Funeral Planning Pt. 3 — After The Funeral

Funeral Planning Pt. 3 — After the Funeral

Funeral Planning – after the funeral may be the most stressful of all three phases. Yes, the funeral will be emotional. But what follows the funeral is a lot of leg work. And a lot of leg work means a lot of stress.

Death certificates will play a major role in the below list of activities you will face. Experts in the field say you should order a dozen certified duplicate death certificates. You should also be prepared to pay upwards to $20 a copy.

The government never misses a trick to make a few bucks. They are available through your local vital statistics office. Or the county clerk, local records office or city hall. The location depends on where you live.

Funeral planning –after the funeral should include the sending of thank you notes. A contact list was probably gathered at the funeral home. They usually have people sign a register.

Social Security should be a priority. If the deceased was receiving benefits they must stop. If you have a good funeral director he will notify Social Security. You can always call SS at 1-800-772-1213 or go by your local SS office.

Their rules could cost you more than the benefit amount if not reported timely. And, you may be eligible for a one-time $255 payment or other benefits. Don’t let that slip.

The List Gets Longer

If your loved one received Medicare, Social Security will inform the program of the death. That doesn’t hold true for the deceased’s Medicare Prescription Drug Coverage (Part D), Medicare Advantage plan or Medigap policy. You should contact these plans at the phone numbers provided on each plan membership card to cancel the insurance.

If the deceased was working employment benefits may be waiting for you. Contact the employer for information about pension plan, credit unions and union death benefits. You will need a death certificate for each claim.

Life insurance and health insurance are probably in the picture. Notify the health insurance company or the deceased’s employer. Some health plans allow for dependents to remain covered after the employee dies. Ask.

Life insurance companies will have you complete appropriate claim forms plus supply a death certificate. If you have a policy and the the deceased was listed as your beneficiary, arrange to have the name removed.

You may wish to terminate other insurance policies*.* If so, contact the providers.

Obligations Beside Insurance Matters

Depending on the size of the estate a meeting with a probate attorney may be on your agenda. The executor should choose the attorney. Probate can be a migraine if you don’t know what you are doing. Take the advice of counsel and save a lot of frustration.

Make certain the executor or estate administrator has a list of important bills. They still must be paid promptly.

The deceased may have dealt with financial advisers, stockbrokers, and others in the investment world. The important point to know is the beneficiary of the account.

Mortgage companies and banks should also be on the notification list. Hopefully your loved one left a list of accounts, including online passwords.

Always close credit card accounts even if there is a balance owed. You will have to pay the balance but nobody can hack that account.

This is important and many people don’t know about it. Notify credit reporting agencies. Doing so minimizes the chance of identity theft. Then wait about six weeks and check the deceased’s credit history. That will tell if any fraudulent accounts have been opened.

Tell the DMV so they can cancel the deceased’s driver’s license*. *This also helps prevent identity theft.

More accounts that should be closed to prevent fraud or identity theft are email and website accounts. Do not forget about social media and other online accounts.

Another important agency to contact is the election board or registrar of voters. This is one more step to prevent identity theft. As well as voter/election fraud.

You should cancel memberships in organizations. Sororities, fraternities, professional organizations, etc., to which the deceased belonged.

One Last Contact

Uncle Sam and your state income taxing agency will still want a return from the individual. Therefore, you’ll want to contact a competent tax preparer. Let him or her walk you through the process. The last thing you must do is get wrapped up with one or both of these agencies.

Funeral planning – after the funeral may be the most stressful of all three phases was my opening sentence. If you read this far, I’d bet a dollar to a donut you agree.

Funeral Planning — Pt. 1 | Funeral Planning — Pt. 2



Senior Outreach Ministries achieves it’s objectives with the capital we’ve either earned or received from donors. The Proud 2 B A Senior Ribbon for example. Donate $5, get a ribbon and help us help a hungry Senior Citizen in need. All proceeds remain in the Ministries to be used per our mission statement. We are a volunteer church. No one receives a salary or wage. Please help us help less fortunate hungry Seniors. We never have and never will ask the government for grants, funds or hand outs. Thank You in advance.

Funeral Planning Pt. 2 — Funerals

Funeral Planning pt. 2 — Funerals

Funeral Planning pt. 2 the funerals will talk about the second phase of the funeral process. That is the funeral itself.

The first article titled Funeral Planning was an overview introduction into the total event. The second phase, funerals, on its face, sounds like a by itself event. For the deceased person, it is.

But, it could be a nightmare for the living.

Funeral planning – the funeral encompasses decisions many of us don’t or won’t ever think of. For example, organ donation. If the deceased is donating their organs that information will be on their driver license. Or, in their advance health care directive.

These organs have to be harvested almost immediately at death. If the deceased died in a hospital, they have a coordinator to guide you through the process.

Should the deceased be in a nursing home or hospice or elsewhere, contact your nearest hospital. Almost all hospitals have staff who will help. They answer questions and provide guidance at no cost.

Contacting immediate family members is common sense. However common sense may not be common at this time. Someone needs to be delegated to complete this chore.

Bequeathal is one of those items very rarely discussed at family gatherings. However there are people who donate their body to medical schools. Please respect those wishes.

The next of kin, by the way, can donate the body too. But the decision needs to be made as early as possible. And the reason is obvious.

The Least Enjoyable Part

The 800 pound gorilla in the room is the funeral cost. What the deceased requested can end up being offset by what can you afford. Or, what’s realistic.

Maybe the question what will help the family the most is the most important question. Only you can decide given your set of circumstances.

Costs vary by region. A funeral costing $6000 in Kansas is $13,000 in California, for example. The total estimated average cost across the United States is a little over $11,000.

Obviously there are some items on the list that may be pared away. Subsequently reducing the total outlay. Furthermore, each case is different and stands on its own particular factors.

There are other final expense estimates that will be addressed in After the Funeral – Part Three. For the moment let the above estimates sink in.

Funerals can be frustrating, stressful, annoying and irritating. For everyone involved unfortunately. But it has to be done. How you perform the necessary tasks can eliminate these feelings. And even leave you with a feeling of warmth. Just knowing you did the best you can do under the circumstances.

Funeral Planning – Pt. 1 | Funeral Planning – Pt. 3



Senior Outreach Ministries achieves it’s objectives with the capital we’ve either earned or received from donors. The Proud 2 B A Senior Ribbon for example. Donate $5, get a ribbon and help us help a hungry Senior Citizen in need. All proceeds remain in the Ministries to be used per our mission statement. We are a volunteer church. No one receives a salary or wage. Please help us help less fortunate hungry Seniors. We never have and never will ask the government for grants, funds or hand outs. Thank You in advance.

Funeral Planning Pt. 1 – It Must Be Done

Funeral Planning Must Be Done

Funeral and Planning aren’t common words in too many households. Especially used together. And we are aware. This is even true in households that plan their next vacation down to the last minute.

We have no problem planning children’s education, a night out and/or family vacations. Many of us even take care of retirement planning. But, we conveniently forget about the day all of us will visit. Senior Outreach Ministries does not say this should be your most important plan. It says it should be one of your plans.

You can start anywhere in the funeral planning process. But know there are three phases. Pre-funeral, funeral and post-funeral. Right now you are pre-funeral. And that’s a good thing, right?

So, a good starting point is making your wishes known to your next of kin. Because some folks want to be buried. And some folks want to be cremated. Don’t let the person planning your funeral deal with this detail and have to guess your preference.

Talk to your survivors while you are still alive. Learn how many people will be involved. And never leave all the chores at the feet of one person. Unless it’s absolutely necessary.

A funeral isn’t the time to learn no one is willing to help. Because, that’s obviously bad timing. And you want to know that beforehand. So you can act accordingly. And if one person is carrying the funeral planning load make it as easy as possible.

A myriad of documents will be involved:

  1. Death Certificate
  2. Social Security Card
  3. Marriage Certificate
  4. Birth Certificate
  5. Divorce Decree
  6. VA Card
  7. Driver License
  8. Vehicle Registration
  9. Bank Accounts
  10. Passport
  11. Insurance Policies
  12. Discharge Papers
  13. Income Tax Forms
  14. Loan Contracts
  15. Credit Card Accounts

Other not so common documents include:

  1. Will
  2. Durable Power of Attorney
  3. Advance Directive
  4. Living Will
  5. Probate
  6. Health Proxy

So make sure the person or people handling this for you has access to as many of these documents as possible.

Don’t be surprised if your local jurisdiction requires its own set of documents. Death is certain but only the government makes it final.

This article did not address the second or third phase. And we did this on purpose. They each have their own articles. Each phase is an important phase. And deserves its own place on the carousel of life.

Accepting that the day will come for all of us is actually the very first and most important step. None of us know that date. And most of us don’t want to think about it. But, we all know it can be tomorrow or even today.

Funeral planning doesn’t have to be what kills you. Because it’s nothing more than preparing the living for a smooth transition. And tidying up all the loose ends. It’s far better for all remaining parties. So make sure the details are addressed and addressed correctly. Because, if nothing else, you’ll rest easier.

Funeral Planning — Pt. 2 | Funeral Planning — Pt. 3



Senior Outreach Ministries achieves it’s objectives with the capital we’ve either earned or received from donors. The Proud 2 B A Senior Ribbon for example. Donate $5, get a ribbon and help us help a hungry Senior Citizen in need. All proceeds remain in the Ministries to be used per our mission statement. We are a volunteer church. No one receives a salary or wage. Please help us help less fortunate hungry Seniors. We never have and never will ask the government for grants, funds or hand outs. Thank You in advance.