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Old 11-05-2018, 07:31 AM   #21
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Embalming, to protect public health and funeral liabilities.
People kiss a deceased all the time.
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Old 11-05-2018, 07:36 AM   #22
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Embalming, why?

Open-casket viewing before cremation?

Normally they'd just hold the body in the fridge for whatever time the state mandates (usually 24 hours) before cremating it.
In a healthcare directive you can specify all this, I think it is referred to as an "Immediate Disposition". Subject to State Laws of course. In some cases embalming may be mandatory or other arrangements depending of cause of death etc.

This are some examples we referred to when preparing ours.

"My preference is for immediate cremation with no pre-cremation casket."

"Please cremate my body immediately with no fanfare or ceremony and give the ashes to my "Name & Title e.g. Spouse) . If he/she does not survive me, please dispose of my ashes appropriately."
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Old 11-05-2018, 08:23 AM   #23
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Yes, you can do that. What I am saying just about all funeral homes require payment when services are rendered, just like all businesses. Could take months to years to close an estate and a attorney pay a funeral home. This is why funeral homes canít wait that long for payment. Also I have been involved with estates that we find out 6 months down the road is insolvent. NO MONEY to pay creditors. Another reason payment is required upfront . The person who paid funeral bill will be reimbursed personally from estate when closed.. so your executer will pay from is own packet and be reimbursed from estate if you chose not to pre-pay at a funeral home.
This may vary with state law, but in my state, only the legal next-of-kin has the right to make funeral arrangements, unless they sign over that right to someone else. The next-of-kin may or may not be the executor of the deceased's estate.

I was named executor in my mother's will. I was also her legal next-of-kin. The funeral director did not require payment up front. He said I would be getting a bill that was payable in 30 days, under the theory that life insurance usually paid claims within 30 days. (That isn't necessarily so, as I learned when settling my father's affairs.) Since my mother's estate was insolvent, that left me to pay out of my own pocket when the bill came.

I do agree with you that it isn't practical to wait for estates to be settled and that's why it isn't typically done.
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Old 11-05-2018, 08:52 AM   #24
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We recently preplanned and prepaid for our funerals and burials. In our state, the money is held in a trust account at a large regional bank. No insurance companies involved. We get an annual statement showing the balance, plus interest. We can withdraw the funeral expenses from the trust at anytime. The burial expenses can't be refunded, but can be transferred to another cemetery, if we moved. Our kids know of the arrangements, and basically just have to show up at the funeral home and make a couple of minor decisions about obituary, flowers, etc.

My dad had a prepaid funeral/burial at this same funeral home/cemetery that was paid for 25 years earlier. When the time came, it worked out great. As a test for the funeral home, we never mentioned that he had a prepaid plan upfront. When we met with the funeral home, they had everything laid out showing what he had prepaid 25 years earlier. He had a very nice funeral/burial at a cost of nearly 50% less than if we'd had paid for it today. It was a very simple process. We added a few extra items that we wanted.
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Old 11-05-2018, 08:56 AM   #25
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Embalming, to protect public health and funeral liabilities.
People kiss a deceased all the time.
My mother had my grandmother embalmed. It wasn't requested by gmother or required by state. I think it was emotions. 1k for emotions. I guess more money has been blown on worse things. Not my money so not my decision.
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Old 11-05-2018, 08:57 AM   #26
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Can I ask why you don’t want your wife , kids and friends celebrate your life. ?
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Old 11-05-2018, 09:11 AM   #27
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Honestly, this is one thing we simply do not worry about. Let the estate take care of it.
That's our approach. And as you said in another post, you can spell out your wishes in a directive or letter of instruction, although since those aren't binding anyway, we're just relying on having discussions with family members. Of course, I think my approach is easiest: funerals are for the living, since the dead are, you know, dead, so while I prefer cremation, I am fine with whatever the surviving family member(s) decide to do. And we expect to leave plenty of money for our final disposition and a memorial party/service, so we don't see the point in insurance or pre-paying, since we're trying to leave it flexible anyway.

I've told my wife that I'd like for her to donate whatever can be used of me for transplantation or medical science, and after that she can dispose of what's left in a compost pile for all I care. But more importantly, if she decides even after I'm dead that something else would comfort her and our child more, she should know that I want her to do that instead, whatever it is. But we're all fairly practical, utilitarian atheists, so that probably won't change much.
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Old 11-05-2018, 10:28 AM   #28
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Can I ask why you don’t want your wife , kids and friends celebrate your life. ?
We have no heirs, or direct family locally. Anyway, we do not want people looking and kissing our remains when we are gone. We have discussed this at great length. Funerals are for the benefit of the living not the dead, if they want to celebrate, then they can do so, but cannot use our remains in the process.

One is supposed to respect the wishes of the dead, that is why we write them down. If we die together, our executer is instructed to dispose of our remains before informing family members. He is a good friend and will do just that.
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Old 11-05-2018, 10:49 AM   #29
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Just to let you know, in our state the family has the power of the decision. Not the deceased. And no the family does not have to abide by your wishes. I meet family’s all the time that change the pre-arrangements of the deceased to fill there needs, not the deceased. Also children, or blood family overrules a friend when it comes to cremation.
I fact a family member is required to sign for the cremation. Not a friend.
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Old 11-05-2018, 10:52 AM   #30
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Just to let you know, in our state the family has the power of the decision. Not the deceased. And no the family does not have to abide by your wishes. I meet family’s all the time that change the pre-arrangements of the deceased to fill there needs, not the deceased.
That is sad, but good to know, thanks for educating us. We have it covered. If they do not follow our directive and honor our wishes, they will be removed from the will.
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Old 11-05-2018, 10:53 AM   #31
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We have no heirs, or direct family locally. Anyway, we do not want people looking and kissing our remains when we are gone. We have discussed this at great length. Funerals are for the benefit of the living not the dead, if they want to celebrate, then they can do so, but cannot use our remains in the process.

One is supposed to respect the wishes of the dead, that is why we write them down. If we die together, our executer is instructed to dispose of our remains before informing family members. He is a good friend and will do just that.
This x1000. If people knew what the embalming process actually involved, they might not be so keen on having that done to their own (or loved ones) remains. Not only to mention, it's really not a great environmental choice.
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Old 11-05-2018, 11:10 AM   #32
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This x1000. If people knew what the embalming process actually involved, they might not be so keen on having that done to their own (or loved ones) remains. Not only to mention, it's really not a great environmental choice.
Another option is to convert to Judaism or Muslim as they prohibit embalming unless it is state law.

Sorry, I am trying to bring a different lighter light to the conversation. I find the fact that others prompted by a Funeral service can override a deceased dyeing wishes to be unethical and very tasteful IOHO.
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Old 11-05-2018, 12:55 PM   #33
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Embalming, to protect public health and funeral liabilities. People kiss a deceased all the time.
Not after they're picked up shortly after death by the funeral home & held the minimum time required before cremation.
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Old 11-05-2018, 01:45 PM   #34
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Yes, there are crooks in every industry. If the steal preneed
Money, they go to jail.
We are a family independent funeral home and since the money is with an insurance company, NOT in our accounts. You can move anywhere and a funeral home in your home town will provide the service and claim the money with insurance Co. So simple. 19,000 funeral homes in the US.
Actually, "so simple" would be simply setting aside $10k in an interest bearing account which your representative taps when you die. I can't see any advantage to turning the money over to someone else with the exception of folks going on Medicaid for LTC.
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Old 11-05-2018, 01:52 PM   #35
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When the time came, it worked out great. As a test for the funeral home, we never mentioned that he had a prepaid plan upfront. When we met with the funeral home, they had everything laid out showing what he had prepaid 25 years earlier. He had a very nice funeral/burial at a cost of nearly 50% less than if we'd had paid for it today. It was a very simple process. We added a few extra items that we wanted.
That was convenient, but it was no bargain. Saving only 50% after they held your money for 25 years was a financial rip-off.

We used a pre-pay arrangement for MIL before she switched from private pay to Medicaid at the nursing home since that was an allowed expenditure under Medicaid look-back rules. But, otherwise, would never consider doing it. There are other ways to get nearly the same convenience for your survivors without the expense of receiving a low return on your money for years.
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Old 11-05-2018, 02:06 PM   #36
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Honestly, this is one thing we simply do not worry about. Let the estate take care of it.
We don't really worry about it either. Our reason, and I suppose many here would agree, is that final expenses would not be considered significant in terms of the resources available to the survivor(s).

My only reason for having arrangements so that DW or my son (depending on who is left) have access to some cash to take care of immediate expenses regarding my death is for their convenience.

I guess one benefit of a life of LBYM and achieving FIRE is that $10 - $20k of final expenses isn't something to be fretted over......... I see these advertisements on TV where an insurance company is trying to sell expensive policies which will provide $10k "for your final expenses" to geezers and I wonder how they got in a situation where $10k one way or the other would matter at their death. And if it would, how could they afford the premiums on the insurance policy?
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Old 11-05-2018, 02:12 PM   #37
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That was convenient, but it was no bargain. Saving only 50% after they held your money for 25 years was a financial rip-off.

We used a pre-pay arrangement for MIL before she switched from private pay to Medicaid at the nursing home since that was an allowed expenditure under Medicaid look-back rules. But, otherwise, would never consider doing it. There are other ways to get nearly the same convenience for your survivors without the expense of receiving a low return on your money for years.
Yep, I just did a "savings goal" of twice the starting amount after 25 years, and you need a rate of about....2.78%. Those are CD rates!
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Old 11-05-2018, 02:30 PM   #38
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So burning natural gas fossil fuels in cremation is good for the environment?
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Old 11-05-2018, 02:33 PM   #39
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So burning material gas fossil fuels in cremation is good for the environment?
Sure. Isn't that why funeral homes provide the service?
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Old 11-05-2018, 02:36 PM   #40
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So burning natural gas fossil fuels in cremation is good for the environment?
I think you are responding to me, so I will answer "no" to the question but I would note that I didn't mention anything about cremation. I would prefer a "green" burial and there are a couple of cemeteries in these parts that do that. No headstone, no embalming, no casket (except non-stained wood). Put me in a burlap bag and toss me in the hole and I'll be good to go!

Funerals are a very personal choice, but in MY opinion, the industry as it stands today is just barbaric. Again, though...MY OPINION ONLY.
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