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We express our love for our families by preparing for tomorrow. It gives us a degree of control over the future and allows meeting the needs of those we love.

Estate Planning
Most people do plan ahead in this manner. The Will is the foundation of estate planning. Consult with your attorney, accountant and financial advisors in order to draft a Will that ensures the distribution of your assets in the manner that you see fit. A Power of Attorney for health care or Living Will may also be part of your planning. It is a good idea to list all of your assets and discuss these with family members. Real estate, insurance policies, and financial accounts as well as personal possessions (jewelry, automobiles, etc.) are all things that should be listed in order to assist the executor of your estate. Finally, be sure to update these documents on a regular basis as circumstances change.

Planning for funeral and burial
Most people do not plan ahead for the inevitable – the event that dictates the need for estate planning in the first place. Such planning is the first step in accepting death as a natural part of life. Discussing the inevitability of our own death benefits those we love by allowing them to accept that “someday” it will happen. Planning ahead will ease the burden of making decisions at a time of emotional and physical stress for our families.

How do my family and I plan ahead for funeral and burial arrangements?
Talk it over; remembering the funeral is for the living! It should not be delayed until you face terminal illness. It is much less painful to discuss arrangements while everyone is healthy. Include the entire family in making decisions to be sure each person is comfortable with those decisions. After all, the funeral is for the survivors and should not just be the wishes of the deceased. Keep these thoughts in mind.
- Does my family understand my request and feelings?
- Do I understand theirs?
- Did I give permission to compromise on my decisions without guilt if circumstances change?
- Could I do for them, what I have asked them to do for me?
- Will my requests allow them to grieve in a normal, healthy manner?

Many of the details involved in pre-planning can be done without speaking to a funeral director. Our “Requests and Reflections” guide is printable and includes the biographical and service preference information needed to begin pre-planning. We also have these booklets available at the funeral homes free of charge. If you wish to go further and plan the entire service, including casket, vault or urn selections and pricing, it is a good idea to speak with a licensed funeral director. Please call or E-Mail and we will arrange an appointment. There is no cost or obligation for this service.

Is it a good idea to pre-pay for my funeral service?
There is no correct answer to this question. In certain circumstances, placing funds in a funeral trust may be beneficial. Many families receive comfort in knowing that their arrangements are paid for in advance and their survivors won’t have to worry about finding the funds needed to pay for the service. Others are concerned about exhausting their assets due to an extended stay in a care facility. In both instances, a pre-paid funeral trust funded through insurance or a certificate of deposit may alleviate these concerns. Our section on Consumer Information will have additional information on things to consider before pre-paying for funeral services.

If you have questions about any of the information presented here, please call or E-mail Mike Phillips at the funeral home.

 

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