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Funeral Planning

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    Things to Consider When Selecting a Philadelphia Funeral Home

Things to Consider When Selecting a Philadelphia Funeral Home

Selecting a Philadelphia funeral home is an important step in your end-of-life planning. Whether you’re planning your funeral in advance, or you’re dealing with a Philadelphia cremation or funeral due to a recent loss, you deserve compassionate care as you move through the planning process. Your funeral home of choice should be capable of managing the funeral services you require, and you should understand the funeral or cremation costs – and any documentation you sign. Keep these things in mind when choosing a greater Philadelphia funeral home: (more…)

What Does Philadelphia Funeral Pre-Planning Entail?

Funeral pre-planning in Philadelphia is a simple way to eliminate stress on your family in their time of loss, reduce funeral costs, and ensure that your wishes are honored. However, it’s common for people to neglect funeral planning while they’re alive, thinking they have more time or simply wanting to avoid the topic of death. This short-sighted approach to end-of-life planning is unfortunate; we’re all going to die, and pre-planning the funeral gives you control and enables you to reduce costs. If you’d like to take advantage of funeral planning in advance, but aren’t sure about the process, here’s what you need to know about what funeral pre-planning entails:

Your Plan can be Simple or Elaborate

You can plan end-of-life services as simply or as detailed as you like. If you feel overwhelmed or apprehensive about creating an extensive funeral plan, start by making some simple choices and conveying your wishes. You might begin by deciding whether you’d like to be cremated or buried, and where you’d like your remains to rest. Once you select burial or cremation, work with a Philadelphia funeral home to put your plan in place, making the arrangements and deciding when and how you’d like to pay. (more…)

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    Which is Better? A Comparison of National and Local Funeral Homes

Which is Better? A Comparison of National and Local Funeral Homes

Due to the steady consolidation of the funeral industry, more local, family funeral providers are being brought under the umbrella and governance of larger corporations. The most important question regarding this trend is how this affects the quality of care you receive in your end-of-life services. Which is the better choice for you and your loved ones, a local or national funeral service provider?

When you choose a family-owned funeral home to assist you in carrying out your loved one’s end-of-life wishes, you receive the expertise and knowledge of generations of experience. Funeral homes in the United States, despite recent trends, are still overwhelmingly the purview of small, individual, and family proprietors — with over 86 percent of funeral homes in operation today privately owned by families, individuals, or closely-held companies. (more…)

10 Latest Trends in Funeral Planning

As the National Museum of Funeral History shows us, funerals have evolved over time to reflect the current zeitgeist. Planning a funeral today involves a lot of the same customs that have been around since ancient times, but new trends and technology have made funeral planning much more sophisticated than ever before.

What characterizes our current period of funeral planning? Future visitors to the funeral museum will reflect on our generation’s proclivities for personalized, eco-friendly, tech savvy, and hyper-connected options. Here are ten new trends in funeral planning that are continuing to increase in popularity:

1. Preplanning funeral services. Baby Boomers are now reaching retirement age and planning for their retirement years and beyond. They are not only thinking about their finances, but also about their final wishes, end-of-life care, and legacy to future generations. Funeral preplanning has gained popularity because it gives individuals control over services and costs, as well as peace of mind that their final plans are set.  (more…)

Burial vs. Cremation in Philadelphia: Non-Cost Factors to Consider

Cremation and burial costs are an important factor in choosing end-of-life Philadelphia services. However, cost isn’t the only factor in deciding between burial and cremation – and it’s important to consider all applicable angles of your loved one’s final disposition in order to make the right choice for your family. Besides cost, what are the factors to consider in deciding between a burial and cremation in the greater Philadelphia area?

Personal Preferences Play an Important Role in the Philadelphia Cremation Decision
People often feel strongly about end-of-life options; some hate the idea of being buried and prefer cremation, while others object to cremation and would never consider anything but burial. It’s important to convey your personal preference to your family when you have the opportunity, so if you’re pre-planning your funeral, now is the time to make the decision. For families who don’t know their loved one’s preferences, it is helpful to consult other close family members or friends, or even a spiritual advisor. If your loved one didn’t have a preference, or if you’re not aware of a preference, make your decision based on other factors.

Timing is Key in a Philadelphia Burial vs. Cremation
After personal preference, one of the most important factors in choosing between burial and cremation is timing. When you plan a burial, the service occurs as soon as possible – usually within two to three days. For families who are spread across the country, it is difficult for people who want to attend the service to get to town on such a short timeframe. If you can’t gather your family members in two or three days, or want more time to make your arrangements, cremation is a good option. A Philadelphia cremation provides you with flexibility on timing; you can have the cremation right away, and […]

Scattering Ashes After a Philadelphia Cremation

A Philadelphia cremation is only the first step in saying goodbye to a loved one. After cremation, roughly one-third of families choose to scatter the ashes in a place that was special to the loved one. With the appropriate permissions, ashes can be scattered in many beautiful places. Families looking for places to scatter ashes after a Philadelphia cremation should consider these options.

Scatter the ashes at sea
With the ocean nearby, many families scatter cremated remains at sea after a Philadelphia cremation. Several vessels offer scattering services off the shoreline of Atlantic City, New Jersey. EPA rules apply to scattering off the Jersey Shore and state that ocean scattering must be done at least three nautical miles offshore. A report must be filed with the EPA. However, the Mid-Atlantic region only requires reports for full ocean burials of corpses or coffins; cremains aren’t restricted in the same way off the Philadelphia coastline.

Scattering remains on private land
Families who would like to scatter remains on private land need two things: the permission of the landowner, and to confirm that there are no local laws prohibiting the scattering of cremated remains. In most places, families can scatter remains on private land with permission from the landowner. Few municipalities restrict scattering ashes, but it’s advisable to check with the local authorities to ensure no restrictions bar this practice.

Scattering Ashes - Philadelphia

Scattering remains in state parks
With 120 state parks in Pennsylvania, Philadelphia families have plenty of beautiful spots from which to choose a final resting place for the cremated remains of a loved one. Scattering cremated remains at Pennsylvania state parks is permitted with Bureau approval. Families should speak to the park manager of the state park they prefer, and provide details like time, date, the […]

Cremations: Funeral Homes Versus Low Cost Providers

The number of people choosing cremation for final needs continues to rise. Currently, nationwide, cremation is chosen for more than 40% of those who die. With the cremation rate reliably rising, experts anticipate that by 2017 or 2018 at least 50% of people that die in the United States will be cremated.

As the number of cremations has increased across the country, so has the competition for the cremation business. Consumers choose between cremation-only providers and traditional funeral homes offering cremation services. Cremation-only providers may have their own crematories or contract with outside crematories.

The price of cremation among providers varies by 100%. When choosing cremation, then, should a consumer choose the lowest cost cremation provider? Are all services created equal?

All services are not created equal, but price is an important consideration. Funeral homes often have the highest fixed level of expenses as they are brick and mortar entities with substantial staff and equipment. The cost of cremation through a funeral home, then, is often higher than Internet-advertised bare bones prices. Funeral homes provide extra value and security, however. Funeral homes are able to offer additional services including a funeral prior to cremation and transportation services that a low cost cremation-only provider cannot. Funeral homes also offer a known staff and neighborhood elements, often along with longevity, to provide some security.

Low cost cremation-only providers range from no frills, bare bones, minimally priced cremation providers contracting with outside crematories to well-established national cremation societies with their own crematories. The ultimate lowest price often comes from the no frills business that contracts with local crematories. Without a brick and mortar location, or providing other services, these providers keep their costs down. (more…)

Funeral Preplanning: Advantages and Disadvantages

Most people wish to think about funerals, and all things related to death, as little as possible. While that’s understandable, it’s not very practical. Whether we like to acknowledge it or not, there’s a 100% incidence of death. It’s foolish to ignore something that is guaranteed to happen.

So, for those acknowledging the inevitability, what is there to do about it anyway? Many find that advance planning of final needs gives them peace of mind, allowing them to get rid of that nagging thought, much like planning for college or saving for a wedding. Advance planning of final needs can take several forms.

At its simplest, advance planning means acknowledging that, some day in the future, death will occur and something must be done. A simple funeral plan might include defining one’s choice for cremation or burial, a military funeral or a religious funeral, or a wake and funeral versus a memorial service.

A more in-depth funeral plan includes a choice of celebrant and eulogizer, names of pallbearers, preferred funeral readings, and choice of funeral music. Considering these details in advance allows you to define your preferences, and, as importantly, communicate them to your family. It’s critically important that families understand each other’s preferences for final needs both to honor wishes and to avoid or reduce stress and conflict. (more…)