Key Words

November 06, 2014

Let’s be honest. Most of us think about burial planning on an as needed basis. Death has that stigma of uneasiness or not being the topic of choice for the annual company picnic. But, consider this…many employers offer some type of pension, 401K or other retirement plan, right?

Golf Dreams

Circles of friends and family members often compare IRA plans, and some take it a step further by dreaming out loud about glorious daily golfing during retirement. At this point in the conversation, why not mention burial options? If Aunt Rita, that sprightly 79-year-old, is set on cremation services but hasn’t gotten around to telling anyone, how will they ever know her wishes? They won’t.

Baby Steps

Since discussing burial arrangements can be awkward at first, we’ve compiled a list of terms and links for assistance. Repetition rids the anxiety, so practice (like baby steps) by chatting with friends first before bringing it up with Aunt Rita.

Key Words

Advanced Directive – also referred to as a living will, it is a legal document for medical purposes should an individual become incapacitated; Mayo Clinic 

Cremains—the ashes of someone who has been cremated

Estate Planning – getting those ducks in a row by preplanning regarding inheritance, charitable donations, long-term provisions for family members or those with special needs; 

Ethical Will – this is not a legal document to distribute wealth, rather it allows the individual to leave a legacy of wisdom, values, and feelings; 

Grief counseling – sessions by trained advisors to assist those dealing with loss; ; and AARP

Hospice – end of life care including palliative care; Hospice Foundation

Palliative care – the treatment of discomfort, symptoms, and stress of life-threatening or serious illness (intended for any stage of illness); National Hospice and Palliative Care

Prepaid burial – locking in costs now and paying over time, if needed, rather than 15-20 years later when rates increase

Nursing Home Compare – a U. S. Federal Government sponsored website comparing all participating Medicare and Medicaid nursing homes; 

Will – also known as a Last Will and Testament. To learn how to write your own will, check out