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cremation services in Langhorne, PA

Budget-Friendly Cremation Service Ideas

While all of the more expensive memorialization and cremation services in Langhorne, PA are lovely, there are plenty of less expensive options that are just as comforting and respectful.

Use these ideas for budget-friendly cremation services:

  • Jewelry – If your loved one was cremated you can easily carry them with you at all times with jewelry. For example, you can put their ashes in a locket with a photo.
  • Charitable Giving – If your lost loved one was dedicated to a certain cause, why not make a donation in their honor? It doesn’t have to be a large donation for it to be meaningful and to do some good. You can also ask funeral or me memorial guests to make donations instead of bringing flowers.
  • Photographs – It’s likely that you already have lots of pictures of the deceased. Turn those pictures into a memorial by making a scrapbook, gallery wall or another display dedicated to your lost loved one.
  • Memories – Memories of the deceased are free and plentiful. Put out a jar or dish at a memorial service and have guests write down their memories of the deceased to place in the jar. Then, read them one by one on special occasions or whenever you need some comfort in your grief. You can even make this idea digital and have people send memory emails to a special email address.
  • Listen to Music – Music can be very powerful. Listen to the deceased’s favorite song or artist or find a kind of music that is soothing to you in your time of loss. You can create a mix or a tape of the comforting music to play when you’re sad or to give to others who are feeling the same loss.
  • Plant a Garden – Plant a memorial garden in the deceased’s honor. Seeds and flowers are very cost-effective, plus gardening is a constructive way to release grief. You can always add a memorial bench or stone.
  • Write a Memorial – While you may not feel like a poet or an author, sometimes the act of putting your feelings into words can be very comforting and honoring to the deceased. You can write short stories of their life, create a poem to honor their memory, or just write down how much they meant to you.
  • Repurpose Belongings – Instead of donating or storing your lost loved one’s belongings, see if you can repurpose some of them into remembrance items. Sew a shirt or dress into a pillowcase you can keep on your bed or on the couch or patch up their jeans to give to younger generations.

You don’t have to spend a ton of money to honor your lost loved one as long as you act from the heart.

J. Allen Hooper Funeral Chapel is here to help if you’re looking for more tips or information on Langhorne, PA cremation services? We have years of funeral and cremation experience we would love to put at your disposal, so give us a call or pay us a visit today.

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The Different Kinds of Wills

Do you know which kind of will is best for you and your needs? After all, there are different kinds of wills just like there are different kinds of funeral homes in Langhorne, PA. These are a few of the most common:

  • Lawyer Drafted Wills – The best kind of will is one that’s made with the help of a lawyer. Hiring a lawyer to handle your will is best because it means the document will not only be official, but it will also be customized to fit your specific needs. Making a will with a lawyer is also best if you have a complex estate, like if you have assets in multiple countries, a child with a disability, or are separated but not divorced. It’s important to note that hiring a lawyer to draft your will can get pricey – with many lawyers charging over $800 for a basic will service. However, in the long run, the money might be worth it to know that your affairs will be properly handled after you’re gone.
  • Online Platform Wills – There are several online platforms that help you create your own official will. These platforms, like Willful, allow you to tailor your will to your exact needs while still maintaining status as official and legally recognized. These platforms are a good idea if you have a simple estate and won’t need any legal advice, or if you want to get started early on your will and come back to edit it later on in life. These platforms do charge for their service, but most include free will updates in the initial cost.
  • Holographic Will – A holographic will is simply a handwritten will that you sign and date. These wills are not witnessed. While this may seem like a simple and cost-effective option, a holographic will can present a few issues. For example, these kinds of wills aren’t officially recognized in many states. Plus, as many people don’t have legal backgrounds, these wills might be missing important will components and legal language. However, holographic wills are better than no will at all.
  • Will Kits – Similar to online platforms, will kits are fill-in-the-blank documents that allow you to fill in information about your estate to create a simple will. These documents are one-size fits all and don’t offer much space to customize or personalize your will, so they probably aren’t a good solution if you have a complex estate or specific needs. Also, you will have to purchase a new will kit every time you need to make changes because you get married, have children, get a divorce, or any other big life event.

Unfortunately, many people pass away without leaving a will. If this happens, the government will use its estate laws to handle your estate and will appoint its own executor to take care of the details. While this isn’t necessarily a bad thing, most people prefer to have control over their own affairs rather than leave things to the state. So, no matter which kind of will you want, be sure to choose one.

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J. Allen Hooper Funeral Chapel can help if you want more information on wills or Langhorne, PA funeral homes. Call today.

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Death Certificates and Cremation Services

You will need to get a death certificate for almost any cremation service in Washington Crossing, PA, but do you really know what a death certificate is?

A death certificate is an official document that formally declares a death. They usually list the date, time, location and cause of death as well as some other personal information about the deceased. There are a lot of different reasons why you might need a death certificate, but they all have to do with proving a death. Some of the most common reasons you would need a death certificate are to access insurance policies, Social Security, property ownership, Veteran’s benefits, safety deposit boxes, last will and testaments, post office accounts, bonds, stocks or brokerage accounts, pension plans, treasury bills, IRAs, and tax records.

No matter what the reason you need a copy, there are a few different ways you can order a copy of a death certificate: through the funeral home that did the service or cremation, in person at your state’s vital statistics office, or online at your state’s vital statistics website. It’s important to note that not just anyone can access death certificates and copies. The only people that are eligible to get a copy of a death certificate are:

  • Spouses
  • Parents
  • Children
  • Siblings
  • Grandchildren
  • Legal guardians
  • Representatives
  • State agencies
  • Federal agencies.

You must submit proof of relation to the deceased when applying for a copy of a death certificate with your state’s registrar. Proof of relation could be a birth certificate, legal document, or a letter stating how the applicant has legal representation rights to the deceased. There are some cases in which someone needs a copy of a death certificate, but they are not one of the eligible relations. For example, a cousin of the deceased might be eligible for death benefits but cannot access the death certificate. In these instances, the person must ask an eligible person or party, like a life insurance holder, to request the death certificate for them.

Though death certificate laws can vary slightly from state to state, they generally are required to be registered with a state’s Department of Health and Vital Statistics. If you need a copy of a death certificate you can visit your state’s vital records office to be issued a certified copy. Death certificates are not free. Their exact cost depends on your state and how you order them. For example, the cost of extra death certificate copies from the funeral home is probably different than the cost of copies from the office of vital statistics or the state’s website. You can make it easier to obtain death certificates quickly and affordably by having your funeral home or cremation provider order several directly from the state office.

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J. Allen Hooper Funeral Chapel is here for you if you want to learn more about death certificates or Washington Crossing, PA cremation services? Call or visit J. Allen Hooper Funeral Chapel today for more information on what we can do for you in your time of loss. We are happy to do whatever we can to help.

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Overseas Deaths and Funeral Homes

Most people do have some arrangements preplanned for services at funeral homes in Washington Crossing, PA for themselves or their loved ones, but almost no one plans on having to deal with a death that happens out of the country or overseas, or having to bring a body home.

If you lose a loved one while they’re traveling, the stress of that death is usually compounded by the question: “what do I do now?” The process of bringing a body home, called body repatriation, can take a long time and a mountain of paperwork, so it’s best to get started as soon as you can. Move quickly and efficiently to make sure that you stay on top of all that needs to be done.

Generally, the local embassy of the country where the person died will contact the United States State Department, who will in turn notify the appropriate next of kin. That’s when it’s time to get moving with an executed and signed Next-of-kin Affidavit and a Letter of Instruction that details your wishes for the body’s repatriation. There are some instances in which confirmation of the deceased is tricky, so the next-of-kin may be asked to provide dental or medical records to assist with confirming the identification of the body.

The exact process of body repatriation can differ slightly from country to country, but it’s important that you follow the laws of the country where the death occurred. There are generally three different methods of body repatriation:

  1. Local Cremation and Return of Cremains – Local Cremation and Return of Cremains Cremation is usually available in most countries. However, cremation might be more costly or less available in countries that are predominately Muslim or Catholic.
  2. Local Burial – Local burial is possible if the country in which the death occurred allows for burial of foreign nationals. The local embassy will generally make burial arrangements and send the next-of-kin the details.
  3. Preparation and Return of an Embalmed Body. In this method the body is embalmed at a funeral home in the country where the death occurred and then returned to the USA. Sometimes the embalming standards of the local country are not at the same level as American embalming, so a viewing of the body will not be advisable.

Keep in mind that the next-of-kin will be responsible for all body repatriation costs as the US government does not have funds set aside for these instances. Embalming prior to repatriation is the most expensive, with local cremation and local burial coming behind. Also, it’s important to note that there might be extensive delays in body repatriation if the deceased was a victim of a crime as the local police will need to investigate.

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If your family is put in the unfortunate situation of losing a loved one overseas, you need a funeral home you can count on. J. Allen Hooper Funeral Chapel offers Washington Crossing, PA funeral home services with the compassion and expertise needed to help you through this difficult time. Call or visit us today.

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Mourning Rituals After Cremation Services

Mourning is an important part of grief after a cremation service in Newtown, PA, and mourning rituals are symbolic activities that help ease the pain of loss and the heavy weight of grief, you should look into forming rituals of your own.

Mourning rituals help those in grief connect with others over the loss and find support in one another. They are traditionally based in religion, like the catholic funeral service or the Jewish shiva. However, as classic religion is on a decline, many people are looking other places for their mourning rituals.

Are you looking for inspiration for a ritual of your own? You can try burning sage. Sage burning is another very traditional ritual. Sage has long been associated with cleansing and can therefore help you feel like you’ve aided the deceased in their passing or can assist in cleansing away negative emotions. You could also carry a remembrance item. You can carry an item that belonged to or reminds you of the deceased and help you remember that they are always with you. Remembrance items can be anything, such as a watch, handkerchief, lighter, or piece of jewelry.

Food brings people together, especially in hard times. Cooking the deceased’s favorite meal and then sharing it with others allows you to honor their memory and connect with those that are also grieving the loss. What about lighting a candle? Candles have a long history of being associated with both rituals and grief. Take this tradition and make it your own by lighting a candle for the deceased at a certain time of day, a special date, or whenever you need to feel connected to them. Some ancient cultures would host a “giveaway” in which they would each take a piece of the deceased’s possessions to use as their own. You can do a modern version of this in which you go through and donate the deceased’s possessions with other grieving people.

What about writing a letter? There are often many things left unsaid when someone dies. A healthy way to say those unsaid things is to write a letter to the deceased. You can bury the letter with your loved one, burn it to release the feelings, or hold onto it for later remembrance. Coloring a picture, painting or sculpting is a wonderful way to release feelings of grief and loss. Create in the deceased’s memory in whatever medium feels comfortable to you. Though altars are traditionally more Eastern, they have recently become more and more popular in Western cultures. An altar for your lost loved one can be anything from a collection of meaningful items to an array of photos, candled and incense.

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These are just a few options for simple yet powerful mourning rituals you can use after a loved one’s death. Do you want more information on mourning rituals or Newtown, PA cremation services? Just get in touch with J. Allen Hooper Funeral Chapel. We are here to help in any way that we can. You can stop by and visit us or give us a call today for more information.

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Medicaid and Your Funeral Home

Did you know that you can use Medicaid to help pay for funeral home services in Newtown, PA? It’s true! You can set up a trust using Medicaid that can be put towards future end of life expenses.

The best way to make sure you use Medicaid to pay for funeral and cremation services properly and protect your money is to work with an estate attorney. If you’re covered by Medicaid you can set aside money for cremation services, but trust and estate attorneys know the ins and outs of Medicaid, insurance and trusts and can best advise you on how to proceed in your specific circumstances. Another reason to hire an attorney is because Medicaid and cremation expenses rules vary from state to state. You need an expert that is familiar with your state’s rules to best advise you. You can also get in touch with your state’s Medicaid department, local Medicaid office, or an attorney in your area for more information.

After finding an attorney you need to set up a trust. The trust should establish your chosen funeral home or cremation provider as a beneficiary to make sure that they receive the money upon your death. The best kind of trust you set up is an Irrevocable Trust, as this form protects the money you set aside just in case you need Medicaid to help cover any long-term care costs. Be wary of Revocable Trusts, as Medicaid set seize money from Revocable Trusts if you have already depleted your other assets and you need help paying for medical or long-term care costs.

In many states, Medicaid trusts need to have been in place for at least five years for the funds to be accessible, so you also need to make sure that you establish your trust enough in advance. Your chosen funeral home or cremation provider with most likely have established protocols that they prefer you use when you create a trust to pay for future funeral and cremation expenses. Be sure to talk to your funeral home and your estate attorney to get a recommendation on the type of trust you should set up to pay for cremation service arrangements.

Did you know there are other ways to prepay for funeral or cremation expenses beyond Medicaid and trusts? Take, for example, funeral insurance. You can purchase an insurance policy that lists the funeral home or cremation provider as the beneficiary so, when you die, the funeral home with get the money from the insurance company to put towards your funeral. Again, your local funeral home will most likely have a preferred insurance provider. Some might even be able to sell you the insurance directly. Keep in mind, though, that most life insurance policies do not cover funeral or cremation expenses.

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J. Allen Hooper Funeral Chapel is here to help if you want to learn more about Medicaid, funeral homes and preplanning. We offer a range of Newtown, PA funeral home services with the experience and compassion necessary to help you.

cremation service in Langhorne, PA

Burial Markers After Cremation Services

You will most likely need to choose some kind of burial marker, whether you’re preplanning for your own eventual passing or dealing with a loved one’s recent death and cremation service in Langhorne, PA.

A burial marker, like the name denotes, is what marks a burial site. However, they mean usually mean much more than that as burial markers are also what will symbolize the deceased for the rest of time. Of course, you will always have the memories of a lost loved one, but their burial marker will be what you go to visit or show future generations, and what other people will see.

When most people think of burial markers they just think of gravestones. But there are actually lots of different kinds of burial markers, including bench memorials. They are just what they sound like: benches that either mark a grave or are a memorial for a deceased person. Though they are more unconventional and can be expensive, they create peaceful spaces that allow the bereaved to sit and reflect on the life of their lost loved one. Some people choose to decorate their loved one’s memorial bench with quotes, etchings, and the name of the deceased. There are even some benches that house cremated remains.

Mausoleums are free-standing, above-ground structures that provide a secure, dry and clean place for bodies to be interred. They also come in many different shapes and sizes, with some being small for just one body and others being massive to house multiple generations of the same family. More commonly referred to as gravestones, upright cemetery monuments are what you will most commonly see in cemeteries and graveyards around the world. These upright markers are easy to see, making it simple to find a certain marker in a full cemetery or field. You can easily customize a gravestone into almost any shape, size, color or material from classic stone headstones to white crosses, marble angels and more. You can also customize what the gravestone says, with most people choosing to put their loved one’s name, dates of birth and death, and a short message.

Flush and flat grave markers are inserted into the ground above a gravesite. They are usually very simple and subtle to match their streamlined, in-ground design. But there are some kinds of more elaborate flush and flat markers, like those with vase attachments that allow the bereaved to leave flowers and other tokens on the grave.

As you consider which one you might choose for your lost loved one, just remember that there really is no wrong choice if you choose from the heart. Think about what your loved one would have wanted and what would best symbolize him or her, but don’t over-complicate it or get stressed.

cremation service in Langhorne, PA

These are just a few of the many options for marking a final resting place. J. Allen Hooper Funeral Chapel offers Langhorne, PA cremation services. We offer a range of services and can help you choose the best grave marker for your loved one.

funeral home in Langhorne, PA

Mausoleums and Funeral Homes

A mausoleum is, according to the National Funeral Directors Association, “a building designed for above-ground placement of a casket. The casket is placed into a crypt that may be designed for one or two persons.” While a traditional ground burial after a service in a funeral home in Langhorne, PA is always a valid choice, there are many other options for a deceased’s final resting place, like mausoleums.

Mausoleums are free-standing structures that provide a secure, dry and clean place for bodies to be interred. There are many different kinds and styles of mausoleums. Some mausoleums have one crypt, or a chamber designed to hold one body, while others have a larger space made to hold a few people like a family or a couple. Some mausoleums even have more than one room for different parts of a family. Mausoleums are commonly decorated with exterior markers to denote who is resting inside, and yet others have windows and glass to allow in natural light and air.

The term mausoleum came from one of the first one’s ever built. Built in 353 BC near what is now known as Turkey, The Mausoleum of Halicarnassus was the final resting place of a famous Persian king named Mausolus. However, just because these structures have a long history doesn’t mean they aren’t still popular. In fact, mausoleums offer tons of great benefits, making them a common choice for internment. Some of the benefits of mausoleums include protection and privacy. Though everyone will experience grief, most people prefer to show their mourning in private. Because mausoleums are enclosed buildings, they offer the bereaved much-desired privacy in their time of loss. Similarly, because they are enclosed buildings, mausoleums also offer protection for the body. Many of them are also climate-controlled, which gives the bereaved even more peace of mind for the body and comfort when they are paying their respects.

Both traditional ground burial and cremation have negative impacts on the environment, such as ground disruption or release of gasses into the atmosphere. Since mausoleums can hold more bodies per square foot of ground that a traditional burial, they are better for the planet and are a great option for those that want to leave a small footprint behind when they’re gone. Mausoleums are also convenient. Mausoleums are convenient for the bereaved as they offer easy access to the lost loved one for year-round visitation. Hot summers, cold winters, rain and other elements aren’t an issue.

funeral home in Langhorne, PA

And finally, mausoleums have been proven to have comparable costs to those of a more traditional ground burial, especially if the structure will be used to house more than one body. Families can lower the costs of burial by purchasing a shared mausoleum.

J. Allen Hooper Funeral Chapel can help you decide if a mausoleum is the right choice for you or your family. We have vast experience as a Langhorne, PA funeral home and can offer you more information on your different internment choices. Call or visit J. Allen Hooper Funeral Chapel today.

cremation service in Washington Crossing, PA

Common Cremation Service Questions

Many people have lots of questions about cremations, funerals and other related topics. For example, perhaps you’ve looked at your wardrobe before going to a memorial and wondered what in the heck you’re supposed to wear. Or, maybe you’ve been to a memorial after a cremation service in Washington Crossing, PA and wondered who that person in the dark suit was. Luckily, this list of common cremation service-related questions and their answers can hopefully help shed some light on your queries:

  • Should Kids Come to the Service? – The memorialization process is very important for mourning and dealing with grief in a healthy and constructive way. This is true for kids just as it is true for adults. Childcare experts say that children should have a say in the matter of whether or not they should attend a funeral. Ask your child if he wants to go to the memorial service and make every effort to respect his choice.
  • What Do You Wear to a Funeral or Memorial? – This question has a tricky answer, as it really depends on the service. Some funerals and memorials are more traditional with guests wearing black clothing to honor the somber feel of the event. But other services are more modern and celebratory, making it OK for guests to wear color or more casual clothing. Use the location of the service as a clue to the type of clothing you should wear. A funeral at a church? Black, more formal attire is best. A memorial at a beach? Casual is most likely just fine.
  • What Does “In Lieu of Flowers” Mean? – “In lieu of flowers” is often the phrase used in a service program, death announcement or obituary when the bereaved request that mourners memorialize the deceased in other ways besides sending flowers. This could mean a donation to a charity or even a gift of food for after the event.
  • What’s the Difference Between a Memorial and a Funeral? – The main difference is the presence of the body. A memorial is when the body is not present at the gathering to celebrate the life of the deceased, and a funeral is when the body is present at the service. Generally, memorials happen after cremation service or other instances that would prevent the body from being present, like when the body is donated to science.
  • What do Funeral Directors Do? – Funeral directors are, first and foremost, in charge of preparing a body for burial or cremation, but they also help with a ton of other things from arranging memorials and funerals to providing transportation to and from the place of disposition.
  • Should I Send a Sympathy Card? – Sending a card is just one of the many ways you can show support for the bereaved. If you do send a card, send it within two weeks of the death. If you don’t want to send a card, you can reach out in another way like a phone call, email or visit.

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Do you want to learn more about these topics or Washington Crossing, PA cremation services? J. Allen Hooper Funeral Chapel is here for you.

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Funeral Homes, POAs, Executors and Guardians

Do you know what executors, guardians and people holding powers of attorney are? Or what they have to do with planning a funeral at a funeral home in Washington Crossing, PA?

If you don’t, its ok. You’re not alone. Many people are confused about what these different things are and what they have to do with end of life planning. Executors, guardians and people holding powers of attorney (POA) are similar in many ways, but they all have unique roles to play when it comes to planning cremation services, funerals and other death-related matters.

To begin, an executor is the person that has control over a deceased’s assets. Though many people believe executors have control over the details of a deceased’s final disposition, this is not true. In fact, an executor’s main, and often only, role when it comes to disposition is to inform the funeral agent or director of their particular role in the deceased’s will. An executor is mostly intended to deal with more financial matters from locating the deceased’s property and opening an estate checking account to probating the will, paying bills, and filing all necessary tax forms. The executor’s job is over after the estate is divided up and closed.

What about guardians? Guardians are given legal control to make personal and financial decisions for someone else when that person, the ward, is deemed unable or unfit to make such decisions for themselves. Guardians may or may not have control over the final disposition. This is determined case-by-case and depends on the powers given to the guardian in probate court. Guardians are usually the ward’s spouse or adult child, but anyone can be appointed a guardian if the court believes he will act in the ward’s best interests. In some cases, if there is no next of kin, a Public Guardian appointed by the state will make funeral arrangements.

And finally, a Power of Attorney is not a person. A POA is a legal document in which one person, the principal, gives another person, the attorney-in-fact, the power to act on their behalf in financial and legal matters. Most POA documents are financial, legal, or both and are only applicable when the principal is still alive. If the document is financial, the attorney-in-fact does have the power to preplan and prepay for the principal’s funeral, cremation or other death-related service. However, the attorney-in-fact cannot make any death-related arrangements after the principal has already died. The attorney-in-fact is also not able to make funeral plans for another person on the principal’s behalf, such as a spouse or a child.

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It’s important to note that some of the laws surrounding these roles vary from state to state, so be sure to research your local laws.

J. Allen Hooper Funeral Chapel is here for you if you want to learn more about death-related law or your options for Washington Crossing, PA funeral homes. We are happy to offer you our services in your time of loss or preplanning. Give us a call today.