funeral casket shopping info, arrangements, etc.
Wednesday, April 25, 2007
What does a funeral consist of anyway?

It is for the memorial of the dead person, but it is really for the living to say a final good-bye. Yet it honors the deceased, all that was good in that person's life and how much they meant to others.

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Saturday, March 10, 2007

It consists of planning this event. Hopefully the loved one left some kind of wishes as to what kind of service, budget and products (s)he wanted.

If you wish more information on the subject of funerals,

Or if you need to purchase caskets or burial vaults, please call me,

CEO, Betty Brown, A Team Masters.

Visit our website for more information as well.


Sunday, October 17, 2004
Are the COSTS of funerals making you mad??

The funeral directors have the staff, product and knowledge to take care of the dead body. They have upped the price of a funeral and for that convience of doing everything connected with handling a funeral - making it one of the largest purchases in a life time.

However, people are really seeing red about the costs, especially if they have 2 or three deaths in the space of a few years. They haven't paid off the first one yet!! What to do?? WEll, the smartest will research the subject, will plan ahead, even down to what they wish done, will do when a death happens.
1) Have in place details - what kind of casket do you wish? Made out of what material, color, and what price range? A Team Master's accepts pre planning or pre payments (put in Trotten account at your local bank.)What kind of grave liner or burial vault do you wish? Headstone? Get prices from us and pre plan it all - what cemetery do you wish to use? See our funeral savings shopping chart at.....
2) Are you a member of a church, or do you have access to any nice large building for a 'funeral' or memorial? The public might not be aware, there are many ways to save on that cost the morticiation charges. See how a family can do the complete funeral without a funeral director altogether. One of several ways
------- if you wish to do the details yourself www.burialitems.com/resources.html DIY funeral arragements - ALL or just part of the funeral arrangements.

Saturday, April 03, 2004
Top 10 things to do prior to loss or funeral ( if any q or comment)~
or see our website at burialitems.com )

People pre plan the big events in life like the wedding, the move, the job. Don`t forget to pre plan and be more ready for the loss of a loved one. If you do not, you risk being taken advantage of by some, paying more in fees than you would need to and putting your grief on hold needlessly.
Death and making all the arrangements may seem overwhelming enough as it is. Loss of a family member or friend will take a toll on your emotions right away. You may not believe it, but you won`t be clear headed enough to do some of the basic things, you won`t care (at the moment) how much you are spending (but later, getting it paid, you will grieve mush more over this as well) and you will wish you had done this, or that. Not to plan, is planning to fail.
Save your self from these onslaughts of misery by getting these things done now. You will be so glad you did.

Do you have life insurance? Have you a need to add to it, change anything or the amounts? Doing it now, getting it all done, offers more piece of mind than you can know. Also, did you consider donation of funds to the church or signing a donor card so others might be able to `use` your body parts?

Give yourself a schedule to get these things done on this list. A Time frame so you won`t delay. Pretend it is homework, and you are graded on how well you do. Or, that you are working for someone else, you wouldn`t leave anything undone. Don`t give them (another boss) better than you give yourself and your family. Ready?

These are the ten things each of us should do to avoid any confusion, big mistakes, overpaying taxes or purchases.

1) Have a will drawn up, or update your prior one. There are many things that need to be covered, don`t leave it to chance - and to the state to decide who gets what, after all, this legal document will detail it all. Loss of control and fees paid to the state in probate, and time is the result of inaction. The old saying, "not to decide, is to decide" carries here somewhat. If you don`t care enough, it will show up, and your family will be worse off without your attention to these details. Please, detail it all, do it now, even while young, then you will not be one of the 60% of the population, that die without a will in place. It is not "if I die, it is when I die".

2) Get your house in order now, find all banks used, all lock boxes (if any)and gather copies of your joint tax records for the past five years, records of both your husband`s and your own retirement plans, all insurance policies, bank and brokerage accounts, car titles (whose name are they in? If the spouse is ill - have them transferred), and the deed to your house and/ or any property and assets. Is it in a `joint` name? Place all these in one place to make it easier at time of need.

3)Plan what you would like for your funeral, and find out what your spouse would like as well. If an earth burial, or cremation, if one with a viewing, or not. What provider to use for the funeral services, check more than one mortician as this could be a large costly purchase and shopping is in your best interest. Find out what music, dress, all details so you will at least be able to give them the last wishes.

-------- There are a few more reasons to pre plan the funeral. If there is a `control freak` in the family, or one who will ride over everyone else to get what they want, funerals seem to bring out both the best, and the worst in people. Because this is such an emotional time - feelings are held close to the skin, and if messed with, it hurts big time, and might take a long while to overcome - if ever. Some really bad scenes of some strong arming unfairly come about if no will or plans are put in place prior to a death of a loved one. By doing the will and all of the other planning, you are saving people the added grief of having to try to do this at the death. Again, Give yourself a schedule to get these things done on this list. A Time frame so you won`t delay. Pretend it is the top thing on your to do list. Or, that you are working for someone else, you wouldn`t leave anything undone. Don`t give them (another boss) better than you give yourself and your family. Ready?

4) Know how many death certificates you will need. Places like the insurance carrier, SS or others may require the original. Others can possibly just have a copy (as they are much less costly). Mortgage holders, the employer and outstanding debt to verify a death - the copies are pennies while the original cost approx. $11.00 or better - and if you need a dozen or so, that adds up fast.

5) Have a list of numbers, resources, and contacts for filing life and or health (disability)insurance claims, employer and file for any benefits owed you, such as pension income, social security offices contacts and numbers, employment history, etc. Find out which benefits are offered through employment offices of the deceased. There are many different plans - some ask you to choose between a lump-sum payment or annualized payments, which are made every year. Consulting with an attorney or adviser might be a good thing.

6) If you are getting all the details down in this preplanning, do each of them. But most official consumer advocate sites (20/20, AARP, casketstores.org , and others) stress there are far better ways to pre plan, than to pre pay. Look up this information carefully - the choices are many and the print often small, and limited refunds if you should move, or change an items or service on any prepaid agreement. The local library has volumes of books related to this subject as well. Financial Stability means shopping and knowing how to purchase smartly, how to pay the bills,learn to budget / handle what is left so it will last a long time, as your loved one did plan on that happening, to take care of you. Can you take care of those who won`t take care of themselves? Please Get started.....

---------- There are a few more reasons to pre plan the funeral.
Let`s speak of religion for a bit. Are you one who knows there is a `Hereafter`? Didn`t you want your final good-bye to reflect that - loving memories filled with prayers and God? If nothing is planned, things are not going to be done the classy way you would WANT or would do them yourself, 100%. Do you want a service in a church? A favorite Pastor to speak or Bible verse read? Funerals do not just happen, they are `planned events` one step at a time. It is left in your hands, who is going to plan all of the details for that ceremony on your final good-bye? Care enough to do it all yourself, so you can spare your family choices in their darkest hours, letting them bereave in those days, instead of `doing business`. We have covered why - feelings, savings, best choices, personalized services, piece of mind and last loving tribute (comfort) you can offer your loved ones.
The result won`t be THE cold `mc donald` run of the mill type service, full of problems and chaos`s. So that others are not forced to make hurried, uneducated and sometimes regretful choices - plus both needless overpaying and added stress. Funerals are unique to each person, and because everyone`s needs are different, no one way is the right way. "Death is certain. Life is not."

Ready to finish this up?

(Did you print out this page, so you can `do this checklist` that will be one of the most important you have ever done?)

7) How is the `purchase` going to be paid for? If you have funding in place (at your local bank, death on demand account) with money budgeted for this expense, are you sure it is within a reasonable amount? Or insurance, has it been reviewed lately to see if the beneficiary, amount or details are correct? (You do NOT want to make the funeral home the FULL beneficiary). In many cases, the burdens of arranging a funeral are heavy; heavy emotionally and financially - more so if unplanned. Granted, this ` making funeral arrangements` is scary terrain, but it`ll make things a lot less traumatic for your survivors if they feel organized. If you do place funds in a bank, or lock box, make sure you tell others where the key to your safe deposit box and which bank it`s with. (Or where any stashed funds are). The same with your will, and funeral arrangements you have planned - make sure others whom you trust know all the details of where, who, etc. Reduce it all to paper, and let others know.
funeral arrangement planning chart

8) Do you have young ones? What will happen to them, who will you trust to raise them? A head of time, have you had a talk explaining death to children, and asking them `in the event` is this family (who would continue to raise you)acceptable to you? Has the idea of asking your family which type of funeral arrangement they would want too - been reduced to writing as well? A Green funeral has been the newest upandcoming pre planned funeral. A traditional funeral is funeral director `talk`, you need to know, they are `arranged` any way the family feels is best. Make the family part of your planning. In fact, any type of a service is not required, Annn Landers didn`t even have one. Or, non-religious services are an option as well. You do not have to have a service, at anywhere, funeral home or use of a church building. Non-religious ceremonies and self orchestrated events are becoming more popular and the use of music and readings can often make the occasion very moving. (This above one choice is hard to write, as I feel one needs to know full well the consequences of no religion) Did you also know about body donation - the ashes are returned to the family at a later date, as well? Make your family aware of your choices in this important matter. Did you WANT embalming and an open casket viewing? The first question asked after death is that, (from a provider) so it should be made well known what your choices are concerning it. (As mentioned prior newsletter, embalming is not required in most cases if no viewing - and the hospital can keep the body in a refrigeration unit for a few days until arrangements are made.) If death is in a hospital room, the family can be called there for a last good-bye. If a death in a home, a call to arrange for pick up of the body is usually in the first calls as well. Do not feel that this has to take place immediately; some families wish to wait until other family members have arrived in order to say their goodbyes at home. If the person is at a nursing home, well ahead of time, they should have asked whom to call when a death may happen. Don`t answer that question lightly. Have done your homework first please. One can move a body after a funeral home does a pick up, however it is less stressful if there are no `conflicts` at the start, as the above procedure is likely to have been carried out, with your sign-in permission, by the Matron or other at the nursing home, before they call you.

9) In gathering all of this information, to have handy in one place, be sure to add: (brief outline of your obit)
# Name of next of kin, who will be supplying some of the below information.
# They say there are 87 things needed to do upon a death,
87 things, funeral wish list
#List of people to call to inform the death. (Delegate this)
# Full name of the deceased
# The deceased`s date and place of death
# The deceased`s home address
# The deceased`s date and place of birth
# The date of birth of a surviving spouse
# The deceased`s maiden name, if applicable
# The deceased`s former occupation, where relevant
# If married, date of birth of surviving husband or wife
# Name and address of informant
# Informant`s qualification for registering

10)Here, the list of 10 things, and #10, isn`t going to be "Take it slow." Instead, take action, figure out a budget that works for your needs. You have already assembled the important documents, now reduce to writing, your choice providers as well, agreements (if any)prices and details. After the funeral, then is the time for the family to take things slow in making other choices. The headstone, or memorialization arrangements can be purchased months later.
But, shouldn`t you have suggested the saying on that monument? Your choice in location of burial, and type, should be all detailed in this checklist. It is our experience that putting ones wishes in writing is not only therapeutic, but does assist and offer help for the survivors when death does occur. One thing to remember, `in the olden days` funerals always used to be held at the home,(using dry ice, not embalming) and the family did everything. Some states they still do! However, in most instances, the house may have changed for the event, but the family can and should still be in charge, and `direct` the funeral arrangements and make the choices. DO IT TODAY!

1) Have a will drawn up, or update your prior one
2) Get your house in order now, find all banks used,
3)Plan what you would like for your funeral, and find out what your spouse would like as well
4) Know how many death certificates you will need.
5) Have a list of numbers, resources, and contacts for filing life and or health (disability)insurance claims
6) If you are getting all the details down in this preplanning, do each of them.
7) How is the `purchase` going to be paid for?
8) Do you have young ones? What will happen to them,
9) In gathering all of this information, to have handy in one place, be sure to add:
10)Here, the list of 10 things, and #10, isn`t going to be "Take it slow."

We would be happy to answer any questions that you have now or in the future. Our commitment to serve families with compassionate, quality service in a sensitive human caring profession. See the product, the price, the service and the many years of earned trust = then you`ll know why our firm, A Team Master`s Caskets & Vaults, is recommended to more family and friends, daily, for all burial product and funeral needs. Quick link to browse and casket delivery all USA to purchase caskets on line on our Selections page offering our most popular caskets, however if you have seen another - ask - please call 800-595-1313 -
we can offer it as well, for a lot less! Delivered all USA.
----------------- Always the Best, Betty Brown, CEO A Team Masters Caskets & Vaults, burialitems.com

ps. We offer much more than regular caskets - we have them in all styles, sizes and budgets - all at discounted prices!
From those for precious little babies, custom made, oversize and of most all materials.

I trust this series has been and is a kick in the pants, inspiring you to actually get out and do those things you`ve promised yourself you`d get around to, "one of these years." Copyright 2004 Betty Brown All Rights Reserved

Please also write me, a-team@stratos.net if you have further questions on this subject. When you are ready to take action, it's a good idea also to set up an appointment with a financial adviser to help you develop a short-term and long-term investment plan. Ask friends and family for recommendations, or call an organization such as the National Association of Personal Financial Advisors, 1-888-FEE-ONLY, for a list of planners in your area.

Hello, Betty Brown here, CEO of A Team Master's Caskets & Vaults. Also a consumer advocate - believing information to make an informed choice is the best interest of all.

I am posting on this blog, so the public can find information on burial caskets, funeral arrangements, pre planning, and the death care trade.

If you wish to email me for more information, please do so at
a-team@stratos.net or see our website at http://www.burialitems.com for information on choices of caskets - offering all makes and models, types, within budgets - from simple and up, regular caskets, baby caskets, oversize units, pet caskets and even desk type toy models.

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