The Hidden Value in Getting Your Affairs in Order

December 29, 2021
In our society today, the topic of death is considered taboo. The issue is avoided due to discomfort. Yet, funeral arrangements and people passing away continue to happen every day. While it’s understandable why we might steer away from the topic or not want to add additional stressors to our families by having those raw conversations, there is hidden value in pre-planning.

At Greenlawn Funeral Home, our staff are experienced in facilitating those conversations in a safe environment. We want to help others think about what they might like, offer fixed finical plans for our services, and have things ready for when death happens. These meetings are called pre-needs, whereas if a death has already occurred, the wording will change to an at-need meeting. Our staff members at the Springfield, Branson, and Bolivar locations have these types of meetings with families on a daily basis. In which, families share stories of what led them to schedule a pre-needs meeting, similar to these two examples:

Jean’s Story

Jean and her husband, Jerry, recently celebrated 60 years of marriage by taking a trip to Branson, Missouri, with their children and grandchildren. The trip went smoothly, and both have been given a good bill of health from their doctor. But while on the trip, one of the kids mentioned to their mom that they have noticed that something seems off with dad. He seems to be having trouble remembering things, and his responses can come across as short with the grandkids. Jean expressed that things are okay and that there is no reason to be worried. However, Jean keeps hidden that Jerry has been making errors with their bills. Jerry has always managed their money, but following a couple of mistakes and other unseen errors, Jean wonders if he’s showing signs of dementia. Jean beings to feel isolated and uneasy about what will happen with their fiancees on his passing. She has no idea where to begin or how to ask for support when considering what Jerry might want for his funeral.

Bob’s Story

Bob is an 82-year-old widower in Bolivar, Missouri, who continues to live independently in the home he’s been in for the last 50 years. When his wife, Helen, died five years ago, Bob and his three children had an at-needs meeting with a funeral director for his wife. Emotions were high, and the passing was still fresh, making the process a lot more challenging. Per the suggestions given by the funeral director, they decided to sit down to make a plan about his bills, insurance, and what to do in the case of an emergency per the suggestions. They also scheduled a pre-needs meeting for Bob to ease future stress, and now regardless of what happens down the road, Bob and his family are confident that things will be in order – and they know exactly where to find them.

The most significant difference between these two stories comes down to one thing: planning. Firstly, scheduling a pre-needs meeting with a funeral director helps you to build a solid foundation about how to go about planning. Secondly, sitting down with our pre-planning checklist and locating important papers makes a complicated job a lot easier when the time comes. Imagine the peace of mind that comes from having the details and whereabouts of your finances and personal information – Jean could have benefited from this in her situation.

Additionally, it eases future burdens, removes doubts about desired arrangements, and ensures that all funeral costs have been addressed. On the other hand, imagine the headache if Jerry kept their social security cards in a lockbox in the garage and the life insurance policy tucked away in a box in the basement – and he’s the only one who knows where to find them. Not to mention tracking down property deeds, veteran’s discharge papers, and much more.

This scenario happens more often than you might think, and many people are caught off guard by just how many decisions are required when a passing happens. That’s why we’ve come up with a starting point for preparing and organizing documents for the future. Our pre-planning checklist makes the process easier, as it lays out exactly what you’ll need to proceed. And as you begin to gather paperwork, you might also consider the benefits of putting your funeral arrangements in writing through our online form or in-person at any of our five locations. You might be surprised how empowered you feel by getting these details together – and your family will thank you for planning. Some additional resources related to this blog post are listed below:

Myth vs. Fact: The Truth About Final Expense Plans. Funeral Basics.

Pre-Planning Checklist. Greenlawn Funeral Home.

What is dementia? Alzheimer’s Research UK.

Funeral Planning Checklist. Funeral Basics.