2C Monday , Feb . 27 , 2017
Estate , Pre-Planning , and Sympathy Guide
Your last wishes – it ’ s up to you
True enough , once you ’ ve passed on you won ’ t be able to decide how you ’ re remembered . But it is possible to establish while you ’ re still in this life whether you want to be buried or cremated , and have a religious funeral or a small private memorial service .
In fact , it is increasingly common to record your wishes for your funeral in a contractual document that covers burial , cremation , donating your body to science , or donating your organs and tissues for transplants . Your wishes for the unfolding of your own funeral can also be outlined in detail in this document – you just have to be sure to mention its existence to your loved ones . Don ’ t include these provisions in your will , which is intended to deal with financial and custodial matters only .
To ensure that everything goes the way you want in the days following your death , you can enter into a prearranged funeral service and burial contract with a funeral director . By paying these fees during your lifetime , you will avoid them being billed to your estate , thus helping to ease any difficulties for your loved ones .
Taking these steps can allow you to enjoy the last years of your life with peace of mind . With no document or contract stating your wishes , it will fall to your loved ones to decide on funeral arrangements after your death .
Without a document that outlines your wishes , your funeral arrangements will have to be made by your loved ones .
Rituals help us reconcile with a loss
Every religion and every culture has its own particular rituals surrounding death . Of course , there may be some pretty big differences between them , but many elements are similar , starting with the need to try and make sense of the loss .
The main goal of a funeral is to bring people together who were close to the person who has passed away . This allows mourners to share their suffering and distress with people who are feeling the same emotions . And even if they fail to find an explanation for their ordeal , they can feel comforted by their common quest . Whatever form these rites take , they allow relatives to internalize the reality that they must now forgo the presence of the loved one .
Indeed , expressing grief about the loss is another common denominator of funeral rites from one religion to another . In contemporary society , death seems to be taboo . Abbreviated funerals , skipping the wake , or avoiding a funeral all together are more common than ever .
But psychologists tell us that distancing ourselves from the rituals surrounding the death of a loved one is merely an attempt to deny death itself . It is important to gather and to mark the passing of a loved one in some way .
Fortunately , today , many funeral homes allow relatives to live this important stage of grief to the full in a way that suits their needs and the personality of their lost loved one . Whether it includes a memorial service , a lively gathering , special music , or a subdued religious service , it is possible for a funeral to be entirely consistent with the values of the deceased and those left behind .
Whatever a family ’ s religion or culture , a funeral brings people together who were close to the deceased .
Time alone doesn ’ t heal everything
When someone dies , friends often tell the bereaved that time will heal all . In fact , that is not the case for many people .
Psychotherapists say that how a person expresses and shares his or her grief is a determining factor in how they will cope with their loss in the long term .
The shared mourning of a funeral , for example , can help a person move on from the initial stages of grieving . Despite having lost a loved one , it is possible for mourners to regain the taste for life , and being together in their time of grief can be a reminder of that possibility .
The path to achieve this kind of hope is long and consumes a great deal of energy , as losing a loved one destabilizes the bereaved in many ways . There is much emotional upset , including sadness , anger , guilt , and anxiety .
Other disturbances affect thought processes , leaving people confused , unable to concentrate , and full of doubt . The bereaved may also experience physical disorders , including trembling , headaches , and dizziness , or behavioural changes , such as sleep disorders or hyperactivity .
Given all these upsets , it is clear that mourning is more than a transient state of being that resolves itself over time . We have to work through the physical loss and the loss of the future we had imagined with our loved one .
After the death of someone who brought meaning to our lives , we inevitably find ourselves faced with profound questions about the meaning of life .
The goal of themourning process is certainly not to return to the past , which would be impossible . It is , rather , to reconnect with the simple pleasures of life , in tribute to the departed and to life , itself . For many , this is the challenge .
Grieving is more than a transient state of being that resolves itself over time .
Navigating the funeral process
Submitted by Better Business Bureau of MN and ND
At an average cost between $ 7,000 and $ 10,000 , funerals are one of the more expensive arrangements people make . During such an emotionally charged time , loved ones or caretakers of the deceased can get lost in the details and expenses involved with planning a funeral . Better Business Bureau of Minnesota and North Dakota ® ( BBB ) offers some direction for navigating the funeral process .
“ Discussions of funeral arrangements and designating one ’ s personal wishes are never easy to have , but these are the conversations that can help transform a time of mourning into a time of celebration ,” said Dana Badgerow , president and CEO of BBB of Minnesota and North Dakota .
Many funeral homes offer a variety of package plans that include products and services that are chosen most often by the bereaved . But no packages are obligatory and it ’ s important to take the time , even though time to make these decisions may be short , to find the individual products and services that best serve your needs and the needs of loved ones and the deceased .
One way to remove some of the questions that arise when one passes is to have a plan outlining some choices in advance . This makes things easier for those left behind and also takes the wishes of the deceased into account .
The National Funeral Directors Association offers a “ Bill of Rights for Funeral Preplanning ” ( nfda . org / planning-a-funeral / preplanning . html ) that its members follow . Though you don ’ t have to prepay for a funeral in order to preplan one , there may be financial benefits to doing so .
As you begin to explore your options , it ’ s important to carefully weigh the benefits and costs tied to each choice : traditional burial or cremation . Traditional funerals – where there ’ s a burial and service – are the most popular , but can cost significantly more than cremation .
According to the Cremation Association of North America , the US cremation rate has nearly doubled in the past 15 years . The reason for the increase in the number of people choosing cremation over traditional burial could come down to cost , or because it gives families more flexibility when planning a memorial service , or
simply due to the wishes of the deceased . Whether you ’ re looking at a traditional burial or cremation , The Funeral Rule , which is enforced by the Federal Trade Commission , offers consumers many protections :
• You can choose the funeral goods and services that you want ( with some exceptions ). You do not have to accept a package that may include items you do not want .
• You may receive price information on the telephone if you ask for it . You don ’ t have to give them your name , address , or telephone number first . Although they are not required to do so , many funeral homes mail their price lists , and some post them online .
• You ’ re entitled to a written statement from the funeral home describing any legal cemetery or crematory requirement that requires you to buy particular funeral goods or services .
• You have the right to see a written casket price list before you see the actual caskets . Sometimes , detailed casket price information is included on the funeral home ’ s General Price List . More often , though , it ’ s provided on a separate casket price list . Get the price information before you see the caskets , so that you can ask about lower-priced products that may not be on display .
• The funeral provider must not refuse , or charge a fee , to handle a casket or urn that you bought elsewhere .
• A funeral provider who offers cremation must make alternative containers available .
BBB has free business reviews on more than 450 funeral service providers throughout Minnesota and North Dakota , available at bbb . org / search .
The mission of Better Business Bureau is to be the leader in building marketplace trust by promoting , through self-regulation , the highest standards of business ethics and conduct , and to instill confi dence in responsible businesses through programs of education and action that inform , assist and protect the general public . The BBB is open 8 a . m . to 5 p . m . Monday through Friday . Contact BBB at bbb . org or ( 651 ) 699-1111 , toll-free at 1-800-646-6222 .
Chilson Funeral Home
Quality Monuments Competitively Priced
Darwin Monument 320-693-5902
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Darwinmonument . com
Johnson-McBride Chapel Glencoe 1-320-864-3737
Paul-McBride Chapel Lester Prairie 1-320-395-2513
Simple Cremation $ 1650.00
“ Celebrating Life ”
Ever thought of visiting a funeral home ?
Prearranging a funeral service is a process that requires a great deal of thought . And it involves a lot of important decisions that aren ’ t always easy to make .
Finding out about the services offered by funeral homes in your area will help you make the right choices . Unless you have a family tradition of going to one specific funeral home , you can shop around for a place that resonates with your needs .
Before making your choice , contact several funeral homes and make appointments to speak with a sales associate or funeral director . Bear in mind that it ’ s important for these professionals to provide you with clear answers to all your questions and that you feel comfortable in their presence .
In addition to getting information about the different services offered and the associated costs , you ’ ll also learn more about how to proceed when a loved one dies and what documentation you ’ ll have to deal with . Indeed , funeral arrangements involve a whole host of services that you ’ ll need to decide on : burial or cremation ; choice of urn or coffin ; and type of funeral service .
Usually , funeral home services are not just limited to the funeral itself . Most can also provide support services for bereaved families , and informative documents that you can consult in order to make the best possible choices .
Don ’ t wait until you ’ re going through a difficult time in your life before inquiring about funeral arrangements . It ’ s definitely one of those things that ’ s best done now .