A Simple Guide
To Funeral Preplanning.
Because you care for those you love.
When it comes time for your funeral, it should be the time for a precious gift to be shared with your loved ones. That gift will allow family and friends to gather, grieve and share memories of your life.
Your gift of a pre-arranged funeral will spare your loved ones from having to make complicated and difficult decisions at a difficult and emotional time.
When you pre-plan your funeral and burial arrangements, you are doing more than giving yourself the peace of mind that comes from knowing that all your arrangements have been made according to your exact wishes. You will also be giving your loved ones a gift that shows how much you really cared about them.
At Forest Home Cemetery, we are ready to answer your questions and to help you with your funeral preplanning. Our consulting service is free, even though the results can be priceless.
Preplanning your funeral:
for all the right reasons.
Your family can take comfort at the time of death knowing that, as their loved one, your funeral reflects your wishes and desires.
Prearranging your funeral and burial arrangements removes unnecessary emotional stress from your survivors. When you preplan, your spouse, child or other loved one will not be left with the burden of making important decisions at a very difficult time.
Prearranging offers you the advantage of being able to think about what you really want before purchasing merchandise and choosing a licensed funeral director.
By preplanning with the help of Forest Home Cemetery, you can make sure that your burial and perpetual care costs are set and guaranteed.
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First, a look at some of the details.
When pre-planning your funeral, the first step is to consider all the details involved with your funeral and burial arrangements. The following are some examples of planning elements to consider:
Will the costs for your funeral and burial be set and guaranteed at todays prices?
Do you wish a traditional or memorial service? Religious, fraternal, military or secular?
Will your funeral be public or private? Simple or elaborate?
Where will your funeral be held? Day or evening?
Have you chosen a funeral director or presider?
Will there be a visitation prior to the service? Photos or other remembrances displayed?
What type of casket and clothing do you prefer? Flowers and music?
Who should handle the eulogy and designated readings? Preferred pallbearers?
Have you made cemetery arrangements? Memorial and inscription?
Will your remains be buried, entombed or cremated?
If cremated, will your remains be saved or scattered? Where?
What charitable organizations should receive memorial donations?
Other special wishes?
Preplanning your funeral: its easy and economical.
You dont have to be wealthy or have an elaborate estate plan in order to preplan your funeral. Its an easy and, at Forest Home, free process that everyone should do.
All you need is a simple document that details your funeral and burial wishes. Whether hand-written or typed, this document will spare your loved ones from having to make dozens of decisions at the time of your death. With the help of your Forest Home consultant, this document can usually be completed in less than an hour.
Once the document is finished, make sure you give copies of the signed and dated funeral plan to your selected family members, your Forest Home representative, your chosen funeral director and retain the original for fast reference. Of course, youll also want to discuss your plan and arrangements with your funeral director.
Today, more than seven million people have preplanned and prepaid all or a portion of the cost for their own funerals, while millions more have taken the time to at least record their funeral wishes. For the sake of your loved ones, you should seriously consider doing the same.
Understanding your burial options.
Choosing where and how you are going to spend eternity is a very important decision. We encourage you to investigate and carefully compare cemeteries starting with a visit to each one that you are considering. See for yourself how well the facility is maintained and while youre there, speak to a representative. Ask about the cemeterys ownership, history of operation, type of management, financial health and the size of its perpetual-care endowment fund. Youll also want to know more about the types of memorials and monuments allowed, the placement of flowers and other remembrances, and other rules and regulations. The cemeterys offering, and cost, of perpetual care should also be considered.
When you compare cemeteries, we think youll find Forest Home will be your first choice. In addition to its 200 acres of beautifully landscaped grounds, more than 150 years of history and non-profit ownership, Forest Home Cemetery also offers you more burial options.
You have more choice at Forest Home.
Traditional below-ground burial: Forest Home offers acres of beautifully landscaped sites that allow your choice of memorial markers.
Chapel Gardens outdoor mausoleum: Blending classic architecture with lush landscaping and extensive use of flowers, Chapel Gardens is one of the most picturesque outdoor community mausoleums anywhere.
Halls of History indoor mausoleum: Unlike any other in the nation, the Halls of History not only offers a temperature-controlled indoor mausoleum, but also a beautiful glass-fronted cremation columbarium just off of the Main Gallery.
Alcoves outdoor mausoleum: Forest Homes newest, built with particular attention to detail for the utmost dignity of above-ground burial.
Private mausoleums: Forest Home continues the tradition of offering private mausoleums that properly reflect the unique character and accomplishments of individuals and families.
Cremation: Forest Home offers scattering locations plus a wide selection of urns and niches for indoor or outdoor burial.
Special Perpetual Care: As part of pre-planning arrangements, Special Perpetual Care assures that special memories are always honored with flowers, plants or memorials on selected special days during each year.
Markers and memorials: Forest Home offers and allows a full selection of standing or ground-level markers and memorials.
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Tips if you choose to prepay.
Depending on your wishes and financial situation, you may decide to prepay all or a portion of your funeral expenses. It is very important that you have a full understanding of your upfront payments and the corresponding benefits that you expect to receive. To help guide you, the National Funeral Directors Association offers these tips on prepaying your funeral expenses:
Choose a licensed funeral director who has a good reputation in the community. The same holds true for choosing a cemetery.
Make sure your prepaid funds are secured and that you are satisfied with how they are invested.
Make sure that your plan is flexible so that you can change it if you wish. In case you move, be sure that your prepayments can be transferred to other qualified funeral providers.
Consider all aspects of your plan before signing any irrevocable agreements (contracts that cannot be canceled). Irrevocable agreements may be appropriate when eligibility for Supplemental Social Security (SSI), Medicaid or other public benefits are being determined, but such agreements may limit your flexibility.
Have a family member participate during meetings.
Before you sign any contract, make sure to reread it carefully and make sure you understand all of the provisions. Dont be afraid to ask questions.
Make sure everything of importance to you is captured in writing. Retain a copy for yourself and provide copies to one or more family members.
Three common ways to finance your plans.
If you choose to prepay all or a portion of your funeral expenses, there are three methods that are commonly used:
Regulated trust established by a licensed funeral director or cemetery operator.
Life insurance policy equal to the anticipated cost of funeral.
Savings account or certificate of deposit earmarked for funeral expenses. This account can be designated as payable upon death (POD) to the executor of your estate, your funeral director or cemetery operator.
To protect you and your loved ones.
Most funeral providers are professionals who strive to serve their clients needs and best interests. But a few are not so considerate. They may try to take advantage of their clients through inflated prices, overcharges, double charges or unnecessary services. Fortunately, there is a federal law that is designed to protect you and your loved ones.
The Funeral Rule, enforced by the Federal Trade Commission, requires funeral directors to give you itemized prices in person and, if you ask, over the phone. The Rule also requires funeral directors to explain your rights and give you other information such as:
You have the right to choose only those funeral items and services you want (with some exceptions). This basic consumer right must be in writing on the general price list.
If a state or local law requires you to purchase a particular item, that item must be disclosed on the price list along with a reference to that law.
The funeral director may not refuse, or charge a fee, to handle a casket you bought elsewhere.
A funeral director who offers cremations must make alternative containers available.
At Forest Home, were here to help.
As you complete your funeral and burial preplanning, you can count on your Forest Home representative for personal and complete assistance. From answering any and all of your questions to making sure that all your wishes and desires are met, were here to help you in any way that we can. Even if you dont choose Forest Home as your final resting place, we want to make sure that your funeral preplanning is completed entirely to your satisfaction. For more information on Forest Homes preplanning assistance, just call: 414-645-2632.
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