least they are in a better place now.” Even though your intention is to make them feel better and comfort them, statements like these rarely do the work. No amount of “At least” can take the pain away.

 

Thanks for reading,

Karen