Monthly Archives: March 2020

cremation services offered in Sterling Heights, MI

Options for Cremations

There are different options in the cremation services offered in Sterling Heights, MI that you may not be aware of. Many people have the idea that cremations don’t come with any options for paying their final respects to their loved ones.

However, there are several options that can be incorporated to funeral planning that includes cremation. Families can choose from these to ensure that the wishes of their deceased loved one are met and that the needs of the family are met as well.

The options for cremation cover a wide array of choices that spans from basic cremation to cremation that includes everything in a traditional funeral except that the body is cremated instead of buried.

As you’re working with your funeral home director to make funeral arrangements, it’s good to know what options can be included with cremation as the final disposition.

The first option with cremation is to have a simple cremation with no services. This option is known as direct cremation. While choosing not to have a viewing, a funeral, or a memorial may seem, to some people, to be a indication that the deceased person wasn’t loved and won’t be missed by their family, this is seldom, if ever, the case.

Some people specify, before they die, that they don’t want any kind of service to remember them or to mourn their death. The family that honors their wishes is to be commended, because undoubtably there are some family members who would like a remembrance of some sort.

In direct cremations, which happen between 24 and 48 hours after a person has died, the body is transported directly from the location of death to the location where the cremation will take place. There is a rigorous process that ensures that the person’s identity is verified and the family gets the right cremation remains after the cremation takes place.

The second option for cremation is to have a memorial service. This can take place before or after the cremation. Memorial services are often a preferred way to remember and pay respects to someone who has died because they can be held anytime (since the deceased doesn’t have to be present), even weeks, months, or years in the future.

Because family members are so scattered and time is needed to make preparations to meet in one place, having a memorial service gives everyone plenty of time to make travel arrangements and to arrange for the personal time off they will need to travel.

A third option for cremations is to have a private viewing before cremation. These viewings are generally only for immediate family and very close friends, so it’s a very small group that gathers to pay their respects to and says goodbye to the deceased.

Having a private viewing for a small, intimate group before cremation is a way to get closure and to be able to openly grieve the loss of a loved one – without the family and friends feeling like they are on display for the whole world to critique their every word and action – before they are cremated.

A final option for cremations is to have a viewing and a funeral service before cremation. This option incorporates all the elements of a traditional funeral, with the only difference being in the final disposition. In most traditional funerals, the last step is underground burial of the body, while in cremations with traditional funeral elements, the last step is cremation of the body.

For more information about cremation services available in Sterling Heights, 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 Sterling Heights, MI

Planning for the Death of a Healthy Spouse

Funerals at funeral homes in Sterling Heights, MI may be the furthest thing from your mind right now. You and your spouse are healthy, working, and moving forward in life fulfilling the hopes and dreams you share.

However, as the years pass, the inevitability of death creeps in, even if both you and your spouse are the epitome of good health. While you’re healthy, though, is the time when you and your spouse, as a team, should be preparing for the time when either one of you might not be around.

Many people think that if they have a substantial life insurance policy, then they’ve done all they need to do to prepare for death and to ensure that their spouse is financially secure after they’re gone.

While everyone should have life insurance (whole life insurance is the best option, because even though premiums are higher than on term life insurance policies, the rates are locked in at the time you bought the policy, and it won’t expire before you do), there is much more that married couples should do to prepare for the death of one of the spouses.

One thing that should be done regularly is to make sure your wills are up-to-date. It’s not unusual for people to create a will sometime during their lives (usually at a momentous event like marriage or the birth or adoption of a child), put it away, and forget about it.

However, life changes over time and some of the information in your original wills may be obsolete or may have changed. It’s a good idea to sit down and review your wills every year and make sure everything in them is currently accurate and relevant.

If changes need to be made, then you can either have your attorney draw up new wills, or you can use online or offline software to make the changes you need to make. When you change and update your wills, sign and date them, at a minimum (it’s best if they’re witnessed and notarized as well, but signing and dating them makes them legally-binding instruments).

Shred all the copies of previous wills so that there will be no confusion among those you leave behind as to what your current wishes and intentions are with regard to your estate and your bequests.

Another way couples can prepare for the death of a spouse is to make sure that both spouses are on primary bank accounts, major credit cards, investment accounts, and retirement accounts.

However, it’s imperative that both spouses also have a bank account and at least one major credit card in their name only as well. This builds a separate credit history for each spouse that will make getting mortgages or other loans easier after one spouse dies.

Another way that couples should prepare for the death of a spouse is to manage income and household bills together. It’s not unusual, with most married couples, for one spouse to handle the finances and the other spouse to have very little knowledge about them. While that’s fine when both spouses are alive, it can be a real detriment when one spouse – the one who handled all the household finances – dies and the other spouse doesn’t know what’s going on.

For information about funerals 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 in Clinton Township, MI

The Lowdown on Cremations

Cremations are among the cremation services offered in Clinton Township, MI. As more Americans are choosing to be cremated rather than buried underground, it’s important to understand cremations and to put old ideas about what happens to rest.

Cremations are increasingly popular in the United States for very practical reasons. One reason is that are more options for what to do with cremation remains, which gives people an opportunity to really personalize what happens after their final disposition.

Another reason is because Americans have become more mobile over the last 60 years, and often people die in places far away from where they were born. At the end of their lives, however, many people want to go home to be close to family members who have already died.

Cremation remains are much easier to transport from place to place than uncremated remains (although this can be done as well) and cremation remains can either be buried in a cemetery near family or they can be scattered on family property.

Finally, a reason for the increase in American cremations is that cemetery space, especially in areas with very large populations, is running out. Since cremation remains can be stored upward in mausoleums or columbariums, people can be inurned without using ground space.

So, what do you need to know about cremation?

First of all, cremations are very popular in the western part of the United States and states in the eastern part that are small. These include the states of Vermont, Maine, and New Hampshire in the east and Hawaii, Washington, Montana, Oregon, Nevada, and Arizona.

The states where cremations are least popular include South Dakota, Utah, Arkansas, West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee, Alabama, Mississippi, Louisiana, and Texas.

The practice of cremation is not new. The Cremation Society of North America estimates that the practice of cremation dates back to 3000 BC. We certainly know that it was a traditional form of final disposition in ancient Greece and Rome, since it is discussed in literary classics from both civilizations from that period.

The practice of cremation fell out of favor in the Western world with the establishment of Christianity as the true religion. It wasn’t until the personal physician to Queen Victoria of Great British discussed the public health benefits of cremation over burial in the middle of the 19th century that cremation came back on the scene.

Although the first crematorium in the United States was built in 1876, cremation as a general means of final disposition did not take hold with most Americans for another century. As environment concerns came to the forefront in the late 1960’s and early 1970’s, so did the philosopy that cremations were more environmentally-friendly than underground burials.

As the environment has become an increasingly-urgent matter to attend to for the entire world, the philosophy of cremations having less of an impact on the stability and health of the environment has grown, so that now more than half of Americans decide to be cremated when they die.

A final word about cremations. Cremations are done one at a time. Cremation chambers, which are inside the crematory, are only big enough for one human body. Each cremation is done with dignity and honor, and painstaking steps are followed to ensure that cremation remains belong to the right person and they are given to the correct family.

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 (2)

Your Finances: Death Cleaning Before You Die

Before funerals at funeral homes in Clinton Township, MI, many people start downsizing their physical lives as their children grow up and leave home and then retirement comes and they realize they’ve got more time behind them than they do ahead of them.

Big houses get sold in favor of smaller houses or retirement community living. Garages, attics, and closets get cleaned. Things of value are given to family members, while other things are either donated to charities or thrown away. The goal becomes making life simple.

But, while many people make sure to clean out their physical lives, they don’t always think about cleaning their financial lives.

Maybe the idea of cleaning your financial life before you die appeals to you, but you don’t know how to start. The first thing you’ll need to do before you start is to get a clear picture of what and where all your financial accounts are.

Financial accounts include bank accounts, investment accounts, retirement accounts, and credit card accounts. If you’re over the age of 50, then it is essential to start cleaning up your finances and making sure that you don’t have any financial messes left for your children to clean up after you’re gone.

The first step to cleaning up your finances is to consolidate your financial accounts. If you have older 401(k) and IRA accounts, you can ask your employer if you can fold them into the retirement plan you have with them, or you can simply consolidate all of them into one new IRA account.

Many people have bank accounts scattered at several different banks. Once you’re sure all payments have cleared, consolidate all your checking accounts into one checking account at one bank. Do the same for your savings account.

Make sure that the bank that you consolidate the checking and savings accounts into has full-service online banking, including digital check deposits, automatic bill payments, transfer capabilities between accounts, and manual bill payments.

As you move forward, if life takes you to a new city, keep the same bank so you’re not constantly opening and closing bank accounts, increasing the possibility that you’ve got several open with several banks.

The second way to clean up your finances is to automate bill payments for bills that are recurring and are for the same amount on the same date every month. This would include bills such as cable or satellite services, cell phone service, mortgage payments, and car payments. If they’re automatically paid each month, then you have less to worry about whether it’s been paid or not, which is a concern as people age.

Another way to clean up your finances is to pay off debt. Instead of leasing a new car every couple of years, convert the lease to a car payment (this will cost you extra money in the short-term, but it will save you money in the long run). If you are able, double your monthly mortgage payments to get your home paid off more quickly.

Pay off credit cards as quickly as possible. Once you get them paid off, keep only one or two major credit cards and one gas card, if you have any. It’s best to keep the credit cards that you’ve had opened the longest (these also probably have lower annual interest rates).

Going forward, use the credit cards only for what you are able to pay in full each month. Otherwise, use only your debit card or cash to make purchases.

For information about funerals 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.