Pre-planning your funeral arrangements is a thoughtful outline of your wishes concerning your disposition at time of death. It is a way to communicate to your family your desires and decisions you want carried out. In Washington, the law provides you the right to direct your own disposition by way of contract with the funeral provider of your choice. This is a wonderful thing because it assures you that your wishes will be carried out. The funeral home is obligated to perform as you have outlined, without retribution from others.
Pre-planning can help your survivors in two ways. First, it eliminates the guesswork of what you may have wanted, because it’s there, outlined in detail. The decisions, at the worst time for survivors, have been lifted from their shoulders. Second, pre-planning avoids costly emotional decisions and overspending. At a time when emotions are running high, an enormous burden can be lifted by planning and paying in advance. Pre-planning is a gift, it simply is the most thoughtful thing you can do for your family.
Start your pre-planning by filling out the Vital Statistic Form. Set an appointment to meet with us at our office or we will come to your home if preferred. The phone numbers for our locations are Tumwater 360-753-1065 or Lacey 360-491-2222. (Additional phone numbers are Yelm 360-400-5400, Lewis County 360-748-0071, and Mason County 360-426-6044.)
Funeral providers in Washington are not allowed to hold on to money that has been paid for pre-arrangements. The funds must be placed in a third-party insurance or trust plan. This is for the consumer’s protection. The deposit of pre-paid funeral money is regulated by the Washington State Insurance Commissioner and the State Board of Funeral Directors and Embalmers. The money can only be released to the funeral home upon proof of death. We provide guaranteed plans at Funeral Alternatives.
This is no problem at all. In fact, knowing what your spouse wants indicates you have talked it over. As long as you agree to respect each others wishes the next step is to put it in writing with your funeral provider. This will help the rest of your family to know exactly what you want (and eliminate the guess work for them.)
Yes, it is encouraged. By signing your own cremation authorization you establish a clear directive as to your intent for disposition by cremation. Remember, the law offers you this right to control your own disposition. It also eliminates the funeral home from having to get permission from other family members. Here’s an example of what can happen: If there is no spouse and the surviving next of kin are five children, the funeral home is obligated to get the majority of the children to authorize the cremation. If a child objects to cremation the funeral home can still cremate, however this could cause distress among the siblings. This problem can be avoided by pre-signing your own cremation authorization, by doing so you are leaving a clear message for your family regarding your wishes.
You can call for an appointment or just ask your questions over the phone. There is never an obligation or selling. We want you to be educated and informed. You will know when you are ready. Talk it over with your family and let them know what your intentions are. But remember, unless you take action, the decisions will be someone else’s to make at the worst time of their life. They will be thankful if you planned ahead.
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