The Easy, Free Way to Create a Funeral Plan

When you consider it, we plan for many things in life--retirement, vacations, our children's education. That is why it just makes sense to plan for your funeral and cemetery arrangements. Creating a funeral plan is not only financially wise, but it eases the burden placed on your loved ones and ensures you final plans will be known.

Simplicity PlanĀ® provides helpful articles and tips on funeral options, caregiving, grief support, funeral traditions, and burial trends.

Funeral invitation etiquette

February 14, 2014 at 5:38 am

Deciding who to invite to a funeral can either be very easy and simple, or it can be complex and difficult on many levels. If a person was married multiple times, had secret lovers or children or doesn't want certain relatives present at the ceremony, remaining family members are often at a loss with how to proceed with funeral preparations. Planning for a funeral is never easy, but it can get much harder with specific social wishes of the deceased concerning the ceremony. While some of the responsibility to invite the right people to a funeral is on the planner, the person or people in question also have a responsibility to understand the fragile situation a funeral ceremony can be.

EverPlans outlined the reasons why someone should attend a funeral and also offered various motives not to attend the ceremony. The purpose of a funeral is to support the surviving family, celebrate and honor the person who passed. Even if you didn't have a very close relationship with the deceased but are very close with a family member or friend, your attendance is prudent and often much appreciated. Simply being present can offer support and comfort for those mourning. One the other hand, if you feel your attendance would make the bereaved family uncomfortable or upset, it would be best to resist coming to the funeral.

The New York Times recently featured a question from a reader that asked if a deceased man's mistress should be invited to attend his funeral. The man specifically asked that she was included at the funeral along with his wife and children, but the planner wasn't sure what the right course of action was. The Times writer simply stated that everyone has a right to mourn their loved ones, but it is a matter of public versus private mourning. The man chose to have his mistress on the side while continuing his public relationships with his wife, the funeral should follow. While the writer of the article said this may seem harsh, it is also not appropriate to cheat on a spouse, and the funeral service should be dedicated to those he loved in public.

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Animals an important part of the mourning process

February 14, 2014 at 5:33 am

Animals are an important part of people's lives, especially household pets, as we develop lasting relationships with them. When it comes to planning for a funeral, pets can help with the mourning process and help you overcome a lot of your emotions. They are an integral part of dealing with everyday activities and will be by your side when you need them for support. As The Light Beyond, an online bereavement resource, pointed out, pets are often patient, attentive and comforting during times of need. While it is not always smart to buy or adopt a pet right after the loss of a loved one – they are a lot of responsibility – animal assisted therapy is always an option.

Healing benefits of animals
Animals have been an important part of the grief therapy process for many years, even ancient civilizations have turned to them to help with mourning. The Light Beyond stated that pets have a natural calming presence about them which can lower blood pressure and ease the mind. Children who lose their parents or friends can recover easier, and senior citizens who have the comfort of a pet have less health ailments later in life. Animals have an unconventional healing power about them and can help you deal with the loss of a loved one no matter your age.

Getting involved
The American Humane Society said that the animal-human bond can be powerful. The organization offers animal assisted therapy for children who lost a parent, grew up in abusive homes, families with relatives in the military and many other situations. Learning about the nonjudgmental, unconditional and overall acceptance of animals can heal even the hardest of hearts. There are many programs all over the country that are available for those going through a hard time. 

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Funeral homes want to include pet cremations

February 14, 2014 at 5:32 am

Pets are an integral part of the family and many people choose to honor their animals with proper end-of-life traditions. Some bury their pets, but the latest trend is cremation. Cremating is becoming a popular option because it allows owners to keep their ashes close and honor them in a meaningful way. Because of this trend, funeral homes are starting to include pet cremations as part of their services. In the case of a funeral home in Albany, New York, the owners also want to offer additional pet funeral services to help owners memorialize their animals after death.

Pet funerals a rising trend
Owners of the funeral home say clients have been asking about pet cremation and funeral options for years, leaving them to think investing in pet-centered services would be worthwhile. Ceremony and tradition is important to many families and that extends to their pets. It is no surprise that people would be interested in cremating or burying an animal in a cemetery and celebrate the life of their constant companion. Adding these services to a regular funeral home may be a smart move and help clients plan a funeral for their beloved pet.

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Estate planning in the new year

February 14, 2014 at 5:32 am

With the new year in full swing, it's important to think about what aspects of your estate need to be planned and included in your will. There is no better way to ensure your estate by making end-of-life resolutions a priority in the new year. It is a smart way to make sure you discuss your will and legal options with a lawyer or attorney. Assessing your assets is a necessary and helpful part of planning for a funeral and can put your family at ease when they need to divide your estate. Take the time to plan every significant detail so it is to your liking and your wishes are carried out to the best of your ability.

Here are three parts of estate planning to include this year:

1. Update the estate plan
Lexology says to look over the past year and determine if there is anything to add to the estate or will, any people that should be included or details that need to be taken out of the plan. Changes in marital status, having more children or new business advancements are some of the things you should be thinking about.

2. Assigning a personal representative or trustee
If you would like to add or change the people who execute your will and last testament, it's important to waste no time doing so. Make sure the representative or trustee is a person who is trustworthy, competent, respects your best wishes and will closely follow your wishes.

3. Review various parts of the document
It's always smart to run through the estate plan and will regularly to review who gets what, where your financial assets are going and how to reduce your estate and income taxes, says Forbes. The more you go over the will, the better control you will have of your finances later on.

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Why have life insurance?

February 14, 2014 at 5:29 am

Life insurance is one of the most important parts of end-of-life plans. It ensures remaining family members receive the funds they need should they lose a source of income after a death. Life insurance has helped save many families from destitution and provides for their well-being after you are unable to take care of them. It is a caring and meaningful way to ensure a higher quality of life for spouses and children. Small Business Trends stated life insurance is one of the most important policy options available, and it allows for both simple and significant life plans to continue despite the passing of a household earner.

It can be easy to focus on health care coverage nowadays, but it is also important to think of life insurance and the future of your finances and assets. Your family will appreciate it and be much less stressed while planning for a funeral if they know you have already split your assets up accordingly and have a smart insurance plan. It is worth it to go over the estate plan and will with a legal advisor to make sure that life insurance details are all in place.

The IndyStar stated that putting together a life insurance policy requires a good balance of practicality and love for your family. The former is necessary to make sure the policy fits well with your income and is a smart move financially. A practical insurance plan will benefit both your income as well as your family afterwards. You also must take into account the best option for your family. It is best not to leave policies up to chance and expect your spouse or children to face the results of one policy or money after a death. Finding a good balance of what makes sense, but also what offers your family the best financial support, will help with the process.

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