I am a stickler for having things organized well ahead of time, and I’d like to ask you about the items I will need to bring with me when arranging a funeral. My husband and I have put money away into a funeral trust account and have made our wishes known to each other and our children, but now I want to prepare a file with everything needed for when the time eventually comes to do the actual arrangement.
With much appreciation,
Thank you very much for sending in your question. Below is a list of important items to consider in preparing for an arrangement conference at the funeral home when a death occurs.
Funeral Arrangement – Be prepared to discuss the following items for the funeral service:
Funeral Agenda/Program (with accompanying photos), flowers (casket spray, etc.), location for service (place of worship, funeral home etc.), requested clergy or life celebrant to reside over services, limousines, organist/solotist/musicians, pallbearers, vital information for the death certificate and permits
Cemetery Arrangement – Cemetery arrangements are separate transactions between the family and the cemetery facility (The funeral home can provide you with a sheet of phone numbers to most local cemeteries. In cases of burials in national military cemeteries, the funeral home will make the schedule arrangements). If cemetery property is needed, it’s suggested that the family contact the cemetery and purchase property prior to coming in to the arrangement conference. If the family has cemetery property, it is advisable to bring the plot deed with you to the arrangement meeting OR a listing of the individuals who are interred in the grave location.
Military Arrangement – The requirements for veterans wishing to use National Cemeteries are as follows (requirements are also needed to schedule military honors at non-national cemeteries): An honorable discharge veteran status and a copy of the DD214 or equivalent of a certificate of military service (Note: Arlington National Cemetery has strict eligibility requirements. The funeral directors will discuss them with you if Arlington Cemetery is the choice).
Insurance Policy Information – Life insurance policies may be used to settle the charges associated with the funeral. At Bosak Funeral Home, we will call the insurance company for verification that the policy submitted is active and in force, and in many cases we will help to file the claim. Most life insurance companies require the following to process the claim: A letter of assignment signed by the beneficiary for proceeds, a copy of the certified death certificate (family to provide), original policy or lost policy statement and a copy of the funeral statement of goods & services.
Payment Terms – payment for funeral home services is required at the time of the arrangement or not later than 24 hours before scheduled funeral services. The payment types accepted are listed on the funeral home’s General Price List.
When you stop and think about it, we all plan and prepare for the big events of our lifetime, yet few of us think to prepare for the inevitable. Making final arrangements can be an overwhelming task for your family. Clear choices may be difficult to make. When passing occurs there are many decisions that will have to be made in a very short period of time. By organizing ahead of time you can spare your family the added burden, both emotionally and financially, of having to make these decisions for you. And remember, the ultimate gift of peace we can give to those we will eventually leave behind is to make our wishes known in writing and being prepared.
Thanks again for the great question and I wish you and your family a Happy New Year.
Gerald Bosak, Jr.