The Women's Journal

Do You Know What You Need To Know???

By  |  0 Comments

By Maureen E. Krienen, Licensed Funeral Director Licensed Pre-need Consultant

Funeral planning, whether it takes place when someone has passed away or prior to a death, requires many questions to be answered. Some questions are quite easy, while others are unexpected and difficult to answer. In light of the questions, you know the answers to, here are some things you may not know.

Did you know that …

Veterans are eligible to be buried at a veteran’s cemetery?

There is no cost for the grave, vault, or opening and closing of the grave. In order to qualify for burial at a veteran’s cemetery, the veteran must produce a DD-214 (where is yours?), which validates honorable discharge from any branch of the service.

In addition, the spouse of a veteran is eligible to be buried at a veteran’s cemetery. The charge for the spouse is $500 for the opening and closing of the grave. There is no charge for the grave or the vault.

Suggestion: Contact the veteran’s cemetery where you intend to be buried and provide the DD-214 in advance of a death. This prequalifies the veteran for burial.

Did you know that …

State of Delaware retirees receive a Burial Benefit in the amount of $7,000?  

It is important to know that the Burial Benefit is taxable to the beneficiary. The State of Delaware automatically takes $1,400 of the benefit and pays the tax, leaving the beneficiary with $5,600 for funeral expenses.  

But, Did you know that … 

If you designate a funeral home as the beneficiary, the full $7,000 will be paid to the funeral home?

Suggestion: Contact the State of Delaware Office of Pensions at 302.744.4477.

Did you know that …

A Declaration of Disposition is a simple document which states your final wishes?

You may state your wishes in your Last Will and Testament, but when it comes to funeral planning, it is much more straightforward to have a Declaration of Disposition, which specifies exactly the type of funeral you desire.  

Suggestion: Sign, date, and have notarized this specific document, so that your wishes are made clear and will be met.

Did you know that …

Many people rely on life insurance to pay for their funeral?

When it comes to life insurance, there are many things to consider. Will the policy be intact when the insured dies? Are there any loans against the policy? What is the value of the policy? Who is the named beneficiary? Has the name beneficiary passed away? Is the named beneficiary now married and has a different name? Is there a contingent beneficiary?

Suggestion: Review the life insurance policy you have.  

Did you know that …

When a person is applying for Medicaid, life insurance is considered an asset?

Life insurance is an asset, and the policy may have a cash value. Medicaid requires that the policy be cashed out before eligibility is approved. Do not do this. Those funds will be spent down leaving no monies to pay for your funeral.

Suggestion: Review the life insurance policy you have. If there comes a time when you need Medicaid services, do not cash out the policy. You can choose to make the funeral home the beneficiary of the policy, which will then allow for your final wishes to be met.

Did you know that …

When choosing cremation, you have three options: Full-Service Cremation, Cremation with Memorial Service, and Direct Cremation? What might you choose?

Suggestion: Understand the differences amongst these options, so that you know what makes sense for you.

In closing, these are just some of the questions that might be discussed at a funeral conference. Please call me at Krienen-Griffith Funeral Home (302.994.9614). I can answer your questions, as they might relate to these situations. Or, you may have questions that do not relate to these specific “Did you know that …” situations. I will answer your questions and point you in the right direction to be sure you understand what is involved in funeral planning.

Suggestion: Preplan your funeral. All of these situations are simpler to process through prior to someone passing. When preplanning, you are of clear mind, have the luxury of time, and will have peace of mind.

Final thought: When you have your questions answered and have made decisions about your funeral, share this information with your family. Let them know what you have decided and where all the important documents are. Your mind will be at peace and your loved ones will be at peace, too.

Choosing the right funeral home matters – Choose Krienen-Griffith

– Serving the community for 106 years

– Owned and operated by the 4th generation of the Krienen family

– All details professionally handled

– Personable, compassionate, and caring staff

– Experienced in customizing services to fulfill family needs and desires

1400 Kirkwood Hwy., Wilmington, DE  19805

101 W Sixth St., New Castle, DE 19720             


[email protected]