The purpose of pre-planning is to make the time of your death, as much as possible, easier on the people you love. This involves three basic issues:
- Having information on file at the funeral home.
- Making decisions.
- Determining how your funeral expenses will be paid.
You will need to provide information such as:
- Your legal name, address, birth date, birth place, Social Security #, marital status, military record, occupation, education level, fathers name, mother’s maiden name, etc.
- Additional details for the newspaper. Many people choose to write their own obituary.
- A DD214 or separation papers will be needed for any eligible VA benefits.
Everyone is faced with making 8 major decisions.
- Method of disposition. Do you want traditional or cremation?
- Cemetery choice
- Cemetery property–above ground in a mausoleum or earth burial?
- Vault. Few people understand that a vault is a cemetery requirement for maintenance. A vault maintains the integrity of the burial site because if you dumped 2 tons of earth on top of a casket it would crush it, the grave would sink, and require continual backfilling. There are 2 types of vaults, protective and non-protective. One is designed to keep out the elements of the earth and the other isn’t.
- Type of headstone? Will it be flush to the ground with bronze on granite or granite only? Do you want an upright monument instead? If so, what color and what size?
- Type of casket – metal (protective or non-protective) or wood?
- Where and how will the services take place?
- How much money should be spent and who will make payment?
To be continued.