funeral homes in Clinton Township, MI

Not Expressing Grief is Unhealthy

Because, in the midst of COVID-19, funerals at funeral homes in Clinton Township, MI are anything but traditional, being limited to 10 or less people, which makes them more private and offers less in-person comfort and support, you may discover that you’re having difficulty expressing grief for the loss of your loved one.

In some cases, it is normal to temporarily suppress grief after the death of a loved one. There are many things that need to be done when someone dies, and that means pulling your emotional act together enough to get them taken care of in a timely manner.

You may also temporarily suppress your grief because it’s too overwhelming in the moment and you need a brief respite from its effects.

Both of these types of grief suppression are normal and healthy ways to handle intense grief because they involve recognition that you need to take care of yourself at that moment in time.

However, making a habit of not expressing grief each time it surfaces is unhealthy, and can result in health problems, emotional problems, and mental problems like depression and anxiety.

When grief is suppressed instead of experienced, no matter how painful that may be, it becomes incomplete grief. There are several signs of incomplete grief.

One sign is irritability or anger that gets worse with time and can erupt into an explosion or violence. When you habitually don’t express grief, things build up inside with no outlet or expression.

Your body, mind, and soul has limits to how long you can do this until it becomes too big and too much to handle or keep suppressed. Usually the trigger that lets it all out is insignificant, and often observers will wonder why the reaction is so extreme in comparison to the trigger.

Another sign of incomplete grief is long-term obsession with missing your loved one.

It is normal in the first few weeks or months to think a lot about the death of your loved one and for their loss to hurt deeply. Your will find yourself repeatedly reviewing your relationship with and death of your loved one in great detail during these first weeks and months as your process your loss.

However, if you get stuck in a repetitive reviewing loop, you will not be able to move forward in the grief process, and you may find yourself shutting down when you hit certain points in the review where you feel guilt or regrets and it’s too late to fix them.

Hyperalertness and fear of loss is also a sign of incomplete grief. They are characterized by continuous anxiety and the pervasive feeling that nothing’s safe, everything’s fragile, and everyone is vulnerable. As a result, you become hypersensitive to everything and develop an obsessive need to always be prepared for the worst possible outcome.

Apathy, numbness, and low-grade depression are additional signs of incomplete grief. Apathy becomes apparent when you no longer take pleasure in or enjoy doing things that you once enjoyed. In fact, you may feel as though you really don’t care about anything anymore.

Numbness is a blunted emotional reaction that makes it hard to imagine feeling anything at all, no matter whether it’s happy or sad.

grief support

Low-grade depression is characterized by a lack of energy, a sense of hopelessness, and dark thoughts that you find persist over an extended period of time.

Utilizing grief resources such as counseling and therapy are an excellent way to resolve incomplete grief.

For more information about grief resources at funeral homes in Clinton Township, MI, our compassionate and experienced staff at Lee-Ellena Funeral Home can help.

cremation services offered in Macomb, MI

Death Anniversaries

Grief resources are among the cremation services offered in Macomb, MI. After a loved one dies, you and other family members will start process of grieving and healing as you adapt to the a new normal – and a different life – without your loved one.

While you and your family will make great strides toward adjusting, adapting, and moving forward after your loved one’s death, death anniversaries will, especially in the early years, be very hard to face and deal with.

You may be surprised at how strongly all the feelings and emotions that you experienced when your loved one died may reemerge when your loved one’s death anniversary comes around. These may be an unexpected onslaught that you and your family don’t know how to handle.

It’s important, however, to understand that this is normal. Your loved one’s death was a traumatic event and a devastating loss. Their absence created a void in your lives that can’t be replaced or filled, even though time will soften its blow.

But you and your family may find that there are some constructive ways to channel those overwhelming emotions and feelings that can also bring you peace and comfort.

One thing you can do is to compose a letter to your deceased loved one. This can be very comforting, because you can pour out your heart about how you feel.

Remind your loved one how much you miss them. Tell your loved one all the things that you miss about them. Remind your loved one of all the special memories you shared together. Share with your loved one the funny stories that you laughed at over and over during your relationship.

Tell your loved one how much you love them. Detail all the things about your loved one that made you love them so much.

Let your loved one know how different things are without them. Bring your loved one up to date on all the things they’ve missed since they’ve been gone. Update them on your life and your family’s lives.

Let your loved one know about the challenges and struggles you all have had and tell them about the successes and failures that have happened since they’ve been gone. You may be surprised at how therapeutic this letter-writing is and you may decide to start a daily journal that you write to your loved one.

Another constructive way to handle death anniversaries is to do something to honor your loved one. Do something that supports something your loved one was passionate about. That may be volunteering for a non-profit organization, planting a flower or vegetable garden, joining a book club, or attending the games of a local sports team.

Another constructive way to cope with death anniversaries is to host a potluck dinner of immediate family and a few close friends. Have everyone bring a food and drinks and, as you eat, share stories and memories of your loved one.

It’s important for you and your family to be kind and gentle with yourselves on the death anniversaries of your loved one. It’s likely everyone will experience these anniversaries in different ways, and it’s important to recognize that and give everyone latitude and space for their own way.

death of a loved one

Remember, as well, to look at all that you and your family have weathered, have overcome, and have accomplished since the death of your loved one. They would have wanted that, and they would be proud of you.

For more information about grief resources and other cremation services in Macomb, MI, our caring and knowledgeable staff at Lee-Ellena Funeral Home is here to assist you.

funeral homes in Macomb, MI

Preplanning a Funeral

Preplanning funerals at funeral homes in Macomb, MI is not something most people want to think or talk about or even do. Facing mortality is hard, but we’re all going to die at some point.

Planning your funeral before you die takes a lot of additional stress off your loved ones as they are already coping with the emotional stress of a loss, an absence, and a void that will never be filled again. There can be as many as 125 things that must be done between the time that someone dies and the time of their final disposition.

Your family won’t have a lot of time to make funeral arrangements, and it will be much harder for them if they don’t know what kind of funeral service wanted. They’ll have to answer a lot of questions when they meet with the funeral director after you die.

Did you want cremation or burial? Did you want a visitation and funeral service, no visitation and funeral service, or no visitation and no funeral service? Are you a military veteran? Did you want a military honors funeral with burial in a national cemetery?

If they think you may have wanted a service, would you have wanted a funeral service or a memorial service? Who would you want to oversee the service? What would you want read or said and by whom? What music would you want to have played?

These are just a few of the kinds of questions that your family must answer so they can make arrangements for your cremation or burial if you don’t preplan your funeral. This is why preplanning your funeral takes such a tremendous burden off the loved ones you leave behind.

While preplanning your funeral doesn’t necessarily mean prepaying for your funeral, it can mean that you have purchased burial insurance so that your final expenses are covered. This insurance policy will be used by the funeral home to cover funeral costs, so that your family doesn’t have to worry about financial obligations. If you have a life insurance policy, a portion of it can be used to pay your funeral costs as well.

When preplanning your funeral, sit down with your closest family members and talk about what you want in detail. Be sure to have a written copy of these detailed instructions that you keep with your important papers, whether that’s in a home safe or a bank safety deposit box.

Make sure that your spouse or the executor of your will (or even your attorney) knows where your important papers are and that they have access to them.

Decide whether you want to be cremated or buried. If you want to be cremated, decide whether you want a funeral service before cremation or a memorial service after cremation. For burials, if you’re a military veteran, you are entitled to certain VA funeral benefits, including burial in a national cemetery. Otherwise, you’ll need to pick a burial location.

funeral home

If you want a funeral service, decide who should oversee it. Decide what format you want for the service. If there are certain readings you want, list them. If you want eulogies given, designate who should give them. Decide what songs you want included in the service.

If you choose burial, decide if you want a graveside service. Choose the type of gravestone or maker that you would like to have (spouses often get double gravestones and buy two cemetery plots together, so they’re buried together – the engraver will update the gravestone when the remaining spouse dies) and what you want to include on it.

For more information about preplanning funerals at funeral homes in Macomb, MI, our compassionate and experienced staff at Lee-Ellena Funeral Home can help.

cremation services in Sterling Heights, MI

When Discomfort is Grief

Cremations are among the cremation services offered in Sterling Heights, MI. We have been and are surrounded by the specter of pain, death, and suffering 24 hours a day as this novel coronavirus pandemic rages on throughout the world. We heard the number of new cases, the number of total cases, the number of new deaths, and the number of total deaths.

We are besieged from all sides with disparate numbers about the total projected death toll, not only around the world, but in our own country. We are dealing with death up close and personal every day. Because so little is known about COVID-19, everything we hear is just a stab in the dark, without real science and time behind it to know whether it will play out the way our experts think it might.

Everything is unknown except people are getting sick and are dying. We may get sick and die. We may have already been infected and don’t even know it. If we go out, we have to wear face masks. If we go to pick up essentials at the grocery store or the pharmacy, we have to follow a pattern through the store, stand on marked lines at checkout, and talk to the cashier through a piece of protective plexiglass.

We don’t know if we’re next. We don’t know if a family member is next. We watch families grieving over their loved ones and we share their pain and suffering. We grieve with them.

But there are other sources of discomfort besides the pain and suffering we can’t get away from, the medical unknowns, and the worries for our own health and the health of our families.

Discomfort comes from social distancing from our loved ones. We may have parents who are older and more vulnerable to contracting COVID-19 because of underlying health issues. We can’t visit in person with them, or hug them, or hold them.

We may have parents or other family members who are in assisted living facilities or nursing facilities that have been locked down to outside visitors. Maybe we can get lucky enough to see them through a window, but, then again, we may not.

We may have family members who have contracted COVID-19 and they are critically ill. We aren’t allowed to be with them in the hospital and, if they succumb to the virus, we will not be able to be with them when they die.

As if all of this is not discomfort enough, we have other things that are causing discomfort. Our work routines have been disrupted. If we’re among the fortunate, we may be working from home for the first time in our careers, which is a major adjustment, especially in companies where team environments are valued and utilized.

However, like many other Americans, though, we may have been furloughed (even in the healthcare industry) or laid off. If we worked in the hospitality or airline industries, we don’t know whether those jobs will ever come back, and we don’t know what we’ll do to survive and take care of our families.

Even in industries where jobs will exist in the future, there may not be as many of them as technology replaces people at a seeming (people are truly any company’s most valuable resource because of their knowledge and experience) fraction of the cost.

cremations services

All of this discomfort is actually grief over so many losses. And if you have had a loved one die since the beginning of 2020 or you have a love one die now or in the remainder of the year, it will be a big layer of grief added to existing layers of grief. It may seem overwhelming.

Seek professional help if it is. You are not alone.

For more information about cremation services in Sterling Heights, MI, our caring and knowledgeable staff at Lee-Ellena Funeral Home is here to assist you.

funeral homes in Sterling Heights, MI

Funeral Homes and Millennials

When dealing with Millennials at funeral homes in Sterling Heights, MI, funeral directors will undoubtedly have to be prepared to make adjustments for and adapt to them. Millennials (born between 1983 and 2000) are a generation that perplexes every other generation before and after them.

Produced by overprotective parents and an educational/social system that lavished praise on them for just existing and made sure that the road was smooth, with no failures and no bumps, every step of the way, Millennials can be challenging to deal with in just about every area of life.

Funeral homes are now dealing with that challenge. To meet that challenge, funeral home directors need to know what makes Millennials tick.

Millennials have grown up in a world surrounded by technology. Before they were teething, they were playing computer and video games. Technology is at the core of how they defined themselves.

Because of technology being a part of their lives from the beginning, Millennials are going to demand that funeral homes have the technology to handle modern funerals. This means having the ability to livestream funerals, the ability to handle social media, advanced image manipulation, and to make it all smartphone or tablet-friendly.

Funeral homes need to be prepared for Millennials to tell them how to use technology and how Millennials can do it faster, better, and more efficiently. Millennials see most things – and traditions – as being outdated and old school, and they will not be afraid to tell you that.

It may come across as offensive, but funeral homes need to wade through what is actually offensive (Millennials, in general, tend to treat anyone older than they are with disdain, and as ignorant relics who couldn’t possibly know anything) to listen for what is relevant.

There are many ways that technology can benefit funeral homes and enable them to provide even more services to bereaved families who are planning the funerals of their loved ones. Incorporating these can mean that families can share their loved ones’ services with people throughout the world and they can create a virtual experience to remember.

Some Millennials are more environmentally conscience and they will want final disposition options that embrace that. They are more likely to opt for green burials and non-fossil fuel cremations.

While traditional burials usually include embalming, caskets, and casket vaults, green burials are designed to let the body decompose naturally, reducing the environment impact on the Earth. Millennials who favor green burials may want biodegradable burial containers and burial in “green” cemeteries.

Instead of traditional cremations, which uses heat to cremate the body, Millennials may choose an alternate form of cremation like alkaline hydrolysis (also known as water cremation). Although alkaline hydrolysis is a process that has been patented since 1888, it has not emerged as a preferred choice for final disposition until the last decade or so.

online researchWith alkaline hydrolysis, the deceased’s body is decomposed using a mixture of water (95%) and sodium hydroxide or potassium hydroxide (5%). While the time to break down the body takes longer, the carbon footprint of the process is about 1/10 of that of regular cremation, which makes it attractive to some Millennials.

Millennials will also want more personalization with their funerals. This generation is used to be able to customize everything because their lives have been customized from the beginning. Funeral homes will need to be able to meet their customization demands – which may often change on a dime – to give them the funerals they desire.

For more information about Millennial expectations at funeral homes in Sterling Heights, MI, our compassionate and experienced staff at Lee-Ellena Funeral Home can help.

cremation services in Macomb, MI

A Brief Tour of Cremation Services History

A brief tour of the history of cremation services, which are offered in Macomb, MI, will reveal some interesting facts about this form of final disposition. You may believe that when you choose to be cremated or to have your loved one cremated that you are doing something that is untraditional.

However, the practice of cremation is almost as early as the history of humans. The reason that Americans think of cremation as untraditional is because until about 50 years ago, the primary form of final disposition in this country was burial underground.

But in the earliest history of humans, cremation was more common than underground burial. The reasons are many.

First, in ancient civilizations, there was little knowledge about how to preserve bodies after death. Decay set in quickly and it was imperative to dispose of human remains quickly. Cremation made sense. The cremation remains were often buried on family land.

Generally, burial was cultural. For instance, in many of the Middle Eastern cultures, burial in tombs with a stone covering the tomb was quite common. The stone was used to prevent passersby from having to endure the stench as the body naturally deteriorated.

In Egypt, burials for elite members of society – rulers and other nobility – were done in pyramids. Ancient Egyptians developed a way to embalm the deceased to preserve the body for quite some time. When the elite were buried in their pyramids, they were surrounded by all the things – including food and drink – that the Egyptians believed they would need for their journey to the next life.

Ancient European cultures, on the other hand, preferred cremation. When soldiers, politicians, and war heroes died, their cremations were done on a funeral pyre (think of a huge bonfire) and their lives and deeds were celebrated by mourners who ate and drank and engaged in other activities around the funeral pyre for several days.

However, as the world shifted toward embracing Christianity about 300 years after the birth of Jesus Christ, almost all of those cultures moved away from cremation and back to burials. The reason was not because the Bible prohibited cremation (an erroneous narrative that permeated Christianity and was propagated throughout most of the history of Christianity), but because cremation was associated with pagan cultures. Burial was a way to distinguish between being a pagan and being a Christian.

By the time the New World was discovered, burial was the primary means of final disposition among the earliest colonists, most of whom were either Catholic or Protestant. Roman Catholicism was the religion that prohibited any cremations for the longest period of time, with relaxation coming only in the 21st century.

During Christianity, however, there were some times when cremation was widely used to dispose of the dead. Most notably, these periods were in the middle of worldwide pandemics such as bubonic plague, where transmission was rapid and death almost as rapid. In an effort to halt the spread of these virulent diseases, the dead were either cremated or buried underground at depths deep enough to ensure that the infection would not spread to the living.

It was not until the late 1800’s that scientific proof that, at that time, cremation was a more sanitary way of disposing of the dead than burying them. Still, the idea and practice of cremation was widely shunned by religions and the public.

The modern popularity of cremations is a result of practicality. Cemeteries and graveyards are running out of room for underground burials. Population mobility makes it very unlikely that most people will die where – or even close to – where they were born and lived growing up.

With the ease of transporting cremation remains and the many ways to use cremation remains, including burial in a columbarium or an urn garden, cremation has become a logical choice for many Americans.

For more information about cremation services in Macomb, MI, our caring and knowledgeable staff at Lee-Ellena Funeral Home is here to assist you.

funeral homes in Macomb, MI

Communicating Sympathy

When you know people who are having funerals at funeral homes in Macomb, MI, one of the things that you need to do is communicate sympathy to them. Acknowledging someone else’s loss of a loved one is one of the kindest and most empathetic things we can do after someone dies.

However, many people may feel sympathetic, but they don’t find tangible ways to express it to the bereaved family. You would be surprised how few people take the time to explicitly give their condolences to grieving families as they deal with the death of their loved one.

That lack can often lead the bereaved family to feel very alone, to feel as if nobody cared about their loved one, and nobody cares about them. While feelings may not reflect reality, they certainly can form lasting impressions in the minds of the people who are experiencing them.

That’s why, no matter how inadequately you may feel about communicating your sympathy to them, you should make an effort to do it anyway.

You don’t have to get prosaic or elegant. A simple “I’m sorry for your loss” is more than enough. If you know the grieving family well or you knew their deceased loved one well, then a good way to communicate your sympathy to them is to include a fond memory or a comforting story with your message.

However, there are some things that you should absolutely not say when you are communicating sympathy. They include:

  • “They’re better off.”
  • “I know how you feel.”
  • “At least they’re not suffering anymore.”
  • “Now you can get back to your life.”
  • “You should be happy they are not sick anymore.”
  • “I’m surprised they made it this long.”
  • “It’s all for the best.”

These things indicate a lack of sensitivity about the bereaved family’s loss and a lack of understanding about death in general. It’s important to remember that you will never know exactly how anyone else really feels when someone they love dies. While you may have experienced a similar loss – a child, a parent, or a sibling – you reacted in your own unique way to that loss and the grieving family members will each react in their own unique ways to their loss.

If you want to empathize, two of the best phrases to use are “I can’t imagine how you must be feeling…” or “I can’t imagine what you’re going through…” because these acknowledge the uniqueness of loss and grieving from individual to individual.

What ways can you use to communicate sympathy?

If you’re a person who likes to talk on the phone, your first instinct when you hear the news of someone’s death is to pick up the phone to call one of their family members. Don’t. That last thing anyone who has just lost a loved one wants to do is talk on the phone.

Instead, you can sit down and write them a short note of sympathy (you do not have to go out and buy a card – if you wait, you may forget) and get it in the mail as quickly as possible.

You can also send flowers or plants with a short sympathy note attached to the family home. Plants are often a more thoughtful gift because they can be transplanted by the family, who will remember your kindness after their loss.

You can also communicate your sympathy by a short visit. Be sure to bring a little food and keep your visit short. Other people may be visiting at the same time, or there may be a steady stream of visitors in and out, which, while appreciated, can be very tiring.

For more information about communicating sympathy at funeral homes in Macomb, MI, our compassionate and experienced staff at Lee-Ellena Funeral Home can help.

cremation services offered in Sterling Heights,, MI

Healthy Ways to Process Grief

After cremation services offered in Sterling Heights,, MI, you will begin the grieving process for your deceased loved one in earnest. Grief is a powerful emotional state and it will affect, for some time, every aspect of your life as you work your way through its intensity into a place where you still feel the loss (that will last as long as you live), but you will also be wrapped comfortably in the memories of the time you had with your loved one.

The grieving process is not just emotional. The intensity of grief affects hormone production, cognition, and vital organs in your body. You will probably notice many of the manifestations of this very soon as your loved one dies.

One of the first symptoms you will likely experience is the feeling of being mentally in a fog or disconnected in some way from what is going on around you. This is a normal part of grieving. To help you through this and to counteract its effect on you, find someone you trust and can depend on to be by your side in the first few hours, days, and weeks after your loved one dies.

There are many things that need to be taken care of immediately after death. You will find that you’re overwhelmed and that, at times, even the smallest things can make you spiral into crying and being unable to function in that state.

Have that friend there to hand your phone to so they can deal with calls and text messages. Have them with you at the funeral home while you’re making funeral arrangements for your loved one, so they can take notes, ask questions, and help you as you make decisions about the final disposition of your loved one.

Take them with you when you have to handle legal and financial matters so that they can take notes, help you process information, and provide help when decisions need to be made or actions need to be taken.

Another symptom of grief that you will likely experience is sleep disruption. When we are in a highly-emotional state, hormonal production in the brain gets out of sync and the normal physical processes, like sleep, that they control are affected.

If your loved one had a terminal illness or was dealing with a serious chronic health problem, then you were most likely providing caregiving for them before they died. Caregiving itself can start the sleep disruption cycle because you have to stay alert enough to be available day or night when your loved one needs you.

Correcting that high alert state doesn’t happen overnight. Melatonin is the hormone that controls your sleep cycles. When production is disrupted, then sleep issues follow. You may be able to fall asleep, but not able to stay asleep. You may find that you can only sleep an hour or two at night, but you can easily sleep three or four hours during the middle of the day (not a viable scenario when you return to work).

There are several healthy ways that you can ease your body back into a better sleep routine.

The first way is to make sure that you have an hour or two before you want to go to sleep where your body has the ability to and gets the signals it needs to relax. Put away electronic devices. Even if you have the blue screen function set to turn on at night, interacting with technology stimulates your mind to stay awake.

Take a warm shower just before you go to bed. Drink a hot cup of herbal tea (for many people, chamomile tea is very relaxing) with the room lights dimmed and white or pink noise (or a fan) in the background. Make sure the room is at a comfortable temperature. Lay down in your bed – don’t sleep in a chair or on the sofa downstairs – and close your eyes.

All these healthy actions will encourage sleep and will eventually allow you to reestablish healthy sleep patterns.

For information about cremation services in Sterling Heights,, MI, our caring and knowledgeable staff at Lee-Ellena Funeral Home is here to assist you.

funeral homes in Sterling Heights, MI

One Decision You Should Make Before You Die

One day your funeral will be among the funerals conducted at funeral homes in Sterling Heights, MI. You may not want to think about your death now but avoiding thinking about it doesn’t mean it won’t happen eventually. When you do die, what do you want to happen?

Planning for your death now lets you put all the details about your funeral in place so that your wishes are known and so that your loved ones are not burdened with having trying to figure out what you would have wanted while they are in the beginning phases of accepting and processing your death.

In planning for your death now, there are several things you need to consider about what happens after you die.

One thing you need to consider is whether you want to be buried underground or you want to be cremated. If you want to be buried underground, what cemetery or graveyard do you want to be buried in? Do you already have a funeral plot? Will you purchase or secure (family and church funeral plots are usually free, if there’s space, to members) one before you die or will your family have to do that after you die?

What kind of casket do you want to be buried in? The funeral home has many styles to choose from and the funeral director will be happy to go over the choices they have available. It’s important to remember, as well, that most cemeteries and graveyards now require vaults for casket burials. The burial vaults help stabilize the cemetery or graveyard grounds to withstand the weight of the heavy equipment required for digging graves and doing maintenance.

Do you want a funeral service or a graveside service? If you want a funeral service, what do you want included in it? Are there certain people that you want to participate in the service? Do you have a certain clergy member that you would like to officiate the service? Are there certain readings, scriptures, and songs that you would like played at your funeral service?

If you want a graveside service, what do you want it to include? Who should perform it?

If you’re a military veteran, do you want military honors at your funeral? The funeral home will coordinate this, but you should have your DD-214 included with your important papers because the funeral home will need a copy of that in order to coordinate military honors.

What kind of grave marker do you want? If you’re entitled to military honors, they will provide a gravestone or a grave market, but your family will be responsible for having it set at your grave.

If you want to be cremated, do you want a direct cremation (no services before you’re cremated) or an indirect cremations (services are held before you are cremated)?

If you want a funeral service before or a memorial service after your cremation, you should think about the details of the kind of service that you want.

What do you want done with your cremation remains? Many people would like to have a portion of their cremation remains scattered in a place that’s special or sentimental to them. The remaining cremation remains may be placed in an urn (the funeral home has many different styles to choose from) and either kept by your family or inurned in a columbarium niche that has a grave market or gravestone placed in front of it that identifies you.

For more information about planning funerals at funeral homes in Mount Sterling Heights,, MI, our compassionate and experienced staff at Lee-Ellena Funeral Home can help.

cremation services offered in Clinton Township, MI

Get an Estate Plan Done

Before you need the cremation services offered in Clinton Township, MI, you’ll want to make sure that you have an estate plan done, so all that your affairs are in order. This will make things much easier for your family both in the short-term and in the long-term.

Immediately after you die, your family will be immersed in a flurry of activity as they plan your funeral and deal with all the details and people that swirl in that jam-packed short period of time. When that is over, they will begin to intensely grieve and will need a lot of time to sort through and process their grief as they move toward accepting and healing from your loss and move into that new phase where grief remains, but mostly they’re left with warm and happy members.

During that time immediately after the funeral proceedings, the other thing that your family will need to do is finalize your affairs. Part of this will be handling your estate.

Here’s how you can help them.

The first thing that you need to do is talk to your family about your death. While this may be a very uncomfortable situation for you and then, it is imperative that you be open about the fact that you will die and what you want when you die. This will let you both specify your funeral wishes and it will open the door for you to talk with your family about what you are planning to do with your estate.

One reason this is a good idea is because it eliminates a lot of surprises – that could lead to your family being upset and arguing with each other – when you die because you are there in person telling everyone exactly what your estate plan is.

The next thing you should do is to make sure that you know what the inheritance laws are in Michigan. It’s a mistake to believe that just because you have a will that what you specify will necessarily happen smoothly. State inheritance laws have an impact on estate planning, so you need to make sure that the way you want to settle your estate is in line with Michigan laws.

While many people don’t need to hire an estate attorney, if you do, then hire an attorney who specializes in estate, tax, and probate planning. You’ll want to write down any questions you have. You’ll also need to be prepared to give detailed answers about all your assets, any guardianship decisions, medical preferences, and your end-of-life bequests.

A qualified estate attorney can help you draw up a will or a trust that complies with state inheritance laws while satisfying your wishes for how your estate will be settled.

People often forget to keep beneficiary information current and accurate. Check all insurance policies, annuities, 401(k)s, 403(b)s, and IRAs, as well as retirement plans and investment accounts to make sure that the beneficiaries you have listed are correct.

If they are not, make sure you get all of them updated as quickly as possible. Ask for a confirmation letter of the changes and file it with your important papers as proof of the change. To claim these assets, your executor or trustee will need a certified death certificate.

For information about cremation services in Clinton Township, MI, our caring and knowledgeable staff at Lee-Ellena Funeral Home is here to assist you. You can visit our funeral home at 46530 Romeo Plank Rd., Macomb, MI 48044, or you can call us today at (586) 412-8999.