Should you buy cremation services years ahead of your death?

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Ahmijoy, I’m sorry to hear that. I had good luck with the old AG in Ohio. We had problems with a rug company in Cincinnati.
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Jeanne Gibbs, Wright State University Medical School, near Dayton, OH has a body donation program. They pay transportation of body etc. Ashes can be buried at the school and you can have a brick with name and info on it on one of the walking paths. They have an annual memorial service. A doctor I know donated. It’s a pretty wooded garden setting.
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Thanks, Becky. Unfortunately, our AG’s Office here in Ohio is rather ineffective. I tried to get them on board when an inept Sears delivery crew flooded my kitchen and ruined my new wood floor a few years ago and then refused to pay for repairs. They sent a few emails and then gave up. And we were out $1200. It’s a good idea though. You know when you just have that funny feeling you’ve been ripped off?
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Dear ajjrcair,

It's a very personal choice but it can make things easier on your family. I would make sure to shop around and get everything in writing and check with the Better Business Bureau. I would hate to buy this type of service beforehand only to have the business shut down.

For my own father, we pre bought a burial plot. But not the services from the funeral home. My sister was highly emotional and I think we ended up spending more than we needed to. Granted, I did want to cheap out either and wanted to ensure my father had a beautiful flowers and a proper service to show our respects.
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I was thinking of doing that for myself. But now I have decided to donate my body to science, and if that works out, they take care of the cremation.

I suppose it depends on how firmly you trust your current decisions.
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We’ve paid and pre-planned for everything right down to the music and scripture.
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Ahmijoy, our situation didn't go quite like that, but I do agree that if *any* funeral director or employee makes promises to handle things a certain way, get it in writing and save that paperwork - put it in a safe or safe deposit box or something. Employees come and go, even at a funeral home, and there's no guarantee that the next person will honor what the previous one said.

My mother and I sat down and pre-arranged things for her funeral, short of paying for it in full - she had life insurance at the time and we were planning to place that in trust with the funeral home so it would be designated to go to them at the time of her death. Thinking ahead, I asked the funeral director we were dealing with what would happen if for some reason Mom passed away the next day, without having that policy placed in trust, or if she could no longer afford her policy and died without coverage. I was assured the funeral home would work out a payment plan with us and allow the family to pay it off.

Well...Mom died without coverage. After going into the nursing home, I was left dealing with all the household expenses and additional costs that Medicaid wouldn't cover at the nursing home - siblings couldn't/wouldn't help. Something had to go -and unfortunately, it was the life insurance. When she died, we went back to the funeral home and - lo and behold, that funeral director was no longer there. We discussed the situation with the new funeral director, and were informed that no way, no how would they do a payment plan. The woman was rather young and pulled a "used car salesman" stunt - "Let me go call my boss and see if he'll let me do this for you." (Of course, after being out of the room a few minutes, she came back with an offer of a small discount for payment up front, but no, they wouldn't do a payment plan.) When we told her we couldn't do that, but would gladly pay full price if they would do a payment plan, and told her how much money we could put down on it immediatey, she snorted and said, "I gotta get a paycheck too, you know!"
We left.

Fortunately, there was a funeral home one of my siblings had used when her daughter died unexpectedly at a young age, and they did payment plans. They were awesome. But don't leave it to chance. Get it in writing.
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Ahmijoy, Contact the Attorney General of your state and explain the situation. Funeral home and prep landing fraud are something they investigate routinely.
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If you do this, though, from personal experience I would like to suggest that you get in clearly understandable writing EXACTLY what is paid for and what is not. Because, at that point, you won’t be there to say, “But they told me that would be paid for!”

My mother had a pre-planning contract with a local cemetery staffed by a bunch of fast-talking salespeople. I wish I’d been there when she met with them and signed those papers. Because,when she died, after years of contributing monthly to her pre-planning fund, it still cost us nearly $7,000 for a simple cremation with no viewing, no service and no funeral. I don’t know what she paid for all those years and I wish I could afford to have an attorney look over those papers.

Just a word to the wise.
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ajjrcair, it would be helpful for your family if plans were already set for your final resting place. Make sure you have this information available for your family so they know exactly what are your wishes.

Also set plans on what you wish to do with the ashes? Bury them in a cemetery? Use a cremation drawer at the cemetery? Request the ashes be scattered in place that you request and is legal to do? If you use a cemetery, it would good to have a plot or drawer already paid. Again, pass this information to your family.

Nothing worse then the family flying blind having no idea what you would want. Family arguments can happen, hurt feelings that can last a life time, etc.

I remember when my Dad said he wanted to be buried in Iowa. I thought, oh thanks Dad for narrowing that down :P
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