Many people see the holiday season as the hardest for those who have lost a loved one but in truth it is much more often than that.
There are those special times of the year that that special person loved; the special vacation places, the birthdays, the births, the weddings and remembered anniversaries are all hard.
As a minister I’m there to support, guide, direct, council and help the ones left behind. I heard a quote on a movie once that I often quote, “Death leaves a heart ache that no one can heal but love leaves a heart ache that no one can steal.”
When I look through the hundreds of funerals that I have officiated, there tends to be some common denominators.
The first is surprise. Even if you’ve known for months, when it actually happens it is a surprise. We always hope for the best and pray for a miracle but one thing is sure, death is inevitable.
Death comes to us all.
Other common concerns are “What did the decedent want; burial, cremation, who is paying and how, what about their stuff, and are there any benefits, even military?”
That is where pre-planning and knowledge come in.
Here are some suggestions:
*Meet with someone competent in life insurance, final expense insurance and annuities. Consider how to get asset protection. Recently, we were able to correct someone’s plan where they ended up with a paid up policy for nearly twice what they had.
*Have your ‘Will’ legally reviewed by an attorney who specializes in family law.
*Review your options for additional health insurance coverage
*Meet with someone who can work with you with your funeral home of choice. Discuss the options.
Get guidance on how to organize your important documents. It is sad to say, what you don’t know ‘CAN HURT YOU.’
Being informed and prepared can help avoid many pitfalls. To help individuals and families I’ve become a licensed insurance broker, have established a relationship with many funeral homes, work closely with competent family attorney, and have learned as much as I could about military benefits.
PHOTO CAP: Rev. Thomas A. Dingwall