Medicaid and the Prepaid Funeral Plan
Thursday, July 3rd, 2014

According to an April 4, 2014 article by Daniel Chang in the Miami Herald, Medicaid enrollment is on the rise in both Florida and the nation.  With these increasing numbers of new enrollees come additional questions by many about Medicare, Medicaid and Social Security and what each agency will pay towards a funeral or cremation.

Currently, the only one of the three agencies that will pay any amount towards the funeral is Social Security.  The Social Security Survivor’s Benefit program has a one-time lump sum death benefit available to those who qualify in the amount of $255.  This “Death Benefit” is designed to help pay for funeral and cremation costs for anyone who had qualified for social security benefits.

Generally, the lump-sum is paid to the surviving spouse provided he or she was living in the same household with the worker when he or she died. If they were living apart, the surviving spouse can still receive the lump-sum if, during the month the worker died, he or she was already receiving benefits on the worker’s record; or became eligible for benefits upon the worker’s death.

If there’s no eligible surviving spouse, the lump-sum can be paid to the worker’s child (or children) if, during the month the worker died, the child was already receiving benefits on the worker’s record; or became eligible for benefits upon the worker’s death.  In other words, the child has to be considered a dependent child by Social Security to receive the benefits. (more…)

Pre-Planning: The Time is Now
Tuesday, September 14th, 2010

For most people, pre-planning a funeral is the last thing on their mind. However, regardless of whether you are young or old, pre-planning your funeral can be one of the greatest gifts that you give your family, saving them time, money and a great deal of stress.

           preplanning

When pre-planning a funeral there are many decisions to be made.  Do you want to be buried or cremated?  Do you want to have a visitation or gathering?  A funeral or memorial service?  Would you like a reception to follow?  How about a graveside service?  Our funeral directors can assist you in your decision-making process, and can explain many of the options we offer – including some you may not have thought of.  We can then keep your specific choices on file so that your family need only make one phone call and all arrangements will be in place.

           

Once the specific arrangements are chosen, the next decision you must make is whether you want to pay for the funeral in advance.  Although it is not essential to pre-planning, pre-funding a funeral certainly has its advantages.  Namely, pre-funding allows you to allocate money for goods and services that will be provided in the future.  If you choose to pre-fund your funeral, there are several ways to go about doing so.  You could pay the funeral home directly, or buy a dedicated life insurance policy.  Each option has pros and cons, and when trying to decide between them you should consider the potential taxes on the account, interest from the account, refund options, transferability in case of a move, and the option to change the funeral home designated to provide the service.

 

Pre-planning a funeral can be a huge relief to your family when they are faced with your death.  With that in mind, a funeral service that reflects your personal taste and style and does not burden your family is the logical capstone to a life well planned and well lived.  Please call or stop by anytime for information about our pre-planning options.  We offer free literature and a free consultation to answer all your questions.

Personalizing a Funeral With Music
Tuesday, August 31st, 2010

music line 

            There are a variety of ways to incorporate music into a funeral: you can have music playing while guests are entering prior to the service; you can set personal music to a DVD of still pictures of the deceased; you can even take breaks throughout the service to play different pieces of funeral music.  Regardless of how you choose to incorporate it into the funeral or memorial service, music – like all particulars of the funeral – should reflect the individual personality of the deceased.

 

            Finding the right songs for a funeral or memorial service is often a difficult task, because most families are in shock or are overwhelmed by the need to make other final arrangements.  However, there are some basic concepts you can follow to make the process of selecting funeral music go more smoothly. 

 

                First of all, in order to provide funeral music that will reveal the taste and personality of the person you wish to honor, look to that person’s music collection. You will undoubtedly find clues as to the type of music the deceased most enjoyed, and even particular albums, tapes, or CDs by specific artists.  In some instances, the deceased has left instructions, either verbal or written, to play a song that was important to them in their lives.  In that case, a close family member or friend will likely understand and be able to share the relevance of that song with others gathering to mourn the loss of the deceased. 

 

               If no such instructions were left, then you should think about your ultimate goal in choosing a piece of music for the funeral.  Are you trying to soothe or inspire those present?  Are you trying to conjure up specific memories of the deceased?  Do you simply want to provide a general representation of the deceased’s personality?   Asking these questions should help you in the process of selecting the perfect music for the funeral or memorial service.

 

            Funeral music can provide mourners with a powerful and important opportunity to reflect, share their grief, and create a new and final memory that can be drawn upon in the potentially difficult and sad times ahead.  So, although it may seem difficult at first, selecting the right funeral music will be well worth the time and effort, as it will inevitably benefit all who attend the service.

Anderson-McQueen Encourages End of Life Conversations
Monday, March 29th, 2010

preplanningA tragic reminder of the importance of communicating with family members,  the five-year anniversary of Terri Schiavo’s death has inspired Anderson-McQueen Family Tribute Centers to offer new and helpful information to those interested in learning how to properly convey end of life wishes.

Visitors to our Web site can easily assess detailed information and helpful tools comprised of the most important elements necessary to begin the planning process. Items such as a pre-planning checklist, a downloadable pre-planning form and comprehensive step-by-step pre-planning instructions are offered. Visitors can now learn how to begin preparing, arranging and delegating their most important final details and begin to set the stage for a more relaxed and enjoyable life, secure that they have taken care of what matters most.

According the pre-planning experts at Anderson-McQueen, asking the right questions starts the process and makes it most beneficial for everyone involved.

Some of the most important items one should ask include:

  • Who should be notified in a medical emergency?
  • What type of service will I want in the event of my passing?
  • How do I designate a power of attorney?
  • How do I write a living will?
  • Where should my obituary appear and what should it include?
  • What are the benefits of making my final wishes known and who is the best Family Tribute Center to do so?

“Each day we help our families create personalized memorials and guide them through the planning process,” said John McQueen, Anderson-McQueen’s COO.  “In light of the five-year anniversary of Terri Schiavo’s passing, we encourage everyone to remember just how taxing this type of situation can be for families without our proper planning and attention. You can live your life to the fullest knowing you have done the right thing for everyone.”

In addition to providing online information, Anderson-McQueen is also taking part in National Healthcare Decisions Day on April 16.  As a participating organization, the company will be providing information and tools for the public to talk about their wishes with family, friends and healthcare providers, and execute written advance directives in accordance with Florida State Laws.

This and more information will be available at all Anderson-McQueen locations from 8:00 a.m. to 5:00 p.m. and welcomes the public throughout the day.  For more information on National Healthcare Decisions Day, please visit www.nationalhealthcaredecisionsday.org or contact Anderson-McQueen at 727-822-2059.

Veteran’s Benefits
Wednesday, October 14th, 2009

designWe received this question, and thought we’d share the answer we provided her with everyone. It’s all useful information!

“My husband got an offer for a free grave at a local private cemetery because he is a veteran. What other benefits can we receive because of his service?”

Any veteran discharged under conditions other than dishonorable, is entitled to burial in one of the national cemeteries set aside by the Department of Veterans’ Affairs. In addition to this award, the cost of perpetual care at that cemetery, the opening and closing of the grave, and a cemetery grave liner (which holds the casket to prevent the grave from sinking) is all provided to the veteran, and his eligible spouse without cost.

Regardless of where you choose to be buried, the Veteran’s Administration will provide a 12″ by 24″ bronze grave marker, a burial flag, and a Presidential Memorial Certificate, signed by the current president of the United States, to your next of kin, if requested by him or her. Some families choosing burial at a national cemetery are eligible for reimbursement of transportation expenses.

If a private cemetery is offering him a free grave space, you’d be smart to ask some important questions:

  • Is the free grave a conditional based upon any other purchases from the cemetery?
  • What if any restrictions are placed upon the marking of the grave?
  • Is there a cost for setting the complimentary marker provided by the VA on the gravesite?

Make sure that your questions are fully answered, and that the complete offer is made in writing.

Our professionals can advise veterans and their families as to their burial rights. Call on us today – as veterans of funeral service, we’re here to serve!

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