The Cemetery Exchange 866-754-6573

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Funeral & Cemetery Private Pre Planning
The Last Plan™

The Federal Trade Commission
Funeral Rules & Regulations

This information provided by The FTC is extremely informative and a must read for anyone thinking about preplanning or prearranging funeral and cemetery services or is facing having to arrange for funeral and cemetery services.

FTC - The Funeral Rule

Funeral Costs & Pricing Checklist

Types of Funerals

Choosing a Funeral Provider

Buying a Cemetery Site

Planning Your Own Funeral

Funeral Terms & Contact Information



     We know it can be very daunting to think about pre planning your own funeral. It is something that we don't want to think about let alone talk about. We know it can be an uncomfortable discussion. Many of us feel that it is best to "just leave it to the kids. Let them figure it out - it doesn't matter to me - I'll be dead - what do I care"!

     The burden that is placed on those we leave behind to make funeral and cemetery arrangements for a loved one is tremendous. It is a time of high emotion and stress and decisions that have to be made are not always made with you in mind. You leave your family with an emotional burden as well as a financial burden because of decisions they have to make. And there are many. I recommend taking a moment to vist our 'What Must be Done at Time of Death' page.

     As Cemeterians, we have sat at the arrangement table to assist families making arrangements at the time of need. . Those that have followed the wishes of the deceased brought less stress and anguish. Those families left to make the decisions for the deceased at the time of death brought arguments, undue stress and anguish at a time that should be bringing families together. We've witnessed arguments between the type of disposition. Some family members say burial, other family members say cremation.

     There is a difference between preplanning and prearranging. There are many benefits to both.

     PrePlanning - You make your final wishes known to those who will be responsible for handling your arrangements. Such as the specific funeral home and/or cemetery you want to use? What type of casket if you want a traditional burial? Do you want a traditional burial or do you wish for your final disposition to be cremation? Do you want a ground burial or a mausoleum crypt entombment? Are you a Veteran? Do you wish to have honors when laid to rest? Are you a member of a fraternity? Do you want a church service or a graveside service? The decisions can go on and on.

     When you clearly leave your instructions for those you leave behind, you eliminate tremendous stress and anguish. Your family wants the very very best for you - even in death. What they know - they will follow.

     PreArranging - You don't leave your family with the financial burden of having to pay for your funeral and cemetery at the time of your death. You freeze the cost of your funeral and cemetery needs when you prearrange. A modest funeral today can cost upwards of $7,000.00. In twenty years, it could be upwards of $15,000.00. A cemetery plot today can cost upwards of $2,500.00 depending on cemetery and location. In twenty years, it could be upwards of $6,000.00.

     I know, you're saying, 'that's what I have life insurance for'! Life insurance is just that. Life! Life insurance is meant to take care of the ones you leave behind so they can move forward. Remember, your spouse or significant other, just lost 50% of the household income. Using a life insurance policy for funeral and cemetery costs can create some unforseen problems. A life insurance policy is paid to the beneficiaries. The process to have these funds released can take a lot of time. Upwards of 3 to 6 months. And a beneficiary does not have any obligation to pay your funeral expenses. Funeral homes are not willing to wait that long to get paid.

     The funeral home and/or cemetery you select may offer a pre-paid funeral contract. Your funeral provider may have payment plans that allow you to also pay for your funeral and cemetery needs ahead of time. This freezes the cost of your funeral and cemetery needs at the time of purchase. If your pre-paid funeral contract has not been satisified at the time of your death, your family will need to pay the balance before the arrangements can be completed.  

     The Cemetery Exchange can assist you in your preplanning and/or prearranging of your final wishes. The Last Plan™ is an informational document that we can help you complete. It was developed to assist your family members and those responsible for your end of life wishes. We can never assume that the information they will need is readily available to them; or that they will always know where to find the information they need.

     The Last Plan™ will be the document that your family will go to for vital statistics, medical information, financial and insurance information, Veteran's information, Social Security information, Wills and important document location, burial and funeral information, and Living Will directives.

     Once The Last Plan™ has been completed, we send you your personalized and completed plan in a binder with specific dividers and pockets to store additional documents and information. You can update your information at any time just by contacting us as we know that things change. You will also be provided with The Last Plan™ identification card. Your identification card identifies that you are a member of The Last Plan™  network. In the event, your loved ones cannot readily locate your information, they can contact us and we can provide that information to that person that you have designated with a need to know.

     If you wish to go to the next step, we can also assist you with prearranging your final wishes. We will be happy to research and provide quotes for you based on the specific funeral home and cemetery you have selected. We do not try and guide you to one specific funeral home or cemetery over another as we are not affiliated with any funeral home or cemetery. We do have many cemetery properties for sale by private owners. Many of which will allow a payment plan through our Layaway Program.

     Here is what your personalized The Last Plan™ will include:

A personal message page completed by you titled "To My Family & Loved Ones"
"What Must be Done at the Time of Death" - 3 pages of items and decisions one must make at the time of death
 The Different Types of Cemetery Burials - Final disposition options and descriptions
 Living Will Information - 2 sets for you and your spouse or partner
Funeral & Cemetery Instructions - 2 sets for you and your spouse or partner
Current Financial Status - 3 sets to track your assets, liabilities, networth, securities, etc.
Emergency Notification List - 2 sets - Can be used for Police, Fire Department, Medical Team upon their request
Our Family & Friends List - 2 sets - Use for those who you wish to be contacted at your death
Location of Important Documents - 2 sets for you and your spouse or partner. Records where your important papers are located such as will, cemetery papers, deeds, titles, etc.
Medical Information & Insurance Policies - 2 sets for you and your spouse or partner. Records doctors information, insurance policy types and information.
Veterans Benefits Information
Social Security Information

     Please email us with any questions or to get more detailed information -



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