Planning for the Unthinkable

Funeral Planning: Things to Think About

In my case, my mother and father prepaid their funeral arrangements. Their plan did not cover: Obituary, Flowers, Death Certificates, and if needed, a preacher. Another option, if you have time, consider opening a bank account, “payable upon death account.”  This way you can earn interest on your money and possibly use it in case of an emergency. The Funeral home will notify Social Security Adminstration of death. Within 2 weeks, my mom received $225.00 in burial benefits from Social Security. Since my father paid more in to Social Security than my mom, she able to adopt my father Social Security payout.

See Social Security Survivors Benefits and Social Security Planner, I found these websites quite helpful.

Do not close out any banking accounts for at least a few months. Wait until you get a handle on the money situation and then make that determination. You don’t want any money to go back to Defense Finance Accounting Service, Social curity or any other agencies. If by chance you receive a check in the deceases’ name you can still make deposits to that account.

Here are some links I can across in my journey. I’m not indorsing these websites, but it’s a great source of information.

Military Retiree Survivor Checklist    Findlaw – Estate Panning   Funeral Planning  Federal Trade Commission (Burial Guide)

Buried with Honors

Since my father was a veteran, he qualified to be buried with honors. The funeral home contacted the Air Force Honor Guard Office, and they were over joyed to be a part of my father’s funeral. When I was in the Air Force, a lot of my wing men were members of the MacDill Air Force Honor Guard Team. You really don’t get a handle of what they do until it affects you personally; you just see it as an additional duty. When the Honor Guard Team arrived, they looked so sharp and professional.  The NCO in charged greeted my mom and express his condolences. He also informed my mom how everything was going to proceed.  From the moment the ceremony began, to its end, it was hard to hold back the tears. What a fitting solute to my dad and family, from flag folding ceremony to the 21 gun salute. My mom said to me, “dad would have been so proud”. I have a profound admiration for the United States Air Force Honor Guard. What a great honor and service they provide to our veterans.  Veteran’s Burial Benefits

Without going into too much detail please see link Burial Claims. You will be amazed at the benefits available to our veterans. Also see Veterans Financial Benefits

Since my Dad’s funeral was prepaid, he already paid for a headstone. If your family would like to look into this matter, you maybe Eligibility for a Headstone, Marker or Medallion free of charge. I submitted a VA Form 40-1330 and received a beautiful medallion for my Dad’s headstone.