How to Prepare for a Loved One’s Death

An important message regarding the Designee for Final Disposition:  GO HERE

For a copy of the Designee for Final Disposition document:  GO HERE

There are things you can do to help your family if you have a loved one in hospice care.

Funeral plans are certainly not easier when someone you love is in the final stages of life.  At Iowa Funeral Planning we believe that your first priority should be spending time with your loved one while time allows.  For some, however, it can become important to use that time to prepare and make the process easier on the survivors after the passing has occurred.  We do everything we can to make both possible.

Collect important information.

We have a helpful planner in PDF format, that you can either complete on the computer or print it and complete handwritten.  This planner includes many of the details that are needed by the family and the funeral home when someone passes away.  As the family is gathered by a bedside it might even be comforting to share memories and recollections.  Here is the link:  Personal Planning Guide – Fillable

Whether you choose to email the form to a member of our staff  or bring the printout to the arrangement conference we will be able to use it to make the process a little easier for your family.  If the person passing is a Veteran, we will need their Honorable Discharge and the DD214 documents in order to arrange Military Honors and to complete the accompanying VA forms on your behalf.

Prepare for the financial transaction.

It is never to late to pre-pay funeral expense with us. Even if someone is in hospice care we still offer our pre-planning services along with any promotional savings that may be applicable.  It is important  to know that at Iowa Funeral Planning we will allow you to take advantage of the savings of pre-plannning even  if someone is under Hospice care.

If you are planning to fund the final expenses with life insurance we highly recommend you find and review the policy. Unfortunately there have been many instances where families were counting on life insurance proceeds only to discover problems, after death has occurred, due to an unforeseen issue with the policy. Here are some questions to ask prior to the passing.

  • What type of policy do you have and is it still in force? Many policies lapse if payments have ceased, and in some cases the surviving children do not find this out until after death has occured.  Also, there are many instances of families assuming there was life insurance only to learn that it was actually an accidental death policy.
  • Who are the beneficiaries? All the beneficiaries need to be able to sign the claim and assignment forms after the death occurs. Often beneficiaries have not been updated on older policies and deaths, divorces or other changes may impede the process of filing a death claim. This is a difficult scenario and one that is much easier to correct prior to death.
  • What is the death benefit of the policy? After a death occurs, it can be difficult to find out the death benefit from the insurance carrier quickly. Many insurance companies will not be able to give out the death benefit for a couple of business days after a claim is initiated, and never on a weekend. This can lead to stress if you are relying on the proceeds to pay for the funeral expenses. This can easily be determined with a policy review call to the insurance carrier ahead of time. Also, with current privacy laws, the insurance carriers will, often, only speak to the owner of the policy or the individual with Power of Attorney. POA ends at death so making these calls, in advance, is important.

Having liquid funds or credit card funds available is also important. The funeral homes with Iowa Funeral Planning are not creditors and if the funeral expense is not pre-paid and there is not insurance the funeral director will require payment at time of services. Credit cards work well and some intentionally plan to use them in order to take advantage of their rewards programs. Do NOT plan to use the decedent’s bank account as banks will freeze the account upon death, and the ability to write checks on their account will cease. Consult with your bank ahead of time to best ensure there will be funds available to you after the death has occurred.

Feel free to ask for a consultation with us.  Many families choose to meet ahead of time to ask questions and begin planning.  This is always helpful and you need only Contact us to set up a convenient time.

24 Hour Immediate Service

Our main goal at Iowa Funeral Planning is to provide our customers with assistance and options when it comes to planning a funeral. We know how overwhelming this process can be, and we are here to help get you through it. Our counselors are trained, compassionate professionals and will work with you, your wishes and your budget to plan funeral services to best fit your situation. All of our initial consultations are free of charge and completely confidential. There is no obligation to purchase anything when you use this site or contact us with questions. In the case of imminent death of a loved one, Iowa Funeral Planning offers 24 hour immediate assistance to help you make decisions regarding funeral arrangements as easy as possible. Call us today at 888.682.7002 for a free and confidential consultation with no obligation.

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