Sailing Off Into The Sunset

There is something particularly romantic about the sea. Behind each wave is another mystery, another adventure. In my younger days, I worked aboard a majestic English Liner. Though I have been consigned to land ever since, it would be a lie to say that I don’t often long for the many days where the sea and the sky were all that could be seen. Truth be told, I don’t know if or when I will return to those at times thunderous and at times serene North Atlantic waters. But I have made my wish known that when, at last, I have shuffled off this mortal coil, I want for my surviving relatives to take me back to the seas of my youth and spread my ashes to the wind and water.

I never believed I was alone in this desire. But it was this week that I read about two octogenarian twins who plan on executing my plan, but better. This is the story of Val and Carl Vollmer and how they want to step off of the land and never return. Estimating that the rigors of sea life on their 85-year-old bodies will fast take its toll, both twins are hiring a crew of 12 to help them pilot ‘The Peacemaker’, a three-masted barquentine, for a two-year, round-the-world cruise. And they will prepare the crew for the days inevitable when the twins will draw their last breaths. It is on those days that the Vollmer’s are instructing their crew to release them over the side of the vessel, letting them slip down, down, down into the deep that is Davey Jones’ Locker. 

By |September 10th, 2015|Cremation|0 Comments|

Overview of VA Reimbursement of Cremation Expenses

Those who served our nation in the Armed Forces deserve respect from their communities. Our national social contract to veterans includes the benefits and services provided by the Department of Veterans Affairs. Veteran’s benefits extend beyond continued medical and elder care provided by VA hospitals and nursing home facilities.

When veterans pass away, they and their families are guaranteed benefits, honors and reimbursements commensurate with their service to our country. Below is a detailed listing of benefits available to veterans, their spouses, and their children when cremation is selected for their end-of-life plans:

Reimbursement of Cremation Expenses Provided by the VA

Active duty veterans, or those honorably discharged who passed away as a result of an injury while on active duty, are entitled to a benefit equaling $2,000. Other honorably discharged veterans who passed away at a VA hospital, VA nursing home, or VA contracted health care facility are eligible for a $300 benefit for their cremation expenses.

The VA also provides a transportation allowance for the veteran to be commuted from the place of death to the cremation facility of their choice and then to interment in a National Cemetery. The veteran is eligible for interment of their cremated remains, at no cost, in a National Cemetery. 

Detroit Cremation: Pre-Planning Today Helps Your Loved Ones in the Future

Detroit cremation planning isn’t just a way to save on cremation costs, it provides a practical way to spare your family from distress by making your arrangements today. The emotional benefits of Detroit preneed cremation planning can’t be underestimated; it provides peace of mind for both you and your family, and enables you to communicate your final wishes to your loved ones. Find out why so many people are preparing for cremation in advance – and how it can help your family.

Spare Your Loved Ones from Pain by Preplanning Your Detroit Cremation

If you could spare your loved ones some of the pain of grieving, wouldn’t you? When you preplan your Detroit cremation, you save your family from making difficult decisions in a time of loss. The cremation planning process involves making a lot of decisions in a short period of time, and thinking about the practical details of your final rest compounds the grief of a recent loss.

Grief-stricken family members may find that making cremation arrangements intensifies their feelings of sadness and loss. Additionally, grieving family members make emotional, guilt-driven decisions about your final arrangements that could cost them thousands of dollars in unnecessary expenses. When you preplan your cremation, you save your family from this emotional and financial distress.

Communicate Your Final Wishes

It’s not uncommon for family members to disagree about final disposition if they don’t have a clear idea of your wishes. With everyone in a raw and emotionally-charged state of mind, these disagreements can become heated and manifest in intense arguments or hurt feelings over the final disposition.

By planning your Detroit cremation, you communicate your wishes to your family. You make important decisions about:

  • Detroit cremation services you want
  • Your Detroit cremation provider
  • Whether or not to have a memorial service
  • Where your memorial service should be, who should speak, and even the music that should be played

When you communicate your wishes to your family, you remove the stress of planning from their shoulders, and you give them a clear plan to follow. Ensure your wishes are honored and remove potential sources of conflict by communicating your wishes to your family through preplanning your cremation.

Financial Benefits of Detroit Cremation Pre-Planning

In addition to the emotional benefits of preneed cremation planning in Detroit, enjoy some very real financial benefits. When you pre-plan your cremation, you select only the services you want – and you have the leisure to shop around for a provider. Pre-pay for your Detroit cremation to lock-in today’s cremation costs or choose to pay at a time that’s convenient for you instead of forcing your family to pay in their time of loss, when they’re facing countless other expenses.

Preplanning your Detroit cremation provides invaluable emotional and financial benefits for you and your family. Don’t wait until it’s too late; begin your cremation preplanning today to protect your family.

Cremation Trends: After-Cremation Burials and Columbariums

Cremation is now just as common as burials in many places and is gaining in popularity across the country. It’s touted for the cost savings, but cremation offers other advantages, which are less often discussed and just as important to consider.

One such advantage is that cremation saves physical space in the earth. This is environmentally significant, as well as logistically convenient. A cremation allows for mobility of the remains and scattering, while a traditional coffin burial offers much less flexibility, requiring friends and family members who live far away from the gravesite to travel in order to pay their respects.

Families who have chosen cremation typically keep remains in an urn or other keepsake, but some opt for a burial following a cremation. Burying multiple family members in a single plot or on private property saves space and cuts costs.

How Do You Balance Cremation Costs and Services?

More and more families are choosing cremation today in large part because of the low cost of cremation versus traditional burial. As people become more cost-conscious about end-of-life services, nearly 40% of Americans today choose cremation over more expensive burial options. Since cost is one of the driving factors of choosing cremation, though, families face a balancing act between searching for low-cost cremation providers and selecting a cremation provider that offers the services they want. How do cremation costs relate to services?

Lower Cremation Costs = Fewer Services

In general, the low-cost cremation providers are able to offer inexpensive cremation prices because the prices they quote are for cremation only, or may include some services, but not everything that a family needs. For example, even a basic Illinois cremation comes along with:

  • Transportation to the cremation facility
  • A cremation container
  • Cremation permit
  • Staff or funeral director fees

Many of the so-called “low-cost” cremation providers quote cremation prices that don’t include even these basic fees. For many of the lowest cremation prices, the rate that families see is only for the cremation fee – not counting all other costs associated with arranging even a simple cremation.

When families want to add things like an obituary, a visitation with the deceased prior to cremation, or even a funeral, the cremation costs climb. When families are comparing cremation costs, it’s not necessarily that one cremation provider is inexpensive while another costs more, but it may be that there’s a disparity in services that accounts for the difference in cost.

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    Evaluating Cremation Costs: Which Services are Right for You?

Evaluating Cremation Costs: Which Services are Right for You?

As a general rule, local cremation costs are far more affordable than the costs associated with a funeral and traditional burial. However, families exercise even more fine-grained control over cremation costs by selecting the services that are right for them. When selecting cremation services, these are the things to consider:

Do You Want a Visitation, Funeral, or Memorial Service?

A direct cremation with no other service is the most affordable cremation option. For families with budget issues – particularly in the case of an unexpected immediate need cremation – direct cremation is the best option.

However, some families want additional services to provide closure and say goodbye to the loved one. Funerals, memorial services, and visitations add cost to cremation planning, but provide a venue for friends and families to say their farewells and commemorate the life of the deceased.

Choosing cremation does not preclude these services, but planning these services does add cost on top of the basic cremation fee. In addition, these services may also incur related costs, such as:

  • Renting a coffin
  • Paying a facility fee
  • Paying for staff support
  • Transportation
  • Other related costs

Do You Need Help with Cremation-Related and End-of-Life Details?

Some families prefer to manage cremation-related and end-of-life details on their own, while others would prefer help with things like:

  • Getting certified copies of the death certificate
  • Writing and publishing the obituary
  • Filing for Veterans benefits
  • Notifying Social Security

and other end-of-life details. Families keep costs down by managing these details themselves, but for some families, it’s worth the cost to have someone else help take care of these particulars. Help with these services does add to the base cremation cost, but the cost is worthwhile for the peace of mind it provides some families.

What Do You Plan to Do with the Remains?

What you plan to do with the remains plays a significant role in cremation costs. Aside from the cremation fee itself, one of the most significant cremation costs is the cost associated with the urn. If you’re planning to scatter the remains, a simple and inexpensive scattering urn is a practical, low-cost option. However, if you’re planning to display the urn at home, inter the urn in a columbarium, or even create a garden memorial, you’ll need a higher-quality urn that is suited for the setting, raising the cost.

Ultimately, your family controls local cremation costs by selecting the services that matter most. Balance needs and desires with budget to create the cremation plan that best serves your family’s needs.