Thursday, February 6, 2014

Prearrangement Information
Source: Aftercare Resource Guide from Funeral Directors Life Insurance Company 2013

As you know, when a loved one dies, the family is faced with making many decisions at a difficult time. But you can spare loved ones from the burden of having to make these difficult decisions with a little advance planning. By planning ahead, you can give your family peace of mind knowing that the difficult decisions are already taken care of, ahead of time. There is no cost when planning ahead--it is a free service that we offer to the families we serve. You may come in anytime or have one of our representatives meet you to put your plans in place. You have experienced the pain of loss, but your loved ones can be spared the additional pain of worry, confusion, and doubt at a time of grief. Planning ahead is a tremendous gift of love and benefits your family in many ways. 

The Benefits to Prearranging
1. Your Family: The most important reason for prearranging your funeral is to spare your family the worry of having to make important decisions at an emotionally difficult time. During this stressful time, even the most sincere desire to create a fitting tribute can result in emotional overspending and other regretful decisions. 
2. Peace of Mind: You may have special wishes concerning your funeral arrangements. Our Thoughtful Decisions Guide will provide you with a document showing your wishes in writing. You can go over each section with your family, making decisions such as favorite hymns and Bible verses together. With this guide, you know everything will be taken care of according to your wishes. 
3. Saving Money: If you choose to pay for your prearranged services now, you may also ease the financial burden on your surviving loved ones. Remember, estate planning is incomplete until you have taken care of funeral prearrangement. Throughout your life, you have given thoughtful consideration to the important decisions you have made. You have prepared for those things that might happen by taking out fire or health insurance. Doesn't it make sense to prepare for those things that will happen?

Please don't be misled into thinking that the military, the veteran's organization, Social Security, Medicare, or Medicaid will take care of final expenses. These organizations will be helpful, but they will not completely erase all the expenses involved in an untimely death.

Important decisions about your funeral service should not be made at the last minute. Your family will be under the most intense and difficult emotional stress of their lives when they face the reality of your death. The way to reduce this is to make your wishes known, in  advance, with our Thoughtful Decisions Guide. With this guide, you can go over your wishes with your family and make sound decisions in the privacy of your own home. The guide can then be securely filed with our funeral home. 

When you decide to prearrange, you may wish to speak to one of our funeral arrangement specialist. They will be available any time to answer any questions you have about prearranging, such as:
             1. What if I move after I have prearranged my funeral?
             2. What if I prearrange in my community and then die away from home?
             3. What if I change my mind about my arrangements?
Knowing your wishes were made in advance can bring peace of mind to you and your loved ones. Prearranging your funeral or cremation service is a decision you make, but it's a decision that will affect all of the people you love and who love you most. We invite you to come by or call us for more information about your prearrangement options. 

Source: Aftercare Resource Guide from Funeral Directors Life Insurance Company 2013

Wednesday, February 5, 2014

Aftercare Guide

Aftercare Guide

What To Do When A Loved One Dies

The loss of someone close to you, especially a spouse, parents, sibling, or child, is an extremely difficult time in many ways.

You might be experiencing feelings of intense grief, sadness and loss. It may be difficult to do even small everyday tasks like preparing meals and going to the store. Just when you think you're coping well, a memory might trigger your grief to return even stronger than before. The most important thing to do during this time is to be sure to take care of yourself. Eat well, get a good night's rest, take walks, stay healthy. Let yourself experience your grief and don't try to stop it. The only way to get through your grief is to let it run its natural course. 

When a loved one dies, there are also many practical matters that must be attended to. Financial organizations must be notified; government offices must be visited; credit card and insurance companies must be contacted; legal and personal affairs must be settled. Dealing with these practicalities may seem like more than you can handle in the first few weeks following the death of a loved one. Pace yourself and take it slow; though these are important matters, it is more important that you give yourself enough time to come to grips with your loss. 

We hope that this guide will be useful to you as you begin to settle your loved one's personal affairs and update your own. This resource guide is designed to provide you with information about filing for benefits, taking care of financial obligations, and settling legal affairs. If you need help with any of these tasks, don't hesitate to ask for the assistance of a close friend or relative. We also would be glad to help in any way we can. 

Veteran's Benefits
When a veteran dies, the surviving spouse may receive a Veteran's Administration allowance as partial reimbursement for an eligible veteran's burial and funeral or cremation costs.

Service-Related Death
If the death was service-related on or after September 11, 2001, the VA will pay up to $2,000.00. If the service-related death was on or prior to September 10, 2001, the VA will pay up to $1,500.00
If the veteran is buried in a VA national cemetery, a portion or all of the cost of moving the deceased may be reimbursed.

Nonservice-Related Death
For nonservice-related death, the Veterans Administration may provide a limited amount of compensation for burial and funeral expenses and/or transfer of the body, depending on eligibility. Please contact the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Office at 1-800-749-8387 or visit their website at to find out if you are eligible for any benefits. 

Headstones- Markers- United States Flag
All veterans with an honorable discharge will receive a flag and military honors. A deceased veteran, discharged under any condition except dishonorable, is entitled to a standard Government-furnished headstone or marker. Upon request, at no cost to the surviving family member, the VA will provide the headstone or marker for the gravesite.

Flat markers are available in granite, marble, and bronze. Upright headstones are available in granite and marble. The style must be consistent with existing monuments or markers at the burial site. 

The VA will provide a United States flag, at not cost, to drape over the casket or urn of a deceased veteran. Only one flag is provided per veteran. Generally the flag is given to the next of kin; however, the VA will furnish the flag to a friend upon request. 

VA Benefits for Surviving Spouse
One of the most difficult tasks for a survivor after the death of the veteran is the completion of numerous claim forms for VA survivor benefits. To help facilitate the claims process, below is a list of documents you will need to bring with you to the VA office.
1. Proof of veteran's military service (Form DD214)
2. Service serial number or Social Security Number
3. Veteran's birth certificate ( to determine parent's benefits)
4. Veteran's death certificate
5. Marriage license ( if applicable) or divorce decree
6. Children's birth certificates
7. Government life insurance policy
For further information regarding veteran's benefits such as who is eligible and what forms need to be completed, please call the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs or visit their website at

Social Security Benefits
When a loved one dies, there are certain things you need to know about survivor's benefits. You should immediately contact the local Social Security Office and apply for survivor's benefits because in some cases, benefits may not be retroactive.

How Much Are the Benefits?
Social Security pays out a special one-time payment of $225 to a surviving spouse or eligible child or a qualifying recipient. Additional monies due will depend on the earnings of the deceased. The more he or she paid in Social Security, the higher the monthly benefits. 

Who is Eligible to Receive the Monthly Benefits?
Social Security survivor benefits can be paid to your:
1. Widow or widower- full benefits at retirement age or older, or reduced benefits as early as age 60. A disabled widow can receive as early as age 50.
2.Widow or widower- at any age if he or she is taking care of your child under the age of 16 or disabled. 
3. Unmarried children- until the age of 18. Your child can receive benefits at any age if they were disabled before the age of 22 and have not recovered from their disability. 
4. Dependent parents at the age of 62 and older.
5. Divorced Spouses- a divorced spouse is eligible to receive survivor's benefits at age 60 ( or 50 if disabled) if the marriage lasted 10 years or more. The divorced spouse is also eligible to receive benefits without meeting the length-of-marriage requirement if he or she is caring for the deceased's natural or legally adopted children under the age of 16. 

Source: Aftercare Resource Guide from Funeral Directors Life Insurance Company 2013