The Outer Burial Container

Bottom Seal Vault

One of the requirements to protect the casket after burial is the outer burial container or sometimes called the burial vault.  Vaults come in many different materials, the prevalent one being concrete.  Other materials include steel and now even plastic vaults are available.  The material I am most familiar with is concrete, so for the purposes of discussion I will only be covering vaults made of concrete. Pricing of concrete burial vaults is largely determined Continue reading

The Conversation Project

“Have you had the conversation?” A major concern that I try to help people to face is the end of their lives.  Not many people relish the thought of facing what is inevitable.  Though most believe it would be easier on the loved ones they leave behind, most do not act until they are faced with terminal illness or they fail to act at all. I had heard from families in the past about how Continue reading

The Funds Are Due At Time of Need

Time after time families are surprised when there is a death when they find that charges are due before the burial can take place.  Along with the grief and the stress of all the tasks to be accomplished in a very short period, there is the added stress of payment.  In my experience, the financial burden can be the most difficult to carry throughout this process. In one case I was working, the family was Continue reading

What is Hospice?

I must admit that when I hear the word “hospice” I do not really know what it truly means.  At least I didn’t before now.  Though the word has several definitions, for the purpose of this post I am using “a health-care facility for the terminally ill that emphasizes pain control and emotional support for the patient and family, typically refraining from taking extraordinary measures to prolong life.”  Yes, I understood the meaning of the words Continue reading

The Funeral Rule

As a consumer, your rights through a variety of shopping processes is protected by the federal government.  The funeral shopping process is no exception.  After some research, Federal Trade Commission found that the consumer was in a very weak bargaining position, particularly if there had been a death.  All of the grief, anxiety and a lack of education were distinct barriers the consumer would have to overcome, many times failing to overcome, in the bargaining Continue reading

What is a Casket?

Choosing a casket is one of the major tasks of the funeral planning experience.  There are many choices not only of the outside but also of the inside.  Funeral directors offer these choices to make the casket more personal to the deceased.  Some families make a choice based on presentation:  they may feel that they must choose an expensive casket so as to “keep up appearances.”  Is that necessary? I have been asked is a Continue reading

The Insurance Assignment

When the death of a loved one occurs, some families are very surprised at the expense incurred for final disposition.  One element of the process that is particularly surprising is that the expenses need to be covered before burial can occur.  The monies, in case you didn’t know, need to be paid before the service can begin. As has been discussed in a previous post, one method of payment that families employ when there is Continue reading

Departing from the Traditional


There seems to be a trend for disposition that is moving away from the traditional funeral and burial and moving towards a commemoration of the life of the deceased.  The Baby Boomer generation includes 78 million Americans, and represents 29.4% of the total U.S. population, according to the U. S. Census Bureau.  I am not sure if its just a coincidence, but it appears that as this generation ages, its reputation for doing things differently Continue reading

Mausoleum Can Be Affordable


Over the centuries that man has been around, there has always been mention of tombs instead of graves.  The pyramids and the Taj Mahal are two examples of mausoleums.  The Royal Mausoleum in London, the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier, George Washington’s burial place at Mount Vernon, are all examples of mausoleum.  All are beautiful buildings, and because of their majesty, they are considered to be affordable by the wealthy.  It is believed by many Continue reading

The Cremation Process


Cremation today has become a popular option for final disposition.  Recent surveys indicate cremation preference to be 30% as opposed to 5% in 1975.  If you are considering cremation as your means of final disposition, there are a couple of videos I have found that are helpful to educate yourself about the process.  See them below: The Process Of Modern Day Cremation Video 1 of 2 The Process Of Modern Day Cremation Video 2 of Continue reading