funeral home in Trenton, NJ

Who to Notify of a Death

There is a lot to do after a loved one passed away, including planning a funeral at a funeral home in Trenton, NJ and notifying the basic institutions and people of the death, such as credit cards, utilities, government programs and other institutions needs to know when someone dies. Use this list to help make sure you don’t miss any important institutions or people when notifying after a death:

  • Insurance – Notify all the insurance companies with which the deceased had policies. Each company will have specific steps you will need to follow.
  • Social Security Administration – Luckily, Social Security will be notified automatically when you file the death certificate.
  • Credit Reporting Agencies – These agencies are usually notified of a death by the estate executor or the Social Security Administration. It’s important that credit reporting agencies are notified so they can put a lock on the deceased’s credit report file in order to prevent someone from using it fraudulently.
  • Employer – Contact the deceased’s employer to notify them of the death and to learn about any applicable death benefits, retirement funds, or life insurance. Have a copy of the death certificate ready when you call.
  • Banks – Most banks will need a copy of the death certificate to close accounts. However, it takes a lot longer than you would think to close bank accounts after a death, so don’t rely on money from a closed account to pay for a funeral or cremation.
  • Retirement Fund or Pension – Be ready with the deceased’s Social Security number, identification number, date of birth and date of death, along with a death certificate when you call to notify the fund. Don’t forget to ask if a surviving spouse is eligible for continued benefits.
  • Medicare and Medicaid – Similar to the SSA, these organizations will be notified automatically.
  • Loans and Credit Cards – The Credit Card Act of 2009 mandates that all credit card companies respond to final bill requests in a timely manner and prohibits them from charging late fees during the processing time. Pay back loans from the deceased’s estate.

Don’t forget to cancel all utilities and bills. Cancel or change the name on all utility accounts, depending on if the deceased lived alone or not. Call the electricity, gas, telephone, and internet providers to make the necessary account changes. You will need a death certificate as proof.

files and documents

Be sure to cancel subscriptions like gym, magazines, clubs, online content, and others as well.

This is especially true if the subscription payments are paid automatically every month as you don’t want the deceased’s bank account to be overdrawn. Also, death doesn’t mean the deceased doesn’t have to pay taxes for that year. A survivor will have to file the deceased’s taxes or will have to hire an accountant to do it for them.

J. Allen Hooper Funeral Chapel can offer more information on our Trenton, NJ funeral home services and more. Call today to learn more about what we can do for you in your time of loss.

cremation services in Levittown, PA

How to Divide the Deceased’s Possessions

Organizing, going through and dividing possessions is very difficult. It can be made easier when there is a clear will or an executor, but a lot of times there isn’t, and the family is left to do it all on their own. Beyond planning cremation services in Levittown, PA the bereaved are also responsible for coming up with a plan for the deceased’s possessions, which can lead to a lot of tension.

These tips can help you divide your loved one’s possessions with as little pain and tension as possible.

  1. Get Appraisals – Some items might have significant monetary value, such as coins, jewelry, antiques and other valuable things. Take the guesswork out and get a professional appraiser to determine the exact value of every item. Once the values are established, divide everything as evenly as possible making sure each person ends up with about the same monetary value amount. If there are items that no one wants, sell them and divide the proceeds.
  2. Compromise – Remember, this is your family, and everyone is hurting after the loss. Try to act with empathy and come to compromises whenever possible.
  3. Use Stickers – Give each family member stickers of a certain color and have them place stickers on items they want. Items with only one sticker can go to that person, but items with more than one sticker will have to be divided another way, like taking turns.
  4. Make Copies – There are some items that can be shared thanks to modern technology. Make digital copies of old family photos, movies, and tapes and then distribute the files so everyone has their own copy. Digitizing these old memories is a good idea beyond dividing them evenly as it protects them for future generations to enjoy.
  5. Don’t Leave Anyone Out – Try to think of anyone that would appreciate a piece of the deceased’s life and memory. From aunts and uncles to long lost cousins, caregivers, friends and neighbors, you’d be surprised at who would greatly appreciate a token to remember the deceased by.
  6. Think Before You Donate – While donating unwanted items is generous and helpful, be careful not to donate too quickly. Really take your time and think about each item. While it might not be wanted now, it might end up being very important down the line.
  7. Take Turns – Take turns picking items and draw straws or use another method to determine the order. Think of it like a sports draft. It’s a fair way to make sure everyone gets a chance to choose something meaningful to them. It’s also an interesting and sort of special way to see which items mean the most to which people. You might have never known how much your sister valued Grandma’s cookie jar otherwise.

cremation and funerals

Despite what many people may think, it isn’t the most valuable items that cause the most problems. It’s usually the smaller, more sentimental items that can lead to arguments and pain, so use these tips to get started.

J. Allen Hooper Funeral Chapel is here to help if you want more help or information about Levittown, PA cremation services or other death related topics.

funeral homes in Levittown, PA

What is a Green Burial?

What is a green burial? A green burial, sometimes referred to as a natural burial, is a kind of burial that seeks to have as little negative impact on the environment as possible. By choosing a green burial you are choosing to lessen your personal environmental impact, or carbon footprint. Lots of people are looking to make better choices when it comes to protecting the environment, many funeral homes in Levittown, PA offer green burials that aim to have less negative impact.

In order for a burial to be labeled green a burial must take the following into consideration:

  • conservation of natural resources
  • protection of industry workers’ health
  • preservation of the environment

They help protect the environment, industry workers, and natural resources with things like green cemeteries. There are green cemeteries, sometimes called natural burial grounds, that require all bodies be buried in green caskets or burial shrouds. They have these policies in place to help maintain the surrounding natural habitat and landscape, protect local groundwater, and maintain a safe environment for local plants and animals. Conventional cemeteries, on the other hand, often use herbicides to maintain the landscaping, outer burial containers that prevent natural decomposition, and allow embalmed bodies to be buried.

Green caskets, unlike conventional caskets, are made from sustainably sourced materials used in sustainable production methods. Also, green caskets are completely biodegradable, meaning that they will decompose fully and won’t add toxins to the surrounding soil as they decompose. Conventional caskets, on the other hand, usually take a very long time to decompose if they decompose at all.

Plus, many are made with potentially toxic materials and chemicals that can hard the surrounding soil. There are also green casket companies that are considered “fair trade”, meaning the people making the caskets are employed in safe environments and receive a fair wage for their work. Green burials also don’t have embalming. Embalming is when a body is partially preserved using harsh chemicals. Embalming is harmful for both the planet and industry workers. Embalming fluid contains known carcinogens, making it unsafe for the industry workers that are frequently exposed to it. These chemicals can also harm fragile ecosystems when buried in the ground.

green burials

Sometimes people choose to do a green burial because they view it as a return to the traditional way of body disposition from back before the commercialization of the funeral industry. Still others choose green burials because they follow certain religious traditions. Judaism, for example, requires burial traditions that are in line with green burial practices. There are others that are beginning to worry about the impact humanity is having on the planet and are therefore looking into ways they can do their part to protect the environment

Stop by or visit J. Allen Hooper Funeral Chapel, a Levittown, PA funeral home, today to learn more about green burials and what we can do for you in your time of loss. We are here to help in any way we can.

cremation service in Yardley, PA

Cremation Services in Popular TV Shows and Movies

You can use iconic movie and TV cremations as inspiration for when you’re planning for your lost loved one’s cremation service in Yardley, PA. While the cremations, urns, memorials and services we see in movies and TV are dramatized and not always accurate, there are many that can serve as great inspiration for you when it comes time for you to celebrate the life of a lost loved one.

You can choose to honor the deceased in any way, whether inspired by movies and TV shows or not. Or, if the deceased was a big fan of a particular movie or TV show, you can choose to incorporate it into the service through music, décor, or even a themed urn. For example, you could choose a cremation urn decorated with stars and galaxies for a lost loved one that loved “Star Trek” or “Star Wars”

This list of iconic pop culture cremations can also serve as inspiration:

  1. “Elizabeth Town” – The character Drew decided to take one final trip with his father, though his father is already passed, and his ashes are in a cremation urn. Drew spreads his father’s ashes at special spots along the trip, commemorating memories and traditions while honoring his father. Use this film as inspiration to scatter your lost loved one’s ashes at unique, special or meaningful places.
  2. “Harry Potter” – In the sixth movie, Dumbledore passes away. The teachers and students of Hogwarts gather for a large memorial service to honor him, with all lessons and exams suspended to ensure everyone could attend. Do your best to choose a time and date for your loved one’s memorial that allows as many people as possible to attend and pay their respects.
  3. “This is Us” – After a beloved character on this TV show passed, his family continued on his tradition of watching football as a family by cheering on their favorite team with his ashes in an urn right next to them. Take inspiration from this show and bring your loved one’s ashes on adventures or to do beloved activities.
  4. “Star Wars” – In the “Star Wars” universe, Jedi knights are cremated in dramatic funeral pyres. While you don’t need to immortalize your lost loved one with a Jedi funeral pyre, you can perform a cremation service that will honor him or her in a similar way
  5. “The Big Lebowski” – In this movie, John Goodman’s character scatters the ashes of one of his friends out of a coffee can. While you can always spend money on an urn or another container, this scene is good inspiration to use every day or meaningful items to hold the deceased’s ashes.

cremation

These pop culture references are excellent inspiration for your lost loved one’s cremation service. You can make your lost loved one’s cremation service as unique as you want or as traditional as you want. No matter what you decide for your Yardley, PA cremation service, J. Allen Hooper Funeral Chapel is here to help. Pay us a visit or give us a call to learn more.

Yardley, PA funeral homes

Losing a Spouse

From dealing with the emotional fallout to planning a service at a funeral home in Yardley, PA the stress of losing your spouse can have a severe impact on your emotional and physical health. After all, when you get married, you’re signing on for a partner for life. But, sadly, death often gets in the way of this plan. That’s why the death of a spouse is traumatic and stressful.

These tips can help you deal with the loss of a spouse in a healthy and healing-driving manner.

  • Grief can have both physical and psychological symptoms. You may feel exhausted or in pain after losing a spouse or may find it difficult to think clearly or process your emotions. Many people try to numb themselves to deal with the pain of loss by turning to drugs or alcohol. This is unhealthy in the long run. Instead, take care of yourself by eating right, exercising, sleeping, and talking to a therapist if you so choose.
  • You need to acknowledge the loss. It’s easy to allow yourself to get lost in the planning and details of a death, like planning a cremation service, and not allow yourself to feel your emotions. However, it’s important to take time to acknowledge the loss and let yourself begin to process it. Letting yourself mourn and deal with the fact that your life has changed is the healthiest way to proceed.
  • You do need to make a plan for your spouse’s personal belongings. Take as much time as you need before taking this step but do make a plan for your spouse’s personal belongings at some point in your grieving process. It’s important to move on in the way that’s right for you, so do whatever feels right, whether it’s putting the items into storage, donating them to a charity, selling them, or leaving them where they are.
  • Don’t forget that grief can cloud judgement or lead you to rash decisions. Try to avoid making major decisions after losing a spouse as you might not be thinking clearly after the loss. Put off decisions regarding moving or quitting a job till later, as any decision you make will be clouded by the loss of your spouse and might not be the best choice in the long run.
  • Remembering and memorializing a lost loved one, and especially a spouse, can go a long way towards healing as it allows you to reflect on the good memories, love and happiness in a healthy way. You can make a memorial with a cremation urn, photographs, or custom art.

losing a spouse

Dealing with the death of a spouse will never be easy, but these tips may help ease your process in small ways.

Please reach out to J. Allen Hooper Funeral Chapel if you would like to learn more about dealing with a loss or your options for Yardley, PA funeral homes. You can stop by and visit us or give us a call for more information on what we can do for you.

Trenton, NJ cremation services

Losing a Child

How are you supposed to get through your daily activities, much less plan a cremation service in Trenton, NJ after losing your child?

Losing a child leads to unimaginable pain and grief. These tips are practical suggestions that can help you through your time of loss after the passing of your child. First of all, rituals like cremations, memorials and funerals go a long way toward helping you say goodbye in a healthy way. They also help you express your grief in a healthy way. Don’t shy away from planning and hosting a service for your lost child, but also don’t feel rushed into planning one right away. You can always hold a memorial after some time has passed and you’re more settled.

Take your time making any big decisions or choices as your grief might lead to you make choices you normally wouldn’t or might cause additional confusion and stress. If you have to make some big choices, like planning a cremation or dealing with something at work, try and talk over your options and decision with a trusted friend, family member or your spouse.

Many parents that lose a child via miscarriage or stillbirth are given the option to see and hold their baby before he or she is prepared for burial or cremation. This is completely up to you. Many people find it a good way to say goodbye and have a bit of closure, while others find it simply too painful. If you decide to see and hold your baby, spend as much time as you need with your baby. If you decide not to see your child, that’s perfectly OK. No matter what the circumstances of your child’s death, you will need to share in your grief with someone else. Whether you share with a spouse, family member or friend, you need to take time to mourn and grieve in your own way with the help of a loved one.

losing a child

Any loss can have a large effect on your mind and body alike, so be prepared for a wide range of physical and emotional responses after the loss of a child. You might feel confused, afraid, guilty, disorganized, and angry, even all at the same time. Don’t be surprised if you suddenly experience surges of grief, even at the most unexpected times. This is all normal and healthy after a loss. Physical keepsakes are some of the best ways to remember a child after he or she passes. Gather keepsakes like blankets, toys, clothing, footprint or handprint sets, and hospital bracelets. You don’t have to hold them or display them if it’s too painful right away but do put them away in a box so you can have them later on when the pain of loss isn’t as fresh.

If you want to learn more about Trenton, NJ cremation services J. Allen Hooper Funeral Chapel is here to help in whatever way we can to get you through your time of loss.

funeral homes in Trenton, FL

Caskets and Coffins

If you’ve watched a movie or a TV show, you’ve probably heard the term “coffin.” But what is a coffin? What is a casket? Are there any differences between the two? If you’re asking these questions, you’re not alone. Many people researching funeral homes in Trenton, FL want to know the differences, if any, between caskets and coffins. However, the choice between the two is ultimately the family’s or the deceased depending on final wishes.

While both coffins and caskets are burial containers used to hold remains of a deceased person for a funeral, wake, visitation, and final disposition, in the United States most people use the more modern casket. The main differences begin in the details. For starters, a casket is a special box made to hold the remains of a deceased person. These boxes are made in rectangular shapes with four sides and hinged lids. Caskets also usually have handles that make them easier to life and move and can be used for both cremations and burials depending on the material. Caskets can be made from a variety of materials, but the two most common are wood and metal. The average metal casket is made from stainless steel and the average wood from mahogany or oak. Most caskets are finished with soft interior linings to give the deceased a comfortable place to rest.

On the other hand, coffins have six sides and are wider on the top than on the bottom. This tapered design was chosen to match the shape of the body as shoulders are wider than feet. Coffins also do not have hinged lids. Instead, they have removable lids that must be fully lifted. The vast majority of coffins are made out of wood and are also finished with cloth interior linings, but they do not have exterior handles for carrying. In fact, any additional decoration or handles are not considered part of the coffin but are instead called “coffin furniture.”

Traditionally coffin furniture is used to display the deceased’s wealth or status. The other big difference between caskets and coffins is price. Caskets are generally more expensive as they have more decoration and use more elaborate materials. Coffins, on the other hand, require less material as the tapered shape uses less wood and thus lowers the overall price. It is important to note that it may be hard to find a coffin manufacturer as they are not in style and not as popular.

At the end of the day, the differences between caskets and coffins don’t matter even though they are very similar. All that matters is that you choose whatever is right for your lost loved one and your family. J. Allen Hooper Funeral Chapel is a Trenton, NJ funeral home with the experience, compassion and expertise needed to offer you additional information on caskets, coffins and other funeral services to help you plan a service that will honor and remember your lost loved one. Call us today to learn more about what we can do for you.

cremation services in Levittown, PA

Arranging Your Cremation Service After You’re Gone

Its tradition for people to designate who will carry out their end of life wishes, usually the next of kin. However, sometimes people wish to designate other people besides their next of kin to be in charge of their cremation services in Levittown, PA. As its you’re your cremation service, it’s up to you to choose.

Whether you want to designate a close friend, an estate executor, or even one of your children, it is possible to choose who arranges your cremation service. There are some steps you need to take, however, to make sure this happens. According to state law, all instructions for last wishes must meet certain requirements in order for them to considered legal and binding. These requirements include:

  • Signature of the decedent
  • Acknowledgement of the decedent signature, meaning getting the document notarized
  • Signature of the agent or successor agreeing to act as the decedent’s agent after death

Any modifications to a document must be in writing and also notarized in to make them valid. While these requirements seem like a lot, its actually easier than you think to meet them as many states have specific forms for people to leave final instructions and to designate someone other than their next of kind to make final arrangements. However, it’s important to remember that these forms do not trump or replace a Power of Attorney or a legal will, as they are only there to provide end of life instructions. Again, any and all written instructions, from a Power of Attorney to an end of life form, must be signed by both parties before the death.

It’s important that you also don’t forget about:

  • Non-Traditional Relationships – Nontraditional relationships, like common law marriages, same sex relationships, or even families with lots of children often require additional steps and paperwork. Do research if you think this applies to your situation to make sure you’re covered.
  • Do Your Own Research – Understanding how your state handles end of life arrangements and associated legal matters is very important. Do some research of your own to make sure you understand.
  • Make and Distribute Copies – Don’t just fill out the forms and forget about them. Make and give out copies to important people like those named in the document or caregivers.
  • Be Specific – Be specific in your end of life instructions. Include information such as the type of disposition you want as clearly as possible.
  • Consult a Lawyer – It’s always a good idea to consult an attorney before making any official plans as they can best advise you on how to proceed.

Please reach out to J. Allen Hooper Funeral Chapel if you want more information on Levittown, PA cremation services or end of life wishes. You can visit us at 41 W Trenton Ave Morrisville, PA 19067 or call (215) 295-7725. You have every right to designate whomever you want to take care of them for you but be sure to do it correctly to make sure your wishes are followed. Your end of life arrangements are just that, yours.

funeral homes in Levittown, PA

Traditional Funeral Homes and Burials

Most funeral homes in Levittown, PA offer both traditional burial and cremation services. However, even though cremation services are becoming more and more popular all across the country, there are still many families that choose traditional burials over cremation.

If cremation is so great, why are so many families still choosing burial? There are a variety of reasons as to why they make this choice. But, as their experiences may help you choose what’s right for you and your lost loved one, here are 5 common reasons why people choose traditional burial services. First, many families have been burying lost family members in the same cemetery for generations, so it’s important for them to continue this long-standing family tradition. For many people, holding onto this burial tradition is comforting in a time of loss and is an important part of their family history.

There are also many religions that dictate burial over cremation even though other religions have come around to the idea of cremation over burial. Many branches of Christianity and Catholicism allow for cremation, but there are still many religions that hold firm in their beliefs that burial is the only way to go. For example, the Jewish faith does not condone cremation. If it’s important for you and your family to maintain religious traditions, then you should absolutely choose burial.

On average, cremations cost less than burials. This lowered cost is one of the main reasons why people are choosing cremation over burial. However, there are those that don’t mind the extra cost because burial is important to them and their family. Not everyone is concerned about cost when it comes to putting a loved one to rest. If you are ready to spend more money on a burial to honor your lost loved one or a family tradition than you should do so without any guilt. Finally, sometimes the deceased leaves clear instructions for his or her final disposition. If the deceased wanted to be buried, then you should follow his or her wishes.

There are a lot of myths surrounding cremation, from having ashes given to the wrong person to a lack of dignity. These myths might deter people from choosing cremation and have them choose burial instead. Even though these myths are mostly not based in fact, it’s perfectly OK for people to choose burial if they prefer or if it makes them more comfortable. If it’s your personal preference to choose burial, then that’s what you should do.

There is nothing wrong with choosing a burial just as there is nothing wrong with choosing a cremation. At the end of the day, choosing a burial or a cremation all depends on what’s important to you and your family.

If you have more questions about your body disposition options or would like to learn more about Levittown, PA funeral homes J. Allen Hooper Funeral Chapel is here for you. You can stop by and visit us at 41 W Trenton Ave Morrisville, PA 19067 or give us a call at (215) 295-7725 today.

cremation services in Yardley, PA

Cremation Service Containers

According to state law, all cremation services in Yardley, PA must place the body inside a cremation container before being put inside the cremation chamber. But what are cremation containers, and what do they do?

Cremation containers are large and sturdy boxes that hold the body during transportation to the chamber and during the cremation itself. Cremation containers can vary from simple cardboard boxes to more traditional caskets. There are a few different kinds of cremation containers, each with different intentions and needs. The main thing that they all have in common is that they are fully combustible, meaning they don’t have any parts that won’t melt or break down under extreme heat like decorations or metal handles.

With the many different options, how do you choose the right container for your lost loved one? The first step is being informed and knowing your options. Then you should take the deceased’s wishes into account, as well as what kind of cremation and service you are going to have. And, finally, get help when you need it.

  • You start choosing the right kind of cremation container by going off of what you need. The most common kind of cremation container is a rigid cardboard box that is large enough to hold an average body. The purpose of the container is to provide a dignified means of storing the body prior to cremation and to literally contain the body while it is being prepared for cremation and when entering the retort. These common containers are simple and unadorned, making them budget friendly for those looking for an inexpensive option.
  • Families can also choose to rent caskets for the funeral service and then use a common cremation container for the cremation itself. This is a good way to save money while also honoring the deceased with a more decorated casket. Rental caskets are kept sanitary with removable linings, shells and overlays that are used to hold the body in the rental as well as the cremation container.
  • In some instances, the family wishes to spend a bit more money on a decorated cremation casket. This usually happens when there is going to be a viewing or service with the body present before the cremation. These cremation caskets are decorated with combustible or removable hardware and are often made from wood and natural materials like bamboo or wicker. Or, in some cases, the common cremation container isn’t an option, such as when the body is larger than average and requires a sturdier box.
  • There are a few other kinds of cremation containers and caskets such as green caskets that are made from natural materials or Jewish caskets, called arons, that are specially made for Jewish funerals.

J. Allen Hooper Funeral Chapel offers Yardley, PA cremation services from 41 W Trenton Ave Morrisville, PA 19067. Please stop by and visit us or give us a call at (215) 295-7725 to learn more about what we can do to help you in your time of loss.