Monthly Archives: December 2019

funeral homes in Sterling Heights, MI

Checklist for Writing a Will

After funerals at funeral homes in Sterling Heights, MI, your property and assets will be distributed among your immediate family members. If you don’t have a will, the estate will go into probate, and the courts will appoint a judge to decide how everything will be split up among your legal (according to the law) heirs. This may mirror what you would have done if you’d written a will or it may be completely different than what you would have done.

To avoid your estate going into probate and having your assets and property distributed arbitrarily by the courts, you should write a will that specifies what you want done with your estate after you die.

There are software programs that will step you through the process of making a will, and there are legal websites that enable you to create a will online. Technically, a will is legally-binding as long as you have signed and dated it, but good practice is to have it witnessed by at least two people (non-relatives) and notarized (the bank where you have your checking and savings accounts will usually provide this service at no charge).

So, what goes into a will?

The main purpose of a will is to state your final wishes and to include very specific information about how you want real property and financial assets distributed after your death.

To begin the process of writing a will, you should itemize all of your financial assets and real property that you own. This should include bank accounts, investment accounts, retirement accounts, and trusts or inheritances (if applicable) as well as real estate holdings, vehicles (both transportation and recreational), and livestock (if applicable).

You should also list all debts and liabilities for which you are responsible. This would include loans, mortgages, and credit card debt.

The next thing you need to do is to decide who your beneficiaries are going to be. While typically these are immediate family members, you may have extended family members or close friends to whom you’d like to make specific bequests. You can also name organizations or even pets (a caretaker must be appointed to act for the pet) as beneficiaries.

If you have several beneficiaries, be sure to detail how you want assets distributed among them. Be sure to have a list of alternate beneficiaries in mind in case your primary beneficiaries predecease you.

Next, you’ll need to appoint a person to execute your will. This should be someone who you trust beyond a shadow of a doubt and about whose character you have absolutely no questions. Your executor will handle all the aspects of managing your estate after you die, including settling debts, paying taxes, and distributing your assets to the beneficiaries you name.

You will also want to name an alternate executor in case the primary executor predeceases you.

Be sure to discuss your plans with the people you want to name as the primary and alternate executors of your will. Some people may not want to or may not be able to serve in that capacity.

If you have minor children, designate a legal guardian for them (be sure to ask the person before appointing them in a legal document). If you don’t appoint a legal guardian in your will, then the court will appoint a legal guardian – who may or may not be your first choice – for your minor children.

Once your will is completed, store it with your important papers and make sure your executor knows where it is and has complete access to it.

For more information about making wills at funeral homes in Sterling Heights, MI, our compassionate and experienced staff at Lee-Ellena Funeral Home can help. You can come by our funeral home at 46530 Romeo Plank Rd., Macomb, MI, 48044 or you can contact us today at (586) 412-8999.

cremation services offered in Clinton Township, MI

Sending Condolences on Social Media

Before cremations as part of the cremation services offered in Clinton Township, MI, many deaths are now announced first on social media sites like Facebook. Social media sites have become a primary away of announcing the deaths of loved ones, since so many friends and family members are connected through them.

It follows that people have now begun to use social media to express comfort, support, and encouragement for people who have lost loved ones. However, even though technology has brought a new way to offer sympathy to those who are grieving, we can still often struggle with what to say and how to say it.

There are some guidelines that should help us make sure that our condolences are thoughtful, helpful, and sincere.

First, when you see someone’s death announced on social media, avoid the temptation to respond immediately. The very mechanism of social media – instant feedback – makes this a counterintuitive response, but it’s important to take some time to absorb the announcement.

First, make sure the death announcement is being made by a credible source. The best rule of thumb is not to say anything until the family of the deceased has made an official announcement on social media (if, in fact, they do). If the family chooses not to share the news of the death of a loved one on social media, then take some time to do the research to make sure that the person has in fact died.

Once you’ve confirmed the death, contact the family member you know privately through email or text messaging and offer your condolences on their loss privately.

Another thing you should be careful not to do, unless the immediate family of the deceased has posted the announcement of their death on social media, is to announce it yourself. There may be close or extended family members who have not yet heard about the death, and it can be quite jarring to first find out about the death of a family member on social media. It can also create family issues if strangers know about the death of another family member before all the deceased’s family members have been notified.

Even if the deceased’s family has publicly announced the death of a loved one on social media, you don’t have to offer a public condolence. If you knew the deceased and the family of the deceased well, find a way to contact them privately and offer your support and comfort in a very personal way that lets them know you love them and care about them.

One of the big no-no’s is asking questions on social media about how the deceased died. That is not the place for these kinds of questions, and it can be seen as disrespectful of the family who is grieving. We all have a sort of morbid curiosity about the details of death, but it is better to let the family, if they choose, share any details about how their loved one died when they are ready to.

Someone else’s loss can trigger memories of our own losses. There may be a temptation to seek comfort for our past losses along the current loss the family of a loved who has died is experiencing. It’s important to remember that support and comfort is for the grieving family, not for us, so we can’t try to make the loss all about us.

For more information about cremation services in Clinton Township, MI, our caring and knowledgeable staff at Lee-Ellena Funeral 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.

funeral homes in Clinton Township, MI

Types of Funeral Services

There are different types of funerals at funeral homes in Clinton Township, MI. Funeral services are much more customizable than in times past, so the funeral home is very capable of meeting your unique wishes and desires for your funeral service or the funeral service of a loved one.

As society has changed, so have the kinds of funeral services that people want to have after they have died. No longer is a funeral service just the traditional – and more formal – service that most of us are at least familiar with. While that type of funeral service is definitely still an option, there are many other kinds of funerals services that can be performed to honor the memory of a loved one who has died.

There are four basic types of funeral services (all of these can be customized): traditional full service burials; direct burials; full service cremations; and, direct cremations.

A traditional full service burial is composed of a visitation or viewing, a funeral service, and a cemetery burial. At a viewing or visitation, mourners can pay their last respects to the deceased and offer condolences, comfort and support to the deceased’s family.

After the viewing or visitation, which usually lasts two hours, a formal funeral ceremony is held. This ceremony usually includes a section of readings (poems, prose, etc.), eulogies (given by close friends or family members), a spiritual message, and music.

Either directly afterwards or the next day, the deceased is transported to the cemetery, where a short service is held at the grave site to commit the deceased’s body to the ground, and then it is buried. Sometimes, a reception with food and drinks is held afterwards to allow mourners to spend time with the family in a less formal atmosphere.

Direct burial is another type of funeral service. This is also known as immediate burial. A direct burial happens shortly after death and does not have any type of funeral ceremony that takes place before the burial. The funeral home simply gets the death certificate and cemetery permits, prepares the deceased for burial, and transports the deceased to the cemetery, where they are buried.

Another type of funeral service is full service cremation. Before the deceased is cremated, a visitation or viewing is held so that friends and family can pay their final respects to the deceased and often encouragement and comfort to the grieving family.

Like a full service burial, a funeral ceremony follows the viewing or visitation, composed of the traditional elements of readings, music, eulogies, and spiritual encouragement. After the funeral ceremony, the deceased is then transported to the crematory.

The family does the necessary paperwork to allow the cremation and to positively identify the deceased. Cremation, which takes about two or three hours, follows. After the cremation remains (bone fragments) have cooled, a heavy-duty magnet is used to remove any metal that may be present. Then the bone fragments are pulverized into the consistency of sand and placed in a plastic bag, which is put into a cremation container. The container with the cremation remains is then given to the deceased’s family to do with as they choose.

Direct cremation is the final type of funeral service available. With direct cremation, no funeral ceremony is held before the deceased is cremation. The deceased is cremated within 24-48 hours after death, and the cremation remains returned to their family. The family may choose to have a memorial service sometime later to remember their loved one.

For more information about funeral services at funeral homes in Clinton Township, MI, our compassionate and experienced staff at Lee-Ellena Funeral Home can help. You can come by our funeral home at 46530 Romeo Plank Rd., Macomb, MI, 48044 or you can contact us today at (586) 412-8999.

cremation services offered in Macomb, MI

Self-Care and Grief

After cremations as part of the cremation services offered in Macomb, MI, grieving settles in and all the things that need to done come piling in on us. The combination, along with having, in a very short period of time, to go back to school or go back to work, where even more demands will be place on us can be so daunting that we simply forget to take care of our own needs and health.

Grief takes a tremendous toll on mental health, physical health, and emotional health. The added pressures of doing all that needs to be done after a loved one dies and having to carry on our normal lives can have even more devastating effects.

So, it’s important to take time regularly to take care of ourselves. There are many ways we can incorporate self-care into our lives.

When we’re home on the weekends, we should try to make time for a nap during the day. Stress needs rest, but this also gives us something to look forward to during the week, which can help improve our moods.

Exercise is one of the best ways we can take care of ourselves. Instead of going to or joining a gym, we should cancel all those memberships and just get outside and do something. Whether we decide to walk (get good walking shoes for the lowest impact on the joints), run, ride a bike, or even skateboard, moving is good for the brain and the body.

Being outdoors while we’re exercising gives an additional benefit of being able to see all the beauty that is still around us, and it gives us a quiet and serene place to think, to plan, and even to grieve.

Another way we can take care of ourselves are the death of someone we love is to learn to say “No” to the things that will deplete our energy and put more of a burden on us. That includes things like trying to stay as busy as possible so we don’t have to deal with our loss and our grief, as well as laziness with our loss and grief as a justification.

Anything done often enough can become a habit, and these are two habits that are destructive to self-care.

Also, learn to say, “No,” to people. Whether it’s our bosses at work asking us to take on one more project when we’ve already got all we can handle or it’s a friend who insists that we need to get out of the house and do things, four or five times a week.

Healthy eating is another way we can take care of ourselves after a loved one dies. In the initial days after their death, the eating was probably not as healthy as it could have been. For the body to heal and be able to counteract the stress of grieving, a healthy diet is paramount.

Our bedrooms need to be set up so that they are conducive to us getting a good night’s sleep. Sleep is naturally disrupted when someone we love dies: first, during the funeral process itself and second, after we’re home alone after everyone has gone back to their lives.

Quality sleep is one of the best ways we can take care of ourselves because it reduces stress levels, improves heart health, improves brain function, and allows the body to repair itself.

For more information about cremation services in Macomb, MI, our caring and knowledgeable staff at Lee-Ellena Funeral 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.