Its been a while and I hate to come back on a rather somber note but one of the life lessons I have learned recently as an adult is that death can be sudden and expensive. You better have a plan in place so your family is not caught in the lurch. My dad died recently and if it hadn’t been for the organization of the US Veteran’s Administration and the funeral home I am not sure how my mother and me would have been able to deal with everything that had to be done.
Fortunately he passed in a VA Hospital so we didn’t have to deal with a coroner’s office or anything like that. And to its credit and maybe this is no surprise since they have to deal with death everyday, the VA had a check list of everything that needs to be done when someone passes away. From selecting a funeral home, to picking a burial center, to notifying various credit agencies and banks to prevent identity theft it was all laid out.
Having gone through the experience I have realized that I have some gaping holes in my own plans for death. I mean my family knows I want to be cremated and my ashes placed into the taxidermied body of an armadillo but where to place the ashes, and other items are left undocumented. The other thing that I realized is how expensive such plans are. My dad did not want to be cremated so there was a casket to select and a service to plan and when all was done the bill was nearly $10,000 and that was with a middle of the road casket nothing fancy.
He also had the advantage of having access to a national cemetary. My wife and I do not have that option. Its a good thing we both want cremation because I can imagine that finding plots in a private cemetary can be several thousand bucks if not more depending on where you want to be planted.
At a minimum I want to make sure that no matter what the money is saved so the family doesn’t have to worry about costs and such but planning for such an event when you are healthy and of sound mind seems like one of those things that I should get off my butt and do… Thanks for reading this. Maybe in a future post I will actually detail the check list if you think that would help you…