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Tips for Preparing a Grieving Child for a Funeral Service

No child is too young to go to a funeral, as long as they are prepared for the process and what he or she can expect to see at the funeral proceedings. If you plan to bring a child to a funeral, then it is also important they be guided lovingly throughout the entire process. This is the best thing you can do to aid in their grieving and is much better than shutting them out, as this gives them the feeling that they are alone and that both grief and death are things that are too terrible to face. Instead, children need to learn that loved ones do pass away, but there will always be someone to look after them. Let’s take a look at some tips for preparing children for a visitation, viewing, wake, or funeral.

 

Explain the Proceedings Thoroughly

It is important for children to have a grasp of exactly what they will be doing and who will be at the proceedings. Additionally, you should explain where and when the service will be occurring. By filling in all of the gaps in your child’s knowledge, you will be able to make the whole idea of a funeral less foreboding to them.

 

Take Them to Visit the Location Beforehand

If it is a possibility, you may want to consider taking your child to see the funeral home, house of worship, or mortuary beforehand. It is a good idea to show them around and point out the drinking fountains, restrooms, and play/rest area. Let them know that they do not have to stay there for the entire time if they don’t feel up to it. Explain that they can go for a walk or play outside with an adult.

 

Let Them Help with Some of the Funeral Activities

If your child is up for it, let him or her help with some of the funeral activities, which will aid them in feeling more involved with the entire process. For example, you can get them to help pick out a casket, choose jewelry or clothing for their loved one to wear, and select readings, songs, or music for the funeral. It is also a very good idea to ask them to draw a picture or write a note to put inside of the casket.

 

Ensure They Understand the Reason for the Event

Make sure that children understand that the purpose of a funeral is for friends and families to come together to tell their deceased loved one that they love them and to say their goodbyes. It is also a time to celebrate the life of the person who passed away and pay their respects to them, as well as receive support and comfort and be around people who care. Ensure that you explain all of these reasons to your child so that they can grasp the reason everyone is gathering after the passing of his or her loved one.

 

What Do You Do If Your Child Does Not Want to Be in Attendance?

It is important to encourage your child to attend the memorial service or funeral. Let them know that as a family; it is important to go to a family event and that you expect them to attend with you. You may want to say that it is important to you personally to have them go with you and so ask that they go for your sake. If saying all of this has no impact and your child still refuses to go, then it is best that you don’t push the matter. Instead, it is important that you don’t make your child feel guilty for not going and to take photographs or make a video of the proceeding if they want to watch it at a later date.

 

In the Case of a Cremation

If the deceased family member is getting cremated, then it is important that you skillfully explain the cremation process to your child. You can tell them that there is a building called a crematorium, in which there is a room that has a special fire unlike any that he or she has seen. Make sure that they know that the deceased loved on will not feel any pain or heat, because he or she has passed on and so a body that doesn’t have life will not feel anything. Explain that the cremation is extremely hot so that it will turn the body into a very soft and fine ash, which is called the cremains. Teach them that these may be placed in an urn and buried, placed in a special building, or could be scattered in a beautiful area that is special to the deceased loved one, such as his or her favorite fishing spot. Explain a cremation as gently as possible to your child, but still to be truthful



How To Compare Providers Before Investing In A Final Insurance Policy

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Chances are if you find yourself searching for a life insurance policy you may be wondering where to start first.

With so many different ways to compare providers and policies, the process can seem overwhelming, to say the least. Not to mention the fact that it can be an emotionally taxing event.

However, there is something that can make this process a bit easier. And that process starts with knowing how to compare providers. After all, understanding how to evaluate policies and providers is crucial to ensuring you make a worthwhile investment.

Luckily, we’ve compiled the top tips you need to know when it comes to comparing providers.

 

Price Check Premiums

Let’s face, the price we pay matters. And besides, who doesn’t want to get a great deal? It’s important to remember when comparing providers for a final expense insurance policy to compare premiums.

In order to maximize your savings, you are going to need to price check your premiums. Providers each have a unique set of qualifying criteria, which means you may pay may or less for coverage depending on what provider you select.

So, no matter what type of policy you plan to invest in, be sure to check more than one source. By doing so, you could save yourself hundreds and even thousands in the long run!

 

Evaluate Quality of Coverage

In addition to comparing price, you will also want to evaluate the quality coverage. After all, just because a policy might be great for your wallet, it may not be worthwhile if you don’t do your research.

Be sure to read the fine print of your policy. In addition, take the time to consider just how much coverage you will need. Although this is an individual decision you will need to make, consider the following:

 

*Funeral services – what type of funeral services are you planning on having? For example, are you looking to have formal funeral service? If so, you’ll need to account for the costs of the funeral director or facility.

 

*Casket – if you’re planning on burial, you will also need to account for the cost of the casket. Casket price typically ranges from $5,000-15,000. However, keep in mind that prices heavily depend on the type of material.

 

SEE ALSO: What Is The Average Amount Someone Can Expect To Pay For A Casket? 

 

*Cremation – if you’re planning on cremation over burial, you will likely be able to reduce the amount of coverage you need. With the average cremation costing $2,000 or less, the savings can be significant.

 

*Outstanding debts ­– any outstanding debts such as a mortgage of federal loan should also be taken into account when determining final expense insurance as a policy can be used to offset these costs.

 

Research History of Provider

After you have determined that price and quality of a provider, you will also want to go ahead and research the history of the provider. Or in other words, take a look at their track record.

For example, is the company established or recent startup? What do their customers have to say?

You want to develop a clear, accurate, and unbiased perspective of a provider as much as possible. After all, you may discover a lot about a provider by taking a look at their history.

 

Don’t delay; an affordable final expense insurance policy that is right for you is out there. Take action today by comparing providers and policies with our FREE term life insurance quote comparison service.

Best of all? We don’t ever ask you to provide any personally identifiable information. In fact, the only thing you will need is your zip code for access to the best rates from the best providers.

So, what are you waiting for?

 



6 Things You Should Know About Funeral Prepayment Plans

In theory prepaying for your funeral sounds like a good idea, and you likely have good intentions by considering it. Most people consider prepaying for their funeral so that their heirs or children do not have to handle the expenses while going through their grieving process. However, before purchasing a funeral prepayment plan, you must be aware of all of the factors that go into such a decision. Not all funeral prepayment plans will deliver what they promise and so you must consider all facets of such a plan. Here are six things you should know about funeral prepayment plans so that you can make an informed decision on whether or not to obtain one.

 

1.  The Funeral Home May Not Be Around When You Pass Away

Purchasing a funeral prepayment plan is banking on the fact that whatever funeral home you are using will be around when you pass away. However, your prepaid funeral contract may not be able to deliver on its promise if the funeral home goes out of business or even changes hands. Although a funeral home can give you a sense of security when you are purchasing such a plan, this is often false, and so you must take it with a grain of salt.

 

2.  You Must Comparison Shop This Type of Plan

Funerals cost an average of $6,500, which does not include additional cemetery costs such as obituary notices, limousines, and flowers, which can push the price up to over $10,000. However, may people who consider a prepayment plan do not comparison-shop to find the best deals for their funeral or burial. If you are considering going this route, then it is critical to comparison shop multiple prepayment plans and not just purchase one from the funeral home that is nearest to your home. Additionally, you do not have to buy the first policy that a funeral director throws your way. Instead, you can decide on the particular individual services and goods that you want at your funeral and only prepay for those.

 

3.  Funeral Director Has to Disclose Where Your Money is Going 

It has been noted that 53 percent of those who prepay for their burial or funeral pay the entire lump sum, whereas 44 percent pay installments over a period. Whichever category you fall into, it is crucial that you know exactly where your money is going if you prepay for your funeral. Funeral homes are required by law to disclose exactly where your money is going. However, one study found that 40 percent of seniors who purchased a prepayment plan had no idea what the funeral director is planning to spend the money on. Usually, the funeral director will put the money into a trust fund account or buy a life insurance policy that all of the expenses will be used for.

 

4.  Cancellations and Refunds of Your Policy

In most states, the funeral director does not have to give you a full refund on your prepayment package if you decide to cancel it. Find out the circumstances that let you cancel the contract and the percentage of the money you paid that will be returned to you if you decide to change plans or go about your funeral in a different manner. You do not have a guarantee that you will receive your funds back or get the same amount of money that you initially put into it.

 

5.  Funeral Prepayment Plans Have Fine Print

Contracts vary widely from plan to plan. It is crucial that you read the fine print on your prepayment agreement. Even if you purchase a guaranteed installment plan that the funeral director says will cover all of your funeral expenses does not mean that it will actually include all of the expenditures when your family attempts to cash out. For instance, if you pass away outside of the funeral’s service area, then your family may have to pay an additional fee to move you to the funeral home.

 

6.  The Medicaid Factor

A benefit of purchasing a funeral prepayment plan is the Medicaid factor that goes with it. Prepaying for your burial or funeral will shelter that money from Medicaid. This is because the money that you set aside for this expense will not be factored into your net assets when considering your eligibility for Medicaid or Supplementary Security Income (SSI). To ensure that this exemption occurs you should make sure that you purchase a legitimate plan that is Medicaid-exempt. Additionally, be aware that if there is any money left over after your funeral expenses, then it will be subject to being recovered by Medicaid.

 



7 Strategies to Fit the Cost of Assisted Living in on a Budget

Finding assisted living for a loved one is a difficult process. Not only do you have to find somewhere that your loved one is comfortable and well cared for, you have to find somewhere that is affordable too. Due to the fact those three factors do not always go together, it is a good idea to figure out how to afford the cost of the facility that best suits the needs of your loved one.

 

1.  Use your Negotiation Skills

The prices put forth by an assisted living facility are not set in stone, believe it or not. Many facilities allow you to negotiate the costs or may even offer specials during certain times. Do not be afraid to ask about any offers, such as move-in offers, or any options that they can provide for you to make it more affordable. For example, some facilities have what is called “Level of Care Services”, which means a person with fewer needs will need a lower level of care, while a person that is completely dependent on others would need a higher level, which translates into higher costs.

 

2.  Consider Sharing a Room

Initially, it might seem more acceptable to have a private room for care, but if you share a room not only is it financially beneficial, but it can also be socially rewarding. Sharing a room typically means that the cost of the facility goes down because you are sharing the cost with a roommate, rather than covering the entire cost of one unit on your own. Before you consider sharing a room, however, make sure your loved one is comfortable with the idea and with the roommate he/she will have because comfort should be as high of a priority as affordability.

 

3.  Take a La Carte Programs

Not all assisted living facilities require you to pay the all-inclusive price to live there. For example, laundry, transportation, personal care, and recreational activities may be bundled into the all-inclusive price. If you have a loved one that is not comfortable going on recreational activities or you know you will be around to handle his/her transportation and laundry needs, you can eliminate those services from the package, essentially paying less for the assisted living facility.

 

4.  Look at Insurance Policies

If your loved one took out insurance policies many years ago, chances are there is a provision in them that allows for living benefits, sometimes known as accelerated benefits. This allows your loved one to cash in on their life insurance now, for a smaller amount of the face value of the product. Typically, insurance companies will buy the policy out for 75 percent of its value, giving your loved one the money they need now to pay for assisted living.

 

5.  Look Out of State

If your state has particularly high assisted living rates, consider moving your loved one to another state. This might not be a plausible option for everyone, but if you have family in other states where the costs are more affordable, it might be something to consider. For example, if you compare the average monthly assisted living costs in New Jersey of $5,994 to the average cost in Georgia, of $2,703, you can see the savings that can be had by looking around. If you don’t have family elsewhere, you might be able to save just by crossing the border to the next state over. As long as you are not too far away, this would not be all that inconvenient for you.

 

6.  Exhaust All Resources

There are a variety of resources that may provide you with aid in paying for assisted living. Think of all avenues your loved one may be eligible for  including veterans benefits, social security, long-term care insurance policies, and state Medicaid. The assistance your loved one is eligible to receive is not going to be automatic – you have to apply for the various assistance programs, so make sure you do your research and consider all options so that you can make assisted living more affordable.

 

7.  Don’t Rule out Loans

There are certain loans out there that can make assisted living more affordable. For example, if your loved one still has a spouse living at home, a reverse mortgage could be a solid option as it gives you the cash you need to get assisted living paid, while still giving the other party a place to live. If a reverse mortgage is not an option, there are other choices, such as a home equity loan that either your loved one or even yourself can take out to help pay for the assisted living services.

 

Looking for assisted living can be mentally and physically exhausting, so it pays to plan ahead. Long before your loved one needs any type of assisted living, you should start planning. Consider the budget your loved one and yourself have and how it will work for future plans to provide your loved one with the care he needs.



Creating a Personalized Memorial Service

Memorial services vary considerably in tone, content, and style and can easily be personalized to the individual who is being memorialized. As more families choose to customize their memorial service to veer from the more traditional customs, the options to celebrate the life of a friend or family member has grown exponentially. Although planning a funeral can be somewhat overwhelming, by knowing some of the great choices you have to make a memorial unique, you can plan a funeral that is tailored to your budget, needs, and personality of the deceased loved one. Let’s take a look at some ideas of how to create a personalized memorial service.

Customize Funeral Flowers

Funeral flowers come with an endless array of designs, colors, and styles. You may pick a particular color or flower as part of the memorial’s overall theme. This theme can be geared towards sports, association, hobby, organization, or practically anything else. A good place to look for flower arrangement ideas is the Flower Shop Network, which you will find an assortment of different flower ideas from gardener to Masonic to Cowboy to religious.

Light Candles to Remember Your Loved One

One sense that often never leaves the mind is a smell. Allow your family to recall a particular scent that reminds them of their loved one. For example, candles that smell just like grandma’s famous apple pie. Have your family light candles that will add a healing and soothing aroma to the memorial service. If you’d like to make the memorial service even more special than bring luminaries for your family to honor the passing of their loved one. You may even allow your funeral guests to release them into the sky themselves. However, before doing so check with your state’s regulations.

Pick a Funeral Theme

A great way to personalize a memorial service is to celebrate the loved on through choosing a funeral theme. This can be in celebration of their military achievements, charitable service, favorite sports, heritage, religion, or any other number of interests. For example, if someone has an Irish heritage, then you may consider having a traditional Irish Wake for his or her funeral. On the other hand, for someone who loves to hunt, you can cover their walls with mounted trophies, camouflage, and leaves. From Harry Potter décor to Seattle Seahawks colors, the possibilities are nearly endless. It can be as simple as having photos of the baseball team they coached or pictures of the kids they mentored with to brighten up a viewing room.

Use Quotes, Sayings, or Poems

It is an excellent idea to use quotes as a way to comfort and inspire your funeral goers, as well as a way to express feelings of love, hope, and grief. If your passed loved one had a particular Bible verse, poem, song lyric, or quote, then this can be included in the memorial service as a way to remember him or her. If there isn’t a particular one that they loved then do research on various epitaph Bible verses, eulogy quotes, and Scripture verses to see if one pops out at you. You may even want to consider throwing in some funeral humor, if you have the right crowd, as this can help ease the tension and lift people’s spirits.

Replace Traditional Funeral Decorations with Your Families

Ask the friends and family of the deceased loved one to use their choice decorations instead of using the viewing room’s traditional ones. This will allow them to feel more at ease and comfort, which is vital during the grieving process. You can help streamline the process by providing candleholders, frames, and vases.

Play a Song at the Funeral

Playing the favorite song of your passed loved ones can provide just the right amount of nostalgia and emotional touch. Ensure that you take the time to pick out just the right song so that there is not an awkward moment of guests waiting for it to end. An excellent way to do this is to make music a transition in the memorial service, during the viewing, or to give your funeral guests a time to reflect. If you are not sure which song to pick out then do some research on popular traditional hymns, classical music, or contemporary songs to use.

Design a Memory Table

One of the best ways to create a personalized funeral service is to design a memory table. Creating memory tables is a lovely idea as there are so many ways you can go about creating it. You can even establish a variety of different memory tables that are placed throughout the viewing room to create a sort of station that represents the various passions or chapters of your deceased loved one. There are endless possibilities and so make sure that you encourage friends and family members to utilize their imagination.






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