Category Archives: funeral home

funeral homes in Langhorne, PA

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.

funeral homes in Washington Crossing, PA

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.

funeral homes in Washington Crossing, PA

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.

funeral home services in Newtown, PA

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.

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.

funeral home in Washington Crossing, PA

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.

funeral home in Washington Crossing, PA

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.

funeral homes in Newtown, PA

Should You Bring Your Kids to Funeral Services?

Even adults don’t want to deal with death, so trying to protect your child from death seems to make a lot of sense. Every parent’s first instinct is to keep their children from harm, which often means keeping children out of services at funeral homes in Newtown, PA. However, in many cases, keeping a kid from attending a funeral could actually do more harm than good.

Children who don’t get the chance to say goodbye to a loved one at a funeral might feel resentment that they missed out, might not get the closure they need to heal and grieve in a healthy way, and might even develop untrue and scary scenarios in their minds about death because they weren’t exposed to the truth. 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. In order to make sure his choice is informed, give him plenty of information about what he will see and experience at the event. Talk about memorial or funeral details like who will be there; what will happen throughout the day and the funeral itself, from eating and drinking to sitting still during the service; where the funeral will take place, and even why memorial services happen in the first place. Go into as much detail as you feel necessary, especially when it comes to the step-by-step description of the event to dispel any anxiety or untrue ideas your child may have about memorial services, funerals and death. If he has questions, do your best to answer thoroughly but simply, sticking to the basics and remaining honest.

If your child chooses to go to the memorial service or funeral, take care to explain that he isn’t expected to feel any certain way. Some people at the event might be crying or very sad, and that’s OK. He can cry or be sad, or express however he’s feeling in a respectful way. Let your child participate as much or as little as he wants, whether that means sitting quietly during the service, choosing photos for a memorial collage, coloring a picture to put up as decoration, or lighting a candle during the service. Don’t forget to follow-up with your child after the funeral or memorial service to see if he has any questions.

funeral homes in Newtown, PA

Finally, be sure to avoid using euphemisms about death. “Grandpa passed away” or “Grandpa is sleeping” are very confusing and untrue. Make it clear that death is permanent, but it doesn’t have to be scary.

Do you want to learn more about Newtown, PA funeral homes? J. Allen Hooper Funeral Chapel is here to help. Call or visit us today.

funeral home in Langhorne, PA

Social Media Accounts After Funeral Homes

You can’t just leave a deceased’s social media or otherwise online life behind. There are a lot of financial and legal steps you need to take when someone you love passes away and has a service at a funeral home in Langhorne, PA, but you can’t forget about their social media and other online accounts.

Use these tips to take care of common online accounts after a death:

  • Google – Start with Google. Thankfully, Google accounts are fairly easy to deal with. If the deceased had any kind or any number of Google accounts, from Google Docs, Google Drive, Google Calendar to Google Photos, Gmail or even YouTube, they had a Google ID. Google has a program called Inactive Account Manager in which someone can preset all data and accounts linked to their Google ID to be wiped after a certain period of inactivity. If the deceased used that program, your work is done. If they didn’t, simply file a request to Google, submit documents proving your relationship to the deceased, and the company will close down the Google ID.
  • Twitter – Twitter will work with a verified immediate family member or an executor of an estate to deactivate a deceased’s account. You must submit a request for a deactivation and removal online, upon which you will be sent an email with instructions for providing proper documentation of your relationship to the deceased and the death.
  • Facebook – Facebook has set up two different methods to handle a deceased’s account: Deletion and Memorialization. If you wish to delete their Facebook page, you have to submit a request to Facebook, provide documentation proving they are deceased and your relationship to them, and wait the 90-day period. Facebook also offers a Memorialization option, which turns the deceased’s page into an online memorial that keeps the original content and allows others to post memories, comments and photos.
  • Instagram – Instagram is similar to Facebook in that it allows the bereaved to delete or memorialize an account. Only immediate family members can file a request to delete an Instagram account, and they are required to submit proof of relationship and proof of death, such as a death certificate. Instagram accounts can be memorialized once the company gets a valid request backed up by death documentation and proof of relationship. A memorialized Instagram account can’t be changed at all, and the posts will only be visible to the audience with which they were first shared. In other words, you can’t make a memorialized account public if it was originally private.

funeral home in Langhorne, PAOur digital footprints will only get bigger the longer our society spends online. You can also make it easier for your family after you’re gone by taking steps now to organize your accounts. If you want to make things easier on your family and loved ones after your death, start making a list of all your accounts, usernames, and passwords now so they have easy access to your information.

J. Allen Hooper Funeral Chapel is here to help if you want to learn more about dealing with death or Langhorne, PA funeral homes.

funeral home in Washington Crossing, PA

Millennials and Preplanning

If you’re a millennial or in a similar young age group, you probably haven’t and don’t want to think about funeral planning. We don’t blame you – even people that aren’t as young as you don’t want to think about their passing. But you need to spend time thinking about what you want for a funeral home in Washington Crossing, PA as preplanning is very important.

These tips can help you get started:

  1. Choose a Funeral Home– The very first step is to choose a funeral home, as someone will need to prepare your remains for disposition, handle your service, and even be a place to hold your service. Do some research on local funeral homes to learn about their prices, services, beliefs, and offerings. This way you can find one that has what you need and want.
  2. What About Disposition? – More and more people, especially younger generations, are choosing cremation over burial as, to them, burial is a waste of space, money and time. In fact, the National Funeral Directors Association reports that more than half of the dispositions in the USA these days are cremations. But what do you want? Do you want to be buried? Cremated? You can still have a traditional funeral service if you want to be cremated, or you can have a non-traditional memorial service even if you want to be buried. It’s totally up to you! Your funeral director can help you determine what you want done with your remains before, at, and after the service.
  3. Save Some Money – Millennials are also looking to save money on funeral expenses, like caskets. Yes, some caskets are expensive. But there are tons of other options that are much more budget friendly. Your funeral director can advise you on the best one to choose for your needs and budget.
  4. funeral home in Washington Crossing, PACheck Prices – In addition to using Google, Yelp and other websites to help you find a good funeral home you can also check the funeral home’s actual website to get a good idea of pricing. Funeral homes are required by law to provide clear and accurate prices for all of their services so you can get a good idea of what’s available and how much it will cost before you event step foot into a funeral home.
  5. Consider Religion – Younger generations are also moving away from funeral and memorial services, as many people think that funerals and memorials are strictly religious events. While funerals can certainly be religious, they don’t have to be. You can choose to have a non-traditional memorial service that isn’t religious or hire a funeral celebrant to lead a non-religious funeral. Your funeral service can be anything you want it to. Do you love golf? You can have a celebrant focus on your golf game. Are you a huge flower lover? Cover your funeral in flowers.

J. Allen Hooper Funeral Chapel, a Washington Crossing, PA funeral home, is here to help if you want to learn more about preplanning and our services.

funeral home in Newtown, PA

Grief Podcasts

While we all deal with grief in different ways, sometimes it can get away from you and become too much to handle all on your own after a loved one’s memorial or funeral at a funeral home in Newtown, PA.

How do you know if your grief is too much? And what can you do about it? While everyone’s grief can look a bit different, there are a few warning signs that ring true for everyone if grief is becoming too much.

For example, apprehension of new relationships due to the fear of loss. However, in order to move forward and continue to grow, we must forge new relationships. You might also need a bit of extra help if you find yourself getting lost in escapism in having an inability to continue normal activities. Staying busy or trying to escape to avoid feeling sad is not a long-term solution. Eventually, you will need to face your feelings.

An inability to move on, or the loss of enjoyment is a bad sign. You shouldn’t stop living your life completely during grief. You’re still allowed to pursue your interests and goals. If your grief is preventing you from pursuing activities that you enjoy, or enjoying things you normally would, you may just need help finding your way forward. Avoiding time with loved ones isn’t always good, either. Sometimes it’s easier to process grief on our own, but it’s also important to be with loved ones. If you find yourself consistently avoiding other people, you should consider getting some help with your grief.

But what can you do about your grief if it gets too bad for you to handle all on your own?

Many people that are grieving find it very helpful to listen to grief podcasts as they are easily accessible and provide bereaved support and community in a very convenient way. Whether you’re looking for more causal listening or are hoping for expert advice, there are tons of helpful grief podcasts available on Spotify, such as Good Grief by Blake Kasemeier. Blake lost her mother to lung cancer and then started Good Grief to help other people through their own losses and mourning journeys. What’s Your Grief is by Eleanor Haley and Litsa Williams. Hosted by two mental health professionals, this podcast discusses the gamut of grief-related topics.

funeral home in Newtown, PAThere’s also The Mindfulness & Grief Podcast by Heather Stang. Heather Stang has a Master’s in death, dying and bereavement, called thanatology. This degree gives her a unique perspective to grief and can help listeners deal with hard emotions, encourage self-care and compassion, and honor what is left of the deceased. Grief Out Loud is by The Dougy Center. Hosted by a clinical social worker, Grief Out Loud talks about the most commonly avoided topics regarding grief. And finally, Grief/Relief by Moe Provencher isn’t hosted by a professional and is geared more towards real people sharing real parts of their lives and grief to help normalize the topic.

Losing a loved one isn’t and will never be easy, but these grief podcasts may be able to help. As can J. Allen Hooper Funeral Chapel. We are here to help if you have more questions on grief or would like to learn more about Newtown, PA funeral homes.

funeral home in Levittown, PA

Conveying Condolences

Many people want to reach out with condolences for friends, coworkers or family members after hearing the news about them losing someone they love or after attending a funeral service at a funeral home in Levittown, PA, making condolence calls and sympathy cards very important.

However, it can be hard to know what to say to someone that is going through the loss of a loved one, especially when trying to craft a sentiment that both acknowledges the loss and provides comfort to the bereaved. Use these tips to help.

Our first tip? Sympathy cards. Sympathy cards are the most traditional method of communicating these sentiments to the bereaved in their time of grief, but it can be tricky to accurately convey feelings and ideas. You can try to offer help. Offering help to the bereaved is always well intentioned, especially since it can be hard for people to ask for help when they need it. To make it easier for the bereaved to get the help that is specific for their needs, try not to write statements like, “Call me if you need anything.” Instead, trying to say “I’m going to go grocery shopping on ____, send me your list and I will be happy to get it for you” or “Here is a gift certificate. Please use this to____.”

Sometimes you can’t make the service and want to apologize. Listing the various reasons why you couldn’t make a funeral or service may just look like you’re making excuses. Rather than writing, “I didn’t make the funeral because ___” try focusing on how you will support them in the future by saying something like, “I’m so sorry I couldn’t make it. I’m bringing lunch for you on ___ if that works for you.”

You can also express empathy. You might have lost someone, too. And while comparing your loss to the bereaved’s might seem like a good idea, it may come across as you trying to make it about you. Instead of writing, “I know how you feel” or “I’ve lost a ___ too”, try writing, “I’m grieving with you” or “I miss ___ too”.

writing condolence

You can also try to give the bereaved a call to express your emotions and support for them in their time of loss. Expressing condolences can be a tricky thing, as it can be hard to know what to say. If you’re at a loss for words, you can try saying things like, “My thoughts are with you during this difficult time.”, “I’ll always remember how [name] would [insert story or characteristic here].”, “There are no words. Just know that I love you and will also miss [name].”, “[Name] was a great person. My sympathies to you and your family.”, “We are so sorry for your loss.”, or “No one can ever replace the remarkable person that your ____ was.”

Call or visit J. Allen Hooper Funeral Chapel today for more information on our Levittown, PA funeral home services.