We are pre-planning dad's burial. How does this process work?

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My dad will be living with me in Tucson but wants to be buried in Sacramento. When he passes away, does anyone know the process? Thanks in advance!

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My sister and went through this for our father. He wanted to be buried in central Pennsylvania where he already had a plot and where many family members were buried, and he also specified which funeral home he wanted to use in PA. We and our parents were in Cincinnati where they were both in a nursing home. When it was obvious his days were "numbered" my sister and I went to the funeral director in PA and made all the arrangements. I can't recall if we paid then or simply did it at the time of the funeral, but the price was already agreed upon. Upon his death a local (Cincinnati) funeral home took care of the immediate arrangements and then transferred our father's body to PA (I think it was done by ground transportation--it's some 400 miles). It was a smooth process. One bit of advice we were given--it is best to get 12 copies of the death certificate.
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You don't need to go to the city where he will be buried to talk to the funeral home. We handled it totally over the phone.
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Most funeral directors are familiar with the situation; you just have to work with both ends. My brother was buried in a plot with his wife's people in another state, and after the service in his longtime home, the family flew to the other state for a graveside service with his in-laws (whom he had spent quite a lot of time with over the years.) When his wife passed some years later, their sons had her cremated, and there were services at both locations, but we were able to transport the cremains ourselves, driving to the second location. Much simpler!
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Preplanning your preneed is a very smart move! Having known people in the industry I can tell you that you first want to call or email the funeral home of your choice to make an appointment to set up a preneed. You then go to the funeral home and meet with a funeral director. Your then take him to an office where are you both sit down and discuss the issue. They gather necessary paperwork and get info from you. You tell them what you want. If you're on federal benefits, ask if the funeral home will be the owner of the policy. This will protect you if you're on Medicaid, and all you do is pay the premiums each month after signing the papers. The funeral home files your papers with their funeral home and gives you a copy. You keep your copy in a very safe place. Make sure you don't skip payments and let your policy lapse, you'll have to start over. If you still have your paperwork should your policy lapse, you can still have your same wishes put in writing.

It's always best to not make arrangements on the spot since funeral homes can try to get you to order more goods and services than you actually want or need, and very often more than many families can afford. What I would do just in case the insurance through the funeral home may not have enough in the policy or just in case they don't want to pay out is have a POD set up separately at your bank and make the funeral home the beneficiary. Do you want to set up a POD just in case. If it turns out the funeral home really doesn't need this money, you can ask your bank if a secondary beneficiary can be included in succession of the funeral home. You really want to be set up just in case something happens. Remember, they do charge for opening and closing so don't get sticker shock if they happen to call you with an unexpected expense of opening and closing the grave. One funeral home around here charges 20 bucks for opening above ground vault. All they have to do is go in the back and open the vault with a key. I don't know if that charge is just for urns or also caskets. I'm not sure how much underground preparations are but I will warn you to request at very least to be embalmed just in case the person who is supposed to be dead might wake up, this has happened. I even read something somewhere where someone who was supposed to be dead was to be cremated. Due to the technology of that funeral home it was detected that the person who was supposed to be dead was actually just unconscious when they were put into the torque. By the time this was discovered by the modern digital technology, it was too late. I also heard where sometimes bodies had to be exhumed for some reason and when they went in, they found out the person actually turned over in their graves before actually dying. There have been times when people were mistaken for being dead and accidentally buried alive. When they came to in the grave they most likely suffocated. This is why I would recommend going through the embalming process because in that process, your blood is drawn out and completely replaced with embalming fluid ensuring you won't awaken

The most important thing to remember is to take responsibility and make your own preneed. That way, you can rest assured knowing your wishes will be carried out by the funeral home as long as the money is there to cover those expenses. Good honest funeral homes will go out of their way to make it humanly possible that your wishes will be carried out, all you have to do is make sure to keep up your payments on your preneed, protect your paperwork and  make sure there's extra money set aside in a POD just in case. Again, it's a good idea to first make the funeral home the beneficiary and also have a secondary beneficiary if it turns out that doesn't need the money and the insurance company has paid out in full. However you choose to pay, make sure you keep a record of each and every payment. The insurance company should also have a record, make sure you keep good records just in case. 

If by any chance the funeral home has any trouble collecting from the insurance company, the POD account will come in handy. If you have any trouble with the insurance company, get a hold of your state Department Of Insurance. If the insurance company is out of state, contact their states department of insurance as well as your state's department of insurance
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It's a lot easier with cremation! We had service for my husband in city he died in, then ashes were divided to bury in two places--half in his family plot where his mother is and sister will be buried, and his mother had long ago purchased a stone that did not bear my name, and once about 120 miles away with mine in a family plot in my old hometown where a tombstone bears both our names.
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Good thing to do. My sister and I just finished doing this exact same thing for my dad. He already had a paid plot at a cemetery next to my mom. So we called the funeral home in Kansas and they did all the paper work and we sent them a check. We told them which funeral home here we wanted to use to pick up dad's body and they would then send it to Kansas on the airline. We would pay the fees for the plane ride and the local funeral home when that time comes. But all fees in Kansas have been paid. Such a relief to have that done.
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Thank you so much!!!
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Outdoormelle, when my parents had passed, they wanted to be buried many States away in my Dad's old home town out in the middle of no where.   It is good you are pre-planning !!

What happens is there will be two funeral homes involved, one in Tucson to do whatever is needed for your Dad, preparation, church/temple service, etc.... then the funeral home will make arrangements with an airline to ship the coffin [special boxes are used to place the casket], the price of the cargo ticket, delivery to the airport.

Now at the other end, the funeral home will go to the Sacramento airport to pick up the coffin [mileage is sometimes charged], then that funeral homes makes whatever arrangements are wanted for a church/temple service, and make arrangements with the cemetery.

Make sure your Dad has a cemetery plot in Sacramento, and a deed to the plot. Don't want to scramble the last minute buying a plot. And be prepared, using two funeral homes you will get two bills from them.
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