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What are the funeral options Available?

1. Traditional Funeral: This is the most common type of funeral, where the deceased is embalmed and displayed in a casket for a viewing or visitation. It is followed by a funeral service, usually held at a funeral home or place of worship, and then a procession to the cemetery for burial.
2. Cremation: This option involves the body being cremated instead of burial. After cremation, the ashes can be kept in an urn, buried in a cemetery, scattered, or given to loved ones.
3. Green or Natural Burial: This is an environmentally friendly option where the body is buried in a biodegradable casket or shroud, without embalming or concrete grave liners. It allows for a more natural decomposition of the body.
4. Memorial Service: This is a service held to celebrate and remember the life of the deceased, without the presence of the body. It can be held before or after cremation or burial and can take various forms, such as a religious service, gathering at home, or a public event.
5. Home Funeral: A home funeral involves caring for the deceased in a family’s own residence. It allows for a more intimate and personalized experience, with family members or close friends directly involved in the care and preparation of the body.
6. Direct Burial or Cremation: In this option, the body is buried or cremated shortly after death, without any formal ceremony or visitation. It is a simple and cost-effective option chosen by some families.
7. Veteran’s Funeral: This funeral option is available for military service members and includes specific honors, such as a flag-draped casket, a military honor guard, and the playing of Taps.
8. Anatomical Donation: Some individuals choose to donate their bodies to medical science for research and anatomical study. This option allows for scientific advancements and education to be furthered.
It is important to consult with a funeral director or planner to understand the specific options available in your area and to discuss any personal preferences or cultural traditions that may affect the funeral arrangements.

Pet Funerals

A pet funeral can vary in terms of customs and traditions, as well as personal preferences. However, generally, a pet funeral typically consists of the following elements:

1. Preparation: This involves planning for the funeral, such as selecting a location for the service, deciding on the type of ceremony, and determining the date and time.
2. Gathering: Family, friends, and loved ones of the pet gather to pay their respects and offer condolences to the pet owner. This can be held at a designated funeral home, cemetery, or even in the owner’s home.
3. Eulogy: A eulogy or tribute is usually delivered by the pet owner or a close friend or family member. It consists of sharing fond memories, describing the pet’s personality and unique qualities, and expressing the love and bond shared with the pet.
4. Rituals and ceremonies: Various customs and ceremonies can take place, depending on the beliefs and cultural practices of the pet owner. This may involve readings of poems or prayers, lighting candles, or playing music that held significance to the pet or owner.
5. Burial or cremation: After the funeral service, there is the disposition of the pet’s remains. Pet owners may choose to bury their pet in a pet cemetery, their own backyard, or opt for cremation. If the pet is cremated, the ashes are usually placed in an urn or a memorial container chosen by the owner.
6. Memorials and remembrance: Pet owners may choose to create memorials or tributes to honor their pet’s memory. This can include planting trees or flowers, placing photographs in frames, creating a memorial plaque, or donating in the pet’s name to an animal-related charity.
7. Support and comfort: Finally, a pet funeral offers an opportunity for mourners to support and comfort the grieving pet owner. People often share stories, offer words of encouragement, or simply provide a shoulder to lean on during this difficult time.

Planning ahead provides you with peace of mind in knowing there is a path to follow. Remember, the specifics of a pet funeral can vary greatly based on personal preferences. It is recommended to research a funeral home that will honor your wishes.

Why should I pre-plan my Funeral?

Pre-planning refers to designing a funeral service or memorial in advance.  With early planning, you can control costs and ensure the services accurately reflect your life and legacy. Financially, it makes more sense to preplan funeral arrangements because the cost of funeral and cemetery services doubles every eight to 10 years. When you pre-plan, you lock in at the price of that day. It doesn’t matter when you need the service; you can never be charged any more money.

Pre-planning funeral services is also helpful for your loved ones; having fewer decisions to make during this stressful time allows families, friends, and associates to start the grieving process.  Pre-arrangements will often eliminate some stress and minimize disputes among loved ones who are left behind.

Pre-planning a funeral allows you to create a memorial service based on your unique preferences.  For example, some people may want to select special music, floral arrangements, or video elements for their funeral; while others want a more simple memorial.  There are a few common costs for each type of funeral service, including:

  • Caskets, Urns, & Coffins
  • Funeral Director & Support Staff Fees
  • Memorial Viewing
  • Embalming & Body Preparation
  • Cemetery Plots
  • Graveside Services

There are a wide array of factors that could impact the overall cost of a funeral  including the type of funeral service (traditional burial, cremation, or military), the material the casket of coffin is constructed of, whether you want to purchase a plot, or any additional services. Funeral home’s can help choose a pre-paid funeral plan that is  right for you.

Prepaid Funeral Contract to Spend Down Assets for Medicaid

Medicaid applicants must spend down their available assets until they reach the qualifying level (usually around $2,000, depending on the state). By purchasing a prepaid funeral contract, you can turn available assets into an exempt asset that will not affect your eligibility. In order for a prepaid funeral contract to be exempt from Medicaid asset rules,. That means you cannot change it or cancel it once it is signed.

Be sure to consult a highly reputable funeral home with a licensed funeral director to ensure that your contract meets all of your state’s requirements for Medicaid spend down.

While funeral costs can vary depending on various factors such as location, type of service, and additional services chosen, it’s important to understand these costs. It’s advisable to plan ahead and discuss your preferences and budget with a funeral director to avoid any financial surprises.

Additional Benefits of Pre-Planning a Funeral

  • Assist in researching and selecting the best funeral pre-planning options for seniors
  • Help seniors understand the benefits of pre-planning a funeral
  • Assist in exploring funeral and burial cost estimates to ensure a senior’s budget is considered
  • Aid with gathering the necessary paperwork, such as a will and/or death certificate
  • Explain the available funeral pre-planning selections, such as burial and cremation
  • Provide guidance on selecting a funeral home and cemetery
  • Help determine if an insurance policy is needed to cover the cost of funeral pre-planning
  • Relieve the stress and strain on your loved ones in a time of grieving
  • Ensure your wishes are respected and fulfilled
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