Follow
Share

My dad is 85. He suffered a stroke five years ago, which affected his left side. His arm is constricted, and he drags his left foot. He is also afflicted with AAA (Aorta Abdominal Anyursm), fractured vertebrae, Afib with possible blood flow restriction, blind in one eye.


My dad informed me years ago that he wanted to be cremated with no form of service. He has a DNR.


My question is should I pre plan his cremation by contacting a crematorium directly? This would be a direct cremation, so I see no need to make arrangements with a funeral home.


I know some of his siblings would disapprove, so I made sure my dad included his wishes in his will.

Find Care & Housing
I can't imagine a single human, no matter how old or sick or healthy, who wouldn't pre-plan their future, and funeral. I have done this all my life since my 20's. I will be 87 and I am 100% paid and planned for everything - and I have peace. It is just plain common sense to do things like this in advance.
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to Lockett2166
Report
jacobsonbob Sep 6, 2020
If you are thinking about prepaying for a funeral or at least committing to a specific business, then this is fine if you know where you will be living when "the time" comes. For those of us who move around the country (or the world), it's a bit more difficult.
(0)
Report
Just a thought here. If your dad is able to still make up his mind about this he might want to go the route I have planned for myself. I have donated my body to our local medical college for research. After its use they do the cremation at no cost to my family and send the cremains to whomever. I feel like it's my last useful act, it saves my family money and hassle.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to dazednconfused
Report

Do what you feel is best, honoring his wishes. As for the siblings, if he left them nothing, they won't be around of interested in going to a service.

I know this 'cause my mom requested something similar. She was so right. When her remaining living siblings were notified of her passing, no word from any of them. In fact, a niece sent a thank you card, where she scribbled on a memory for her, and that was it.
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to shad250
Report

Imho, yes, follow your dad's wishes by setting up cremation and pre paying for it with his funds.
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to Llamalover47
Report

Note about pre-planning funerals/cremation: If the funeral homes goes out of business, no worries--this is an insurance company that takes the money which the funeral home is reimbursed once the person dies and body processed. Any other local funeral home will honor the plan because it is ongoing cash coming into the business. You get cash discounts with pre-planning AND the plan is fixed.

Another alternative is DONATING the body to science. The cremation is free once the body is used for research or training future surgeons. You get two free death certificates and the body is shipped to and from the facility back to your home all free. Google how to donate body to science.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to cetude
Report
AlvaDeer Sep 1, 2020
I am all for this.I am an old Nurse with no religious or other things precluding this. But someone considering it might want to read Mary Roach's great book "Stiff" to see what actually happens to people who do donate. If you are good with this (and I DECIDELY AM),then do it. But you need to understand. There is a wealth of scientific information in our bodies, and even after death we can contribute so much. I am just saying that we should understand the facts.
(2)
Report
Plenty of suggestions and advice here for preparing, but one big question you had was regarding the siblings and their disapproval of cremation. It is great you got him to put it in his will, HOWEVER, generally wills are dealt with AFTER a burial or cremation. Generally.

It might be a good idea to write up something for him to read and sign, stating his wishes, which you can send or give to them now, or give it to them when he passes and they ask about arrangements. It would be even better if he would just tell them THIS IS WHAT I WANT. It isn't any of their business.

Meanwhile, you could get all the pre-payment and planning done now. You don't need their input, just dad's. As others said, paying up now will ensure there are funds available to cover it, and it will be set so you don't have to scramble when the time comes.

Mom and dad had set up something a while ago, but when taking over her finances, I did find a check she had to write to the funeral home to cover the balance for dad's cremation and burial. If my recollection is correct, it was about $2300. This covered picking up the body, cremation, arranging with the Marines for military burial, and whatever else mom wanted. I had to inquire with them as to where her "plan" stands, and what it covers. He sent a copy of the agreement to me.

Funny that this topic popped up for me today. It was almost a year ago that he told me the interest has brought it to almost fully paid (set up just prior to dad passing, which would explain the extra cost then, but it was 13 yrs ago, so she's likely all set!) He did say there might be about $500 in transport and clergy, but I sent email again this morning asking if we could just pick up the remains. She's 97, all her gen on both sides are gone, as are many other friends and family. Some remaining friends likely wouldn't go that far - none went to dad's burial. She's been in MC for several years, so even those have lost touch. Most likely it would just be me and my daughter, no service or clergy needed. It isn't so much about the extra cost, but that it is rather silly to have them drive the remains all the way there for just putting her ashes in with dad's!!
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to disgustedtoo
Report
AlvaDeer Sep 1, 2020
I think , too, that saying your wishes doesn't mean that anyone who wants to cannot have a bar gathering to hoist a few in your name, or a beautifully catered celebration of this life and what it means to you/meant to you in your own home. People have strange practices around all this that brings them comfort, and boy, am I ever for whatever brings comfort.
(1)
Report
Concerned43 - you might find this site helpful. Funeral Consumers Alliance. This national organization helps consumers navigate the funeral and/or disposition of body arrangements. New information on Green Burials and Home Funerals, where no funeral home need be involved, is also provided.

You are wise to plan ahead. This can be one of the more expensive purchases (although it doesn’t have to be) that we make. We shop for cars, we shop for homes, we plan weddings, but too often this event is not planned for, nor “shopped around” for. Your father is lucky to have such a thoughtful daughter.

https://funerals.org/
Helpful Answer (3)
Reply to Moddie
Report

Prepaid for MIL cremation via a crematorium. It included 5 copies of death certificates, transportation of her remains, notification of social security, plain basic cremation box, placing of obituary in the local paper (which we needed to pay for). They were very informative, not pushy, and when the time came empathetic and professional. If a nicer urn is desired you can purchase from them or purchase one yourself. We opted to purchase ourselves, the obituary ran an additional 200, by shopping around I was able to find very nice urns for around 300. Prepay urn purchase and they can have it engraved when the time is right, would also ask about prepaying newspaper notification if possible, that way nothing else to worry about. Going this route saved over $2500 compared to funeral home. Is dad a vet by any chance? He can be interred at one of the many national cemeteries. We postponed MIL service to make it easier for those who lived out of state and attending school to attend, then covid reared it's ugly head. FIL had passed in 1992 so when she moved in with us he did too. They were interred together at a national cemetery because he was a WW II vet. Some look at services as a way to honor their loved one, guess I look at it as a form of respect but also a celebration of their life. To give other family members closure maybe an informal luncheon or a picnic at one of his favorite parks to share stories and memories? Unfortunately in these times department of defense limited service to no more than 20 people. We plan on doing a lunch with extended family and friends when things get a bit better. Dad's wishes are what matters in this instance, not theirs, not going to be easy dealing with those that think they know what's best, stick to your guns and tell them this is what HE wanted and you are carrying out his final wishes.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to Takincare
Report

Pre-pay worked well for us. It was straight forward and covered both my parents wishes. We went through the local funeral home (very small town) and could not be happier.
Helpful Answer (2)
Reply to ullysses
Report

Of course you can make the arrangements. Then if something happens, you simply place the call and they will handle it.

If anyone mentions it later on, you can just say these arrangements were made long ago at the request of my father. Plus the will confirms that. Some folks just don't believe in cremation, but their opinion should be reserved for how their own body is handled.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to my2cents
Report

I had to deal with this situation 6 months ago when my husband passed. I had investigated cremation services a few years before he passed and discovered that direct cremation was much less expensive than using the Neptune Society's prepaid option. However, at least in Florida where I live, you cannot prepay a direct cremation; you must buy it at "time of need." The crematory that I used in central Florida charges $695 if you pick up the ashes yourself, which is what I did. It does include picking up the body and transporting it to the crematorium.
Death certificates were $10 each, and the crematorium provided information on how many and who needed one. A certificate of cremation was provided to give to the cemetery if burial or inurnment will occur. A cardboard box containing the ashes is included in the $695. This is capable of being X-rayed and is required if you will be transporting the ashes on an airplane -- an X-ray cannot penetrate a metal urn. I purchased a beautiful urn from the crematorium for $200, but you can find them elsewhere (on-line) for less.
The people I dealt with at the crematorium were excellent. Everything was handled with dignity. I subsequently transported the ashes to another state for inurnment in a columbarium purchased previously.
Honor your father's wishes. His siblings' wishes are not his. And do not be cajoled into spending more than is actually necessary. Investigate how things work in whatever state you live; perhaps prepayment of a direct cremation is allowed in your state, but if it's the same as in Florida, it is a very uncomplicated procedure.
Blessings on you.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to SandyDory
Report

The time immediately following a death is fraught with emotions and a LOT of well meaning, but useless information from the funeral industry.

Dad and Mother had pre-planned everything. When Daddy went, mother was able to spend less than an hour at the cemetery offices. I wrote the obituary, it was very expensive, but we knew that many of dad's friends and colleagues were not going to be able to make it to the viewing or funeral. And daddy deserved the accolades. Many people put obits on FaceBook--even if you aren't a FB user, you still will get the message.

It was able to give us peace! Mother was horribly embarrassed by the inexpensive casket daddy chose, and did want to 'upgrade' that, but we told her he chose this one b/s he was a frugal man to the end and he was in his right mind when he chose it. Also, as being military, the flag completely covered the casket.

DH and I have chosen cremation. A dear friend made our 'urns'. They are GORGEOUS and made with such love. I toyed with the idea of having them be kind of a 'traveling trophy' and the kids could pass them around. (Yes, we have a bit of dark humor in the family!)...all 5 kids took a pass at that. So they sit in our office and we can enjoy looking at them.

This post reminds me I need to call the cemetery and purchase 2 niches. And probably check into cremation. I do not know of any 'stand alone' crematoriums. In our state, they are all affiliated with a mortuary. But I am definitely going to take care of that sooner rather than later.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to Midkid58
Report

All good suggestions here, but I'd like to add one thing.
If his siblings are not in agreement on cremation NOW is the time to talk to them. Ideally your Dad should tell them his wishes. When the time comes, everyone will know that's what he wanted and not hold you responsible.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to swanalaka
Report

Definitely get a pre-planned cremation.

It prevents a lot of fights and maybe a court battle.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to Christservant
Report

This sounds EXACTLY like my Mom's wishes. My Dad pre-planned through the Neptune Society, right down to their wooden boxes to hold their ashes. My sister thought it was morbid. The boxes sat in their closet for years. My Mom passed last March. When the time came, we contacted the Neptune Society and they took care of everything. It was SEAMLESS. At a time when we were all grieving, it was such a relief. It's difficult when the living doesn't agree with your Father's wishes. But it's HIS wishes, not theirs.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to katgrab
Report

As he has put it in his will - very sensible - I wouldn't even discuss it with his siblings if you are his executor, arrange what he would want and invite them to attend or not depending on whether they can accept his wishes are the most important thing.
If you can pre-arrange with a simple cremation only policy I would do so, I'm not sure you can pre-plan direct with a crematorium until time of death. However if you choose the funeral director who you will use for transport and support I am sure they will be happy to advise you at this time and to create a file for when the time comes if this is what would put your mind at rest.
How very sensible of your father to have discussed what he wants with you - so many people leave it too late.
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to TaylorUK
Report

We did this about 9 years before my husband passed. With Neptune Society. I'm not saying use them, but they were very good. The price we paid at the time was little over $500 each and never changed. To answer Jacob's question: Neptune Society is world wide (they have partners overseas).There may be other cremation companies that are also national and worldwide. Good question! We carried our Neptune cards with us when we traveled overseas. When my husband was pretty far gone with Alzheimers, I suddenly noticed some ads in the paper for cremations, and was soooo glad we purchased ours when we did. The price is high even for cremations. Not sure it works this way now, but then, when we purchased it, the price never changed, and at my husband's death, we met at their office and went through any extras we wanted, which would have raised the price. They picked up the body from the AL, brought it to a funeral home, had to arrange for refrigeration, which may have been extra but it was for some reason, and I didn't have pay for that, but there is a daily charge for that. Also, I arranged to have him cremated in his Army Dress Blues and as I couldn't imagine just a bare body. He was a 22 year career soldier. They informed the government agencies of his death, arranged the inurnment at our National cemetery, arranged and received copies of the death certificates we needed (you get 3 and can ask for more at extra $, and would have done more if we needed or wanted it. I read recently the cost of cremations was going up to over $3000 each. Not sure what Neptune's price now is. Find out all this info at time of purchase. We each got a wooden box with a key for our cremains. And all I had to do was reach in the closet for the box. Also,we didn't have any family nearby to squabble about having a viewing. My husband didn't want that, and he only had one sister living who wouldn't have able to come, and my family was cross country so they wouldn't have come, only 1 child, so no other family besides me and sons family.
His was so easy, all we did was pick up the phone and they handled it from there.
A lot off my shoulders after just putting him in AL and getting him settled, he fell several times, and I spent several straight days at the hospital overnight. I was exhausted and doing the paperwork was so easy with this company for the burial.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to JoAnne80
Report

Agree with the others saying yes, and just to add that this is a far less expensive method than burial; in addition many areas of our country have Memorial Societies or similar, more of a consumer organization that helps to plan with a no frills cremation or burial. It would most likely be perfect for your dad's needs.
I suspect the bigger issue for you is the disapproval of the siblings, so pre-planning will take that stress off you somewhat more by saying DAD made his own arrangements and wishes known years ago, and it's not their decision, and his wishes MUST be respected.
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to gdaughter
Report

Yes, follow his wishes. Yes, pre-plan. When someone passes and we are upset, that is not the time to try to find information, that is the time to pull out the file with the pre-planning information.

What you have to know is what happens in your area when someone dies. Does a funeral home in fact have to be involved, legally? I would call a local funeral home and get the information from them and proceed from there. They know what the laws are and what needs to be done.

Once you know how it works you'll be prepared to know what you want to do when the time comes.
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to Rabanette
Report
Riverdale Sep 1, 2020
HI. Was just thinking about you. Since we are in the same area could you tell me who you used to prepay for cremation. I think about this occasionally and just feel I don't know where to begin
(0)
Report
Yes--always pre-plan because it is a lot cheaper. Do what your father wants. He is thinking of his family. My father wanted the cheapest possible cremation because he was worried about the expenses of living and sure enough I had to get the roof changed, new water heater, washing machine (they all had ongoing problems). Money is for the living. I put my father's ashes in a wooden cigar box--they are not only very inexpensive, but very well made of high quality--better than what the funeral home was trying to sell. My parents' ashes are in an antique cabinet.

If you are wealthy, go ahead and get a solid gold casket -- but for the majority of us the funeral business will gouge the daylights out of you: Death is a very serious and very expensive process, and be sure to also do ESTATE PLANNING with an eldercare attorney. Believe me you will regret it if you don't.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to cetude
Report

You did right, and go ahead with pre planning that a few years ago, also had to do the planning for my mom, she had no will or plans whatsoever. Hopefully you have funeral or burial insurance. Your dad is 85 and it may be a bit of an issue if he does not have burial insurance. My mom got insured at 86 with a company called Royal Neighbors. Anyway good luck with the rest of the family. Glad you have things in writing.
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to grimgraham4
Report

Pre-pay with Dad's money, unless you're independently well off. Smart move for Dad; full funerals with embalming and such are a massive scam. Don't let them talk you into buying a coffin for the cremation or an overpriced urn.
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to ZippyZee
Report

Better to know where you wish your father's remains to be processed - and the cost associated. Then, put money aside specifically for this purpose or pre-pay. As for memorial services after his passing, those ceremonies are for the benefit of the survivors. Let the rest of the family have whatever memorial gathering that helps them with his passing.
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to Taarna
Report

After my Mom died suddenly in 2014 and I had to make arrangements quickly, my husband, Dad and I made pre-arrangements with the Sound Choice cremation society. One less thing to think about when the time comes. I encourage everyone to do this. We chose simple cremation with no service, but they have many options to choose from.
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to SusanKZee
Report

I bought a cremation service for my mother two years ago -- she is still living. She also wants no service. I bought it through a funeral home that also does cremations. It was $1500 and that included 12 death certificates and a cardboard box. Because we will sprinkle her ashes and don't intend on keeping any contained, we didn't buy an urn. From time to time I wonder if this price and the ease of purchase will be all there is to it -- specifically, if this price will be honored for, say, 6-7 years, if she lives that long. Every indication is that she will...
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to ArtMom58
Report
cetude Sep 1, 2020
If you go on Amazon you can find very affordable cigar boxes ($30 and under)--they are thick and of great quality that can store ashes and they look better than what they sell in funeral homes at a fraction of the cost. I have my parents' ashes in two boxes next to each other. These boxes also keep moisture out, although I have kept them in their plastic baggies. The divider in the middle of the cigar box comes out.
(0)
Report
You could google “cremation society.” There are many locations out there, though not certain if they are affiliated. My mother is on Medicaid, so there won’t be much money for a funeral home or extra services. The cremation society nearest her offers transportation. That is the route we plan to go.
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to YellowSubmarine
Report

We prepaid with a local funeral home for both my in-laws. My MIL was buried but my FIL wanted to be cremated and have ashes buried at military cemetery. The funeral home is also a crematorium so they handled everything. My MIL died while we were out of town for a family wedding. So having everything in place was very helpful.

For MIL we had graveside service. She was embalmed as we had to wait for out of town family. Funeral service offerings have changed as people have stopped having 3 day wakes as they did 50 years ago but we were able to customize what we needed.

i don’t know if there would have been a financial advantage to going to a facility that was just a crematorium. Maybe but the funeral home handled everything for us so I never considered it.

in your case, depending on where your father lives, there is a charge to collect the body. Be sure to compare costs as well as the cost to you in time and stress to arrange for death certificates, notification to Social Security, etc if not handled by the place you choose. Funeral home helped write obituary. Sent it to newspaper and posted it on their website as well. Due to Covid, we have not yet placed the ashes and they are holding them for us until next month when hopefully we get service done.

We are doing a partial burial of his ashes in cemetery with my MIL and I bought a second urn on Amazon for that. Who knew they sold cremation urns?
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to dogparkmomma
Report
jacobsonbob Sep 1, 2020
Speaking of obituaries, I'll take this opportunity to warn that it is very important to take a part in writing this, and then proofreading it afterward. The day after my sister and I lost our mother, we went to the funeral home that was providing the usual services, and along with making the arrangement we worked through the obituary with the funeral director only to find out the funeral home had already put one on its website with practically all the information incorrect. (Other than being in the nursing home here, our mother had never actually lived here or developed her career here, but the obituary was written as if she had been a local resident all her adult life, coupled with misspellings, etc.--maybe this had been scribbled together the night of her death, with the writer having chosen to ASS/U/ME all the details.) I was furious when I saw this on their website, and immediately contacted them and made them change it, reminding them that we had gone through the details the previous day. I wrote my own version of it from scratch and sent it, and they put it on their website.

It just shows that one must oversee every step because, as the saying goes, if you've done all you can to make sure no one could possibly make a mistake, someone will. Frankly, I was simply amazed that something like this could be botched so badly by someone "guessing" instead of using facts.
(1)
Report
See 1 more reply
My hubby and I are both having cremation. I did it thru one of our local funeral directors who also does the cremation. No services for us either, He was excellent, no pushing, etc when I met with him. For our childrens sake, I prepaid our cremations, we have our stone in place. We are being buried on our daughters grave. I like the fact of using a funeral director because if you decide to change some things, you can without a problem. If you have your fathers durable poa, you can do it. I am glad you made sure it was in his will. For us, we have living wills as well. When the time comes, our funeral director will come and pick up the body and take him directly to cremation. Best of luck. Hugs
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to Nanato4
Report

I'd like to ask a "follow-up" question: is there a way to prepay for a cremation if one doesn't know where he will be when he dies and has no special reason to have it done in a particular area--that is, a nationwide chain that would honor it anywhere? Thanks!
Helpful Answer (0)
Reply to jacobsonbob
Report
Compassionate5 Aug 31, 2020
I prepaid for myself and my dementia sister. Both of us live/reside in Orange County, CA and their contract says they will cremate anywhere in CA. She can't travel and my "wish-list" travel plans(outside the state) are complete.
(2)
Report
See 1 more reply
Arranging the cremation through a funeral home is very helpful. It may cost a little more than going directly through a cremation facility, but the funeral home can guide you through all the things that need to be done and can be a welcome emotional support at this difficult time.
Helpful Answer (1)
Reply to RedVanAnnie
Report
SandyDory Sep 1, 2020
Having recently priced various options, I learned that going through a funeral home costs WAY more than a cremation facility. See my response to Concerned43 above for specifics.
(1)
Report
Ask a Question
Subscribe to
Our Newsletter