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10 Songs from the 1980s for a Celebration of Life

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When it comes to planning a loved one’s celebration of life or final tribute, music plays a pivotal role. It sets the tone and invites people to express their emotions…

How to Personalize Symbols at a Funeral

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The funeral is a time to truly honor and remember a loved one’s life, but how can you personalize the service to reflect that special person’s personality, preferences, interests, and…
Man in uniform sitting on couch, talking on phone as he learns about veterans' burial benefits

What Are My Burial Benefits as a Veteran?

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When you’re planning a funeral for a veteran, it’s always a good idea to look into the burial benefits that are available through the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA). Some…
Microphone ready for eulogy; white and red flowers and chairs in the background

How to Personalize the Eulogy at a Funeral

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The funeral is a time to truly honor and remember a loved one’s life, but how can you personalize the service to reflect that special person’s personality, preferences, interests, and…

5 Differences Between Sealer & Non-sealer Caskets

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When planning a funeral, it’s easy to feel a little overwhelmed by all the new terms and definitions. If you are interested in burial as your method of final disposition,…
Pallbearers carrying a wooden casket with purple flowers resting on top

How to Personalize the Visitation at a Funeral

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The funeral is a time to truly honor and remember a loved one’s life, but how can you use personalization to reflect that special person’s personality, preferences, interests, and uniqueness?…
Man holding an open book

How to Personalize Readings at a Funeral

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The funeral is a time to truly honor and remember a loved one’s life, but how can you personalize the service to reflect that special person’s personality, preferences, interests, and…

Sorting Through a Loved One’s Possessions

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If you have lost a loved one, you may dread the day when you have to give away your loved one's favorite shirt, well-loved books, or old golf balls. Possessions…
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5 Ways to Save Money When Funeral Planning

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Across all businesses and industries, prices are going up. Gas prices, groceries, housing, transportation, manufacturing, and yes, even funeral costs. According to the National Funeral Directors Association, in 2021, the average…

How to Personalize Music at a Funeral

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The funeral is a time to honor and remember a loved one’s life, but how can you personalize the service to reflect that person’s personality, preferences, interests, and uniqueness? According…
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Developing Your Advance Care Directive

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Have you recorded your preferences for medical care through an Advance Care Directive? Most people remember to write a will and put their funeral wishes in writing, but it’s also…
Wooden casket with spray of white flowers on top

A Quick Guide to Oversized Caskets

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While you may have known that caskets come in different colors and are made from many kinds of materials, did you know that there are also oversized caskets available? In…
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Writing an Obituary with AI: Dos and Don’ts

| Educational, Planning Tools, Technology and Grief | No Comments
After losing a loved one, there’s a long list of things that must be taken care of. At a time when you’re grieving and coming to terms with your loved…

What is a Funeral Honorarium?

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Every funeral comes expenses, such as the professional services of the funeral home staff, casket or urn, cremation permit, cemetery plot, and so on. One expense you may not have…
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Download Your Own Funeral Planning Checklist

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If you want to plan ahead for your funeral wishes or plan a funeral for a loved one, the checklist below will help you in making important decisions:
Open wooden casket with ivory lining

Rental Caskets: What You Need to Know

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Cremation may be on the rise, but that doesn’t mean you can’t plan a full service to celebrate a loved one’s life with viewing and visitation. Many families assume that…
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What Makes a Funeral Meaningful?

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If you are wondering how to plan a final celebration that is meaningful and that expresses the individuality of the person who died, then here are a few ideas to…
Man and wife sitting at table together, looking at book and making choices for funeral

5 Emotional Benefits to Funeral Preplanning

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There are many practical benefits to funeral preplanning – like saving money, qualifying for Medicaid, and having funeral funds set aside to pay for everything – but did you know…
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10 Ideas for Making a Funeral More Personal

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Each person deserves a final ceremony that is as unique as their individual life. These ceremonies should reflect the person’s unique personality and honor the memories they made during their…
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How Can a Prearranged Funeral Plan Help You Qualify for Medicaid?

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If you need to qualify for Medicaid coverage for long term care, you may be trying to think of smart ways to spend down your assets. Burial plans can be…
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Veterans’ Burial Benefits Checklist

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Did you know that the government provides burial benefits for eligible veterans? Every year, many veterans miss out on receiving these burial benefits because they don’t know what’s available to…
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Identifying a Dishonest Funeral Home: 7 Warning Signs

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Most funeral homes are staffed by hardworking, caring, and compassionate people. But every once in a while, you might come across a funeral home that does not have your best…
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10 Literary Readings for Any Type of Funeral

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As you plan a healing and meaningful funeral for a loved one, it’s essential that you find ways to make it personal. According to Dr. Alan Wolfelt, nationally recognized grief…
Older man in yellow shirt sitting on his couch as he talks on phone and looks at form

Understanding Social Security Survivor Benefits

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After the death of a loved one, you may not feel like applying for Social Security survivor benefits right away because everything feels overwhelming. However, if you do put it…
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6 Ways to Personalize a Casket

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When planning a funeral service, the best way to create a truly unique, one-of-a-kind experience is to add personalized touches throughout the events. That might mean selecting special music, choosing…
Person standing next to flag-draped casket, hand resting on top of casket

Veterans’ Burial Benefits FAQ

| Planning Tools, Veterans | 3 Comments
With so many benefits available to veterans, it’s hard to keep track of all of them. To help you out, here’s a list of frequently asked questions about burial benefits…
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11 Qualities to Look for in a Funeral Director

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Losing a loved one can bring pain, grief, uncertainty, and confusion. A loss can also leave you with the responsibility of planning a funeral, requiring you to answer questions that…

Understanding Half-Couch versus Full-Couch Caskets

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After losing a loved one, a viewing or visitation can be a sweet moment of remembrance and an opportunity to say a final goodbye in person. As you put together…
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6 Ways You Can Save Money with Funeral Preplanning & Prefunding

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A recent survey revealed that while more than 50% of participants said they were likely to preplan their own funeral, only 7% of had actually done it. Many people understand…
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4 Reasons Why Eulogies are Important

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Losing a loved one can be one of the toughest trials you face in life. And maybe the last thing you want in your time of grief is to stand…
Death certificate request form with pen on top

The Beginner’s Guide to Death Certificates

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If you’ve recently lost a loved one, you know how overwhelming it can be. You’re grieving, but you may also be trying to take care of their affairs. As you…
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Gravestone Recipes: Adding a Sweet Touch to a Memorial Marker

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When planning a loved one’s funeral or memorial services, personalization is key to creating an event that is both healing and meaningful. The same is true when you’re considering what…
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Using Color to Personalize a Service

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Creating a personalized funeral or memorial service is the first step toward finding the healing and reconciliation you need after a loss. Why? Because if the service details truly reflect…
Cover of a casket with a white rose laid on top

Understanding Embalming & Your Options

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Embalming may not be something you’ve given much thought to - other than a mild interest in Ancient Egyptian mummification practices. Thankfully, embalming today is much less complicated than in…

Can You Name the 4 Different Types of Cemeteries?

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A cemetery is a cemetery, right? Well, to a degree, that’s true. However, there are actually several different types of cemeteries you should know about. Today, we’ll discuss the 4…
Shows a memorial service with urn

What’s the Difference Between a Funeral and Memorial Service?

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Have you ever planned a funeral or memorial service? If you haven’t, then you’re in good company. Most people haven’t. That's why it’s not surprising that you may not know…
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6 Ways to Personalize a Memorial Marker

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When visiting a cemetery, it can seem like your options are limited when choosing a memorial marker, but that’s not true. There are many options for creating a personalized monument…
Older man and woman using calculator to add up costs

Understanding Prepaid Funeral Insurance Policies

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We all know the value of being prepared. We buy car insurance, fire insurance, health insurance, life insurance – all just in case. When you stop to think about it,…
Man and woman reviewing documents on a clipboard

What Services Do Funeral Homes Offer?

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You may think that funeral homes only plan and facilitate funeral and memorial services, but that’s not all they do. In fact, funeral homes have a wider range of services…
Four professionals lined up, smiling

What Do Funeral Directors Do?

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Have you ever wondered exactly what funeral directors do? To most people, funeral service is a bit of a mystery. That's because a vast majority of people have never had…
White casket with flower spray of red roses resting in the back of a funeral car

How to Select Pallbearers

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When choosing burial, there are many decisions to make, including whom to select as pallbearers. Whether you’re prearranging your funeral wishes or planning a funeral for a recently lost loved one, it’s important to select pallbearers who can fulfill their…

5 Alternative Methods of Final Disposition

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Choosing which method of final disposition is right for you is a very personal decision. For some, burial is most desirable, while for others, cremation is best. There is no…

Eulogies & Sharing a Loved One’s Legacy

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When a close loved one dies, you may be asked to give a eulogy. So, you may be wondering, where do I start? First of all, what is a eulogy?…

What Do You Do When Someone Dies?

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If you’ve recently lost someone you love, you have our sincerest sympathies. For many of us, dealing with death and all the logistical and emotional details associated with it is…

Practical Ways to Personalize the 7 Elements of a Funeral

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Planning a funeral after a loved one dies may seem overwhelming at first, and that’s okay. So many of us have never planned a funeral before and simply don’t know…

Top 15 Bible Verses for a Celebration of Life Service

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A Christian funeral service is not complete without a few readings from scripture. Readings can help mourners process the loss and find meaning in the midst of pain. Additionally, the…

5 Practical Obituary Writing Tips

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If we’re honest, all too often obituaries are a little formulaic and offer only a few facts and details. They don’t truly reflect the person who has died – their…

How to Plan a Healing Funeral if You Are Not Religious

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Funeral rites have a rich history rooted in spiritual and religious traditions. So, what do you do for a funeral if you are not religious? Some families may consider skipping…

10 Ways to Use Photos to Personalize a Service

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Funeral and memorial services are about remembering and cherishing a loved one’s memory and honoring their life. Dr. Alan Wolfelt, a nationally recognized grief expert, author, and counselor, often says,…

What to Do in the First 24 Hours Following a Death

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For many of us, we deal with death so infrequently that we aren’t sure what to do when we lose a family member or close friend. The first 24 hours…

What You Need to Know About Burial at Sea

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After a loss, we feel both a deep sense of loss and an innate desire to honor the memory of the person we love. We want to remember them for…

Permanent Placement Options for Cremated Remains

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These days, it’s not uncommon for the family to keep the cremated remains of a loved in an urn at home. While keeping a loved one nearby can be helpful…

5 Great Obituary Examples

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When looking at writing an obituary, it's important to know that there are 5 building blocks to a great obituary. They are: Announcing the death Providing general biographical information Making…

The 5 Basic Steps of Funeral Planning

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Thinking about planning a funeral may make you feel anxious, especially if you are arranging a funeral for a loved one who has recently died. The whole thing just sets…

3 Reasons to Have a Visitation

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Have you ever wondered about the purpose of a visitation when a loved one dies? Why don't we just skip to the funeral? This article will share three key reasons…

The Core Elements of a Military Honors Funeral

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Our veterans represent courage, honor, and sacrifice. Throughout our history as a nation, our military men and women have stepped up to face the opposition, protect our way of life,…

Why Does Funeral Personalization Matter?

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“I encourage you to slow down, take a deep breath and focus on what is really important—what is essential—about the funeral you are planning. What is essential is the life…

7 Ways to Pay for Unexpected Funeral Expenses

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When a loved one dies, the last thing you want to do is think about how to pay for the funeral, especially if funds are tight and the death is…

How to Write a Great Obituary

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After the loss of a loved one, family members are often overwhelmed by all of the decisions that have to be made in the midst of their grief. One of…

6 Things You Probably Didn’t Know about Funeral Goods and Services

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Most of us will only plan a handful of funerals in our lifetime, and because it is so infrequent, we often don’t know what to do, how to do it,…

What Vital Statistics Should I Bring to a Funeral Arrangement Conference?

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When a loved one dies, the emotions of grief can hit hard. These feelings range from person to person and may include sadness, shock, anger, or anxiety. It is during…

10 Reasons to Plan Ahead

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A funeral is an important event for those who have lost someone loved. It’s a time to gather together, to honor the memory of the one who has died, to…

10 Questions to Ask Before You Prepay Your Funeral

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A recent study by the Funeral and Memorial Information Council found that nearly 70% of adults over the age of 40 say they would prefer to prearrange their own funeral.…

5 Reasons Why People Don’t Plan Ahead for Funeral Wishes

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Life is full of to-do lists, errands, activities, hobbies, and gatherings. While many of these things bring us great joy, some of them simply need doing. While we may not…

Writing Your Will: How to Avoid Common Pitfalls

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This story is all too common. A parent dies without a legal will, and the adult children must face not only their grief, but the headache of moving the estate…

The Importance of a Memorial Tribute Video

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“The death of someone loved changes our lives forever. And the movement from the ‘before’ to the ‘after’ is almost always a long, painful journey. From my own experiences with loss…

7 Reasons to Help Parents Preplan for Funeral Wishes

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Life is busy, and many things demand your attention. In the midst of everything – daily chores, kids, work, friends, extracurricular activities – caring for an aging parent takes a…

5 Meaningful Actions to Personalize a Funeral

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Throughout history, many things have changed, but one thing that has endured is the funeral ceremony. At some level deep down, we all know that a funeral is important. It’s…

9 Preplanning Mistakes to Avoid

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According to the National Funeral Directors Association, 62.5% of consumers feel that it is important to share funeral wishes with family members, but only 21.4% did so in 2017. That…

Grave Liners & Burial Vaults: What’s the Difference?

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For many of us, the ins and outs of funeral planning are unfamiliar and confusing. We don’t know where to start or even what all of our options are. Should…

5 Ways to Pay for a Funeral

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Many people do not realize that payment for a funeral is due prior to services being rendered. So, having a financial plan in place to pay for a funeral is…

Selecting a Cremation Urn

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According to the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA), cremation has continued to grow as a choice for final disposition. In fact, in the 2017 Cremation and Burial Report, the NFDA…

5 Reasons to Establish a Permanent Memorial

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When we lose someone we love, our feeling of connection to them continues, even though they are no longer with us physically. It is this connection that contributes to our…

What To Do When Dad Dies

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First of all, you have our sincerest sympathies on the loss for your father. Dads are special people - irreplaceable and worth remembering. If your dad completed funeral prearrangement plans,…

What To Do When Mom Dies

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First of all, you have our sincerest sympathies on the loss for your mother. Moms are special people - irreplaceable and worth remembering. If your mom completed funeral prearrangement plans,…

9 Funeral Costs That Are Often Overlooked

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Funeral costs can be a tricky thing to pin down if you are trying to plan ahead and protect your family by setting aside funds for a funeral in advance.…

11 Meaningful Ways to Honor Your Loved One’s Ashes

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If you are considering cremation, whether for yourself or for a loved one, it’s important to think about all the options available to you. As a term, "final disposition" refers…
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7 Elements of a Healing and Meaningful Funeral

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The Elements of a Meaningful Funeral Service “People who take the time and make the effort to create meaningful funeral arrangements when someone loved dies often end up making new…

What to Expect at a Funeral Arrangement Conference

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None of us are ever truly prepared to lose someone we love. Whether the loss comes suddenly or has been long expected, you may experience a wide range of emotions:…

Funerals and Family Discord: What Can You Do?

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Funerals are always difficult. Emotions are closer to the surface. Add to that the struggles and intricacies associated with relationships. Dealing with either family discord or difficult people at an…
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Top 10 Characteristics to Look for in a Funeral Home

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For many of us, the death of a loved one is one of the most difficult life events we face. We don’t want to think about it, but there is…

Quick Start Resource Guide: Planning a Funeral

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First of all, if you have recently lost a loved one, you have our sincerest sympathies. If your loved one completed funeral prearrangement plans, contact the funeral home they partnered…

Getting Your Affairs in Order

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Getting your documents organized can seem like a daunting task. Maybe you’ve considered organizing all the necessary documents and making all the right calls, but you just aren’t quite sure…

How to Write a Great Epitaph

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An epitaph is an inscription on a tomb, a gravestone, a plaque, or a memorial marker that honors the memory of a deceased person. The use of epitaphs can be traced…

How to Select a Casket

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If you decide on a traditional burial for you or your loved one, the next important decision that you will need to make is determining the type of casket. Before…

Grief and Loss in the Digital Age

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Is There Room for Technology in the Funeral Profession? People often associate funeral homes with tradition, order, and family values. When they think of technology, they think innovation, variety, and…

What You Need to Know About Veterans’ Burial Benefits

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Many veterans and their families are uninformed about the burial benefits they can expect to receive at the time of death. Some veterans assume that Veterans Affairs (VA) will pay…