Category Archives: funeral planning

Should I Donate My Body to Medical Science?

A popular notion lately is that donating one’s body for medical research is a good way to avoid or reduce funeral and burial costs.  It may not be that easy!

Depending on the circumstances surrounding the cause of death, not all remains are suitable for medical research use.  In the case of an accident, certain illnesses, or other causes of death, the body may no longer be in acceptable condition, and anatomical donation may be declined.

Consumers wanting anatomical donation should always have an alternate funeral plan in place, in the event donation is not possible.  For more information on this topic, please click on the Funeral Q & A Column heading on this site, where there is a sample question about anatomical donation.

Have a question about funerals or funeral planning for humans or pets?  Ask the expert!  Email Mike at mikeboyd@askthefuneralexpert.com.

Funeral Pre-financing Tips

Planning ahead is always a good idea, but if you’re going to consider pre-financing of a funeral, be sure you know which items are guaranteed at today’s prices and which items may increase in price over the years (such as cash advance items). Not everything may be price-guaranteed. Also, if you are going to make a pre-financed funeral arrangement, always know the transfer options in case you move or relocate to another area in the future. If there is not a funeral home in the new area that is a member of the same funeral home chain, what will happen? This should be clearly defined in the contract made with the funeral home.
These subjects and many others are covered in my book, “How to Bankroll a Funeral Without Breaking the Bank”  available at amazon.com, or order directly by clicking on the Buy Now button in the right hand column on this page.

Click on the “Ask a Question” tab to ask your funeral questions, and I will be happy to answer them.

Mike

Who Pays for Damage to Your Cemetery Property?

With all the wild weather occurring recently in many parts of the country, do you know who would be responsible to pay for damage to your cemetery property, especially an above-the-ground marker, due to wind, earthquake, water, or other natural force?

The following excerpt from my book, “How to Bankroll a Funeral Without Breaking the Bank”  talks about this question.

QIf an individual owns cemetery property which includes an above-the-ground type marker, who is responsible to fix it if damaged by such things as vandalism, wind or other acts of nature?

A– A review of the contract or deed for the cemetery property may explain what the cemetery will do if any of these events occur. If it is not in the contract, discuss the situation with cemetery personnel to see what protection, if any, is provided by the facility. In addition to this, a homeowner’s insurance policy may cover the type of occurrences described up to a limit of the policy coverage less any deductibles which apply to that particular insurance policy. Look for a phrase within the policy worded approximately like “cemetery plots or burial vaults owned by an insured person.” This may indicate that coverage is included in a particular policy. If it is still not clear, contact the insurance carrier for a determination of what coverage is available.

My book is available at amazon.com, and answers many of these type questions you may not have considered.  Any one of these tips can easily save consumers more than the price of the book.

Copyright 2010 by Mike Boyd

Frugal Funeral Planning

Check out Mike’s article, just added to the blog today, “Frugal Funeral Planning”, which contains more money-saving tips for the frugal funeral shopper.  Just click on the Frugal Funeral Planning tab above.

Your questions and comments are welcome.  For permission to reprint this article, email Mike at mikeboyd@askthefuneralexpert.com.

“Presumed Consent” for Organ Donation

New York State assemblyman Richard Brodsky is introducing a bill  which seeks to apply a “presumed consent” standard for organ donations in New York State, his purpose being to increase the number of organs available for transplant.

In the bill, families of the deceased would no longer be able to override their loved ones’ decisions to donate organs upon death.  And eventually, hospitals would be able to assume the deceased consented to have his or her organs harvested, unless the person had previously refused in writing.

Is this a good idea, or could it lead to ethical concerns?  Please feel free to post your concerns and comments regarding this important proposal.

Financial Planning Should Include Funeral Education

Financial advisors are branching out!  They are even advising clients how to stay healthy, as your health can affect the cost of life and long term care insurance, and a prolonged illness can quickly eat up your savings.

Another important part of Financial Planning should be Funeral Education.  If you fail to learn the facts about this eventuality, it can end up costing you more and reducing the amount of money available to pass on to your heirs.  So start finding out about this important subject today!

Why Talk About Funeral Planning?

Why are people afraid to talk about death and funerals?  They view the subject as either a taboo conversational subject, afraid of offending people, or they think of the funeral process as encompassing activities that are gross or disgusting (embalming, preservation of a body), or else they are afraid that speaking of death will somehow bring about misfortune.

But there is no reason to avoid this subject, and a very good reason to talk about it – because it can save you and your family money!  We are not afraid to talk about mammograms, prostate exams, or colonoscopies any more, even though those can be unpleasant subjects to talk or think about, because we have come to realize that they can save lives!  Well, talking about funerals, burials, and cremation can save money!  And it can also save stress and confusion at the time of a death.  All you need to do is to learn a little bit about the various products and services that are available, and that you will need to choose from, when purchasing a funeral arrangement for yourself or a loved one.

That is why I am starting this blog:  to help educate you, the consumer.  From time to time I will be bringing you easy-to-read information and money-saving tips.  Please let me know your thoughts, experiences, and questions.  Let’s start talking! 

Email your questions to mikeboyd@askthefuneralexpert.com or click on the  “Ask a Question” tab.

Copyright 2010 by Mike Boyd