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View Poll Results: What do you want done with your dead body?
Bury me 9 9.68%
Cremate me 53 56.99%
Freeze dry me 3 3.23%
Stuff and mount me 0 0%
Do something useful with my parts 15 16.13%
What do I care? I'm dead! 13 13.98%
Voters: 93. You may not vote on this poll

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Re: Poll: Burial or Cremation?
Old 10-04-2005, 11:09 AM   #41
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Re: Poll: Burial or Cremation?

Saving money on funerals/cemetery expenes.
I decided to write what little I know in 3 posts- General-Cremation-Cemetery

General-State Laws generally cover funerals/cemetary activities in the US.
In many cases, these laws are written by lawyers to assist the industry, there are a few that help the consumer. And, there are some Federal laws involved, one needs to be aware of these laws.
Personal Planning Guides are published by many different sources. Rest assured that if you visit the Funeral Home/cemetary you'll be able to get one, but they will want to give you the whole sales pitch. Just be firm-you want the book only right now. Completely fill it out and give copies to loved ones.
Remember, if only one person knows about it, they may be killed in the same car crash you are.
Funeral Home-Cemetery---These may or may not be the same thing, depending on your state laws etc. Many people aren't aware of this and don't find out until their money is gone and they are only half way thru the process of disposition of their loved ones remains. I've actually had people walk in to the cemetary office and say "we took care of everything at the funeral home-I don't know why they sent us here. Thousands of dollars later, they knew. If the Funeral Home is not combined with the cemetery, the Funeral home normally will take care of picking up the remains, preparing the body, arranging any funeral home, church type services and getting the remains to the cemetary. The cemetary provides the space for final interment,
vaults, preparing and handing of grave site, installation of vaults, memorials
etc. If there is a graveside service, the funeral director normally handles those details until the end of that service.
Military members or ex-military members nomally have some options provided by the government. Example, burial in military cemetery is often less expensive, and usually entitles one's spouse to be buried also. But there are
a lot of rules and paperwork requirements. Check these things in advance.
The VA has a web site with all the info you need at:
Some people love these cemeteries, some aren't too happy with them, but the price is normally the best in town if you have earned the right to use them.
Even if you don't use the military cemetery, you may be intitled to a military headstone or bronze; there may also be other things -the VA will do, but mostly they are not going to do anything until the paper work is done correctly. Do It Now
Obituary- Ever noticed how some are long, long long. And others are two sentences- Write your own, in advance, and it will say what you want it to say.
Leave it up to someone else and who know what they will say. Do It Now.

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Re: Poll: Burial or Cremation?
Old 10-04-2005, 12:33 PM   #42
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Re: Poll: Burial or Cremation?

Originally Posted by ()

Arent there some cemetery reits or mortuary trusts or something like that?* Sounds like a dead investment.
STON. It is an MLP that owns cemetaries and pays fat cash distributions. Currently on blue light special for no apparent reason.

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Re: Poll: Burial or Cremation?
Old 10-04-2005, 01:11 PM   #43
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Re: Poll: Burial or Cremation?

Cremation for me; DH hasn't committed either way. I want my ashes spread at the top of Route 550 out of Durango, CO. DH knows exactly where and I've told my three sons the same.

My mother died in April and wanted a traditional funeral but did not prepay. My brother and I went to the funeral home and said we wanted the same thing she provided for our father 20 years earlier. She had the funeral of her dreams because the church was decorated with tons of flowers because she died the same week as the Pope. Anyway, the cost was $5,500. Way too much IMO.
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Re: Poll: Burial or Cremation?
Old 10-04-2005, 01:27 PM   #44
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Re: Poll: Burial or Cremation?

saving at cemetery: the funeral/cemetery industry has changed, many of the
small Mom/Pop cemeteries are gone, sold to large corp (like SCI, if you want to buy stock)
If someone has paperwork for one of these cemeteries, and hasn't checked it in recent years, I urge one to do so. When the cemetery I worked at was bought by a larger corp, and they modernized to computer from hand records, the actual computer entry was done by minimum wage Manpower people, and if an error was made it was often in the cemeteries favor.
The best way to save money (IMO) is to look at For Sale in the newspaper/internet Many of these are sold far below replacement cost if bought that day at the cemetery. Always make sure you check every bit of the paperwork with the cemetery. If the paperwork you are getting does not check with what the cemetery has, you are probably not getting what you think you are.
All items sold in cemeteries normally have various price points, the first is the At-need vs pre-need. The pre-need is normally lower in price. We had lots from
$300 to $3000. The mausoleum prices had an even greater spread. None of the low priced items could be sold to At-need, because they were always predeveloped vs not yet dedeveloped. Yet the contract for them always called for the cemetery to provide space if the not developed space was needed but not available. Vaults are even worse, the funeral home or the cemetery either one could sell vaults in our area. The story was always:"you want your loved one protected don't You?" The facts are: the vault essentially serves one purpose. It keeps the ground level so that the cemetery can run their power equipment over the cemetery grounds while preventing the large dips and holes you often see in older cemeteries. The $600 vault does this as well as the $20,000 or higher vault.
Opening and closing charges, prepaid = any day between certain hours-same price. At need, one price during the week, before a certain hour, a different price after that hour. weekends higher yet, weekends after a certain hour-higher yet. An at-need service arriving at the cemetery at 4 pm on Sunday would be roughly twice amount if one had purchased a preneed opening and closing. Services arranged at the funeral home often were not made aware of these extra charges, until they reached the cemetery, when it was too late to change the hour or the day, so families ended up paying the higher price.
Short entries-Make sure the items the saleperson mentions are actually written into the contract. No one has the authority to waiver charges based on "Daddy Said"
Don't pay more interest than you need. If the cemetery has a 12 month no interest contract for pre-need buy the spaces first, pay them off, then the Opening/Closing, then vault then memorial. These are grouped in order of difficulty for many families. The hardest part is always the space: "Daddy always said he wanted to be under a large tree." Cemeteries lose money on trees so you only see a limited number on most cemeteries. Opening and closing fees increase almost yearly. The sooner you buy the lower the cost.
Think ahead, in an at-need situation, when burial of a spouse or child, spaces can be changed so that additional spaces may be purchased next to the loved one. If the two spaces for a husband/wife are blocked by other sold spaces, no additional spouse can be buried there, unless one chooses cremation. Unless one chooses to pay a very high price to have a vault raised and moved. When no one has yet been buried, it is a simple matter to change paperwork.
Flowers-some flowers are nice usually, many flowers are probably something that would be better spent on some type of worthy cause. Make sure your loved ones know your desires.
All of this is my own thoughts, not any type of official document. Find all the info, you need to make decisions that will save your money for the ones you really wanted it to go to. Hope this helps some one.
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Re: Poll: Burial or Cremation?
Old 10-04-2005, 01:36 PM   #45
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Re: Poll: Burial or Cremation?


Thanks for the info. My wife and I are just now starting to talk about this. Having gone through this with my late wife, I can assure everyone that trying to decide on all these things a day or two after the death of your spouse is not the best time to do this and borders on cruel and unusual punishment.

Some may see this a morbid but I just see it as another way to assure your surviving family does not have to deal with this stuff after you are gone. The costs of a At Need service is very high both in money and emotional trauma.

Work? I don't have time to work....I'm retired.
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Re: Poll: Burial or Cremation?
Old 10-04-2005, 04:06 PM   #46
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Re: Poll: Burial or Cremation?

Thank you.
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Re: Poll: Burial or Cremation?
Old 10-04-2005, 06:19 PM   #47
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Re: Poll: Burial or Cremation?

Last subject - Save money on Cremation. I'm not really much of an expert on the subject, since most cremation activity comes from the funeral home. A few elect to
utilize cemetery property but not many.
A. our cemetery did not require a urn vault, an urn was required. No glad bags.
B. A full space was not required for a urn, so you could own one space and have two urns buried in it or one regular burial and one urn, or one urn. If two services were to be held using one space there was an extra charge for the second service. There is still an opening/closing fee even for the urn.
c. Urn niches in the mauseolum were more reasonable than regular burial in the mauseolum, but were still much higher than using ground burial.
The real risk of over spending on cremation is at the funeral home. Is a casket required?. Do you really want to put Dear Daddy's ashes in that cheap urn?
Did you get what you paid for? Don't ask me why but some do not seem to do what they were paid for.
Different subject, most donations for research that I came to be aware of required the paperwork to be done in advance. In addition, I had at least two
cases, where the remains of the remains were given back to the family and cremation type burial was completed long after the death of the loved one.
Some family members expressed the thought that final closure took much too long in this type of a situation.
I have not mentioned church cemeteries, because I know very little about them. The one thing I do know is that the family is often required to care for their own loved ones graves. At some point, in many cases the family comes to the end of the living members, or the family leave the area, the church closes
etc. These then become the abandoned cemeteries that look so forlorn when you see one. State laws cover most perpetual care cemeteries, but there are much lesser protection for church cemeteries.
I looked at the poll numbers again, before writing this. A certain number said-"what do I care - I'm dead" An entire industry has been created so that
the living are made to feel guilt if they don't take care of their loved ones remains. If you have not made the arrangements before hand, someone else will, mostly likely it will be family members who may be spending their own hard earned dollars to do what you should have done. Made your own arrangements. Most states has procedures to dispose of remains of people who's family is completely deceased, or just refused to take care of their loved ones. I don't have any accurate numbers but my feeling is that such numbers are increasing as funeral costs rise. What is done in the area I lived in, is a low bid type policy, plus writeups in the local papers to insure that everyone knows the so and so family did not live up to their responsibilties in caring for their loved ones remains, so now everyone in the county is paying higher taxes. Do the right thing take care of it your self.
Hope I've helped someone - my lecture is over.

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