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Featured FAQ: What Should be in a Funeral Planning Checklist?

March 1, 2021

Pre-planning a funeral is a safe way to protect your family from the emotional and financial burden of having to make funeral arrangements after your death and ensures that you receive the kind of funeral you wish to have. While it might seem overwhelming or challenging to think about all the details, there are five essential areas everyone should consider when planning a funeral in advance.

Keohane has been on the forefront of the advance planning movement for many years. We are fortunate to be the only funeral home on the South Shore offering a full time Certified Preplanning Consultant who has extensive experience with long term care and Medicaid issues. Here are some helpful tips from our experts on the essentials that should be considered when making advance funeral plans:

Funeral Planning Checklist

Disposition: The choice of disposition method is a deeply personal decision, and more options are available than you may realize. You can be buried, cremated or donate your body to science. But within each of those choices there are many options. For instance, those who choose cremation may also include embalming with a traditional viewing prior to cremation as part of their funeral plans.

Funeral Service: Let your family know what you would like for your funeral service. Decide if you would like the body to be present at the service or not. And if you want the body to be present, let them know if you would prefer the casket to be open or closed. Think about where you would like the service to be held and who would you like to officiate the service.

Internment: For burial, you’ll need to purchase a burial plot or space in a mausoleum at a cemetery. For cremation, you can decide what you want done with the remains following cremation. There are many options, including burial, scattering, or dividing the remains between friends and family members.

Products: If you decide to be buried, you can choose the type of casket and burial vault ahead of time. If you decide to be cremated, a cremation casket, urn or other memorial vessel is needed.

Finances: While it is not necessary to pre-pay when pre-planning a funeral, there are several advantages. Setting aside financial resources can relieve family members of the burden of paying for funeral expenses and protect assets for Medicaid eligibility. At Keohane, advance planning can save money through our cost protection program and through the irrevocability option protecting the funds from the high costs of long-term healthcare.

“Whenever I meet with a family considering advance planning, I always lay out all of the options and benefits of pre-payment. Since Massachusetts has very strict regulations about paying for funerals in advance, any funds used for advance planning must be deposited in trust with a third party which provides a huge level of comfort for families knowing that if they moved or if the funeral home went out of business, they could transfer their money to another funeral home,” said Joe Reardon, Vice President for Community Development and Advance Planning.

Our hope is to be able to provide as much information as people need to make the best decisions for their families. Discussing funeral arrangements may be difficult, but we believe that those who do are helping themselves and their families.

For more information on pre-planning a funeral or to request a copy of our free funeral planning guide, please contact Joe Reardon at 1-800-Keohane (800-536-4263).

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