Preplanning - A Story

Elizabeth had just left the hospital where she recently held her husband’s hand until he took his last breath and kissed his forehead and said goodbye to her late husband of forty years.

Upon returning home, Elizabeth looked out to the shed in the backyard where her husband, George, stored his riding mower and other power tools that he used to meticulously tend to the grounds around his home and cried. She remembered how her late husband spent hours taking care of his yard. Who was going to take care of the yard, her home, and her other needs? Elizabeth sighed, regained her thoughts, and returned to her kitchen phone where she started making calls informing others that George had died. Who would have thought that over a few years this active, energetic, and always smiling man would deal with a degenerative disease that would rob him of his vitality and finally take his life.

Fortunately, George, upon learning of his fate suggested that he and Elizabeth make an appointment with their funeral director, that they knew from church. The funeral director suggested that he would visit George and Elizabeth at their home since they were in more comfortable surroundings to discuss their final wishes, which is very difficult for most to accept one’s mortality.

The funeral director began the conversation by asking, “How do you want to be remembered? What type of service do you want? Are there others that need to know what your wishes are and their relationship?”

George and Elizabeth didn’t realize how much things had changed since they had to arrange the funerals for their parents’ years before.

The funeral director continued by going through the paperwork, gathering pertinent information needed for its completion and suggested choices for George and Elizabeth to make for each of their funerals. When he began discussing the costs of services and merchandise, he gave George and Elizabeth his funeral home’s general price list and showed the casket and vault price lists for reference.

George knew that because he had always taken care of the family’s finances it would be advantageous for him to set up prefunded funeral accounts for both. George thought that this would be one less thing that Elizabeth would have to deal with upon his death, since husbands usually die before their spouses and Elizabeth would be overwhelmed having to deal with other things.

Thinking back on that day as she called the funeral director, Elizabeth felt comforted by how much George cared for her even now as she started planning for his funeral according to his final wishes made years ago.

Planning Ahead

Pre-Planning or Pre-Arranging for your funeral means that you pre-plan for the inevitable part of life - your own death or the death of a loved one. Although no one really wants to think about dying or our mortality, we all realize that it is an eventuality that we ought to be prepared for. When you Pre-Plan or Pre-Arrange your funeral, you provide peace of mind for yourself and your loved ones at a time that you are not under any duress or time constraints, and you can make educated decisions about the funeral you would like.

Clothing and Vault Display

In the Pre-Planning or Pre-Arranging process, we will assist you in filling out basic information about you and your final wishes. Biographical information gathered during this process is needed to complete necessary forms. Such information includes name, address, place of birth, date of birth, social security number, father's name, mother’s maiden name, education, race, citizenship, Hispanic origin (if applicable), marital status, spouse’s maiden name, occupation, place of work and location, veteran’s status (DD-214 or equivalent), type of disposition and place of disposition. You may use the attached form to assist you in compiling this information for your arrangement conference.

One may also want to discuss the costs of one’s final wishes. During this time a current general price list for the funeral home will be given to you and reviewed with you and explained, if needed. Continuing with the Pre-Planning or Pre-Arranging process we would complete an itemization statement of merchandise and service costs. Items included could be for a direct cremation, direct burial, local transfer of remains to funeral establishment, preparation of remains, arrangements, supervision, use of facilities, livery (vehicles), merchandise (casket, alternative container, and outer interment receptacle), additional services and merchandise and cash advances (death certificates, cemetery/crematory charges, church and clergy. Once the forms are completed, we will keep a copy for you and suggest that you keep a copy of the plan in a safe place. We also suggest that you inform a family member, or close friend where the plan can be found. There is no financial obligation for this service. We would like to meet with you at the funeral home or in the comfort of your own home.

Please call us at Chopyak-Scheider Funeral Home to let us know how we can assist you with your pre-planning needs 607-797-4612.