cremation service in Oakland, CA

Cremation Services, POAs, Executors and Guardians

Do you know what executors, guardians and people holding powers of attorney are? Or what they have to do with planning a memorial or a cremation service in Oakland, CA? If you don’t, its ok. You’re not alone. Many people are confused about what these different things are and what they have to do with end of life planning.

Executors, guardians and people holding powers of attorney (POA) are similar in many ways, but they all have unique roles to play when it comes to planning cremation services, funerals and other death-related matters.

To begin, a Power of Attorney is not a person. A POA is a legal document in which one person, the principal, gives another person, the attorney-in-fact, the power to act on their behalf in financial and legal matters. Most POA documents are financial, legal, or both and are only applicable when the principal is still alive. If the document is financial, the attorney-in-fact does have the power to preplan and prepay for the principal’s funeral, cremation or other death-related service. However, the attorney-in-fact cannot make any death-related arrangements after the principal has already died. The attorney-in-fact is also not able to make funeral plans for another person on the principal’s behalf, such as a spouse or a child.

What about guardians? Guardians are given legal control to make personal and financial decisions for someone else when that person, the ward, is deemed unable or unfit to make such decisions for themselves. Guardians may or may not have control over the final disposition. This is determined case-by-case and depends on the powers given to the guardian in probate court. Guardians are usually the ward’s spouse or adult child, but anyone can be appointed a guardian if the court believes he will act in the ward’s best interests. In some cases, if there is no next of kin, a Public Guardian appointed by the state will make funeral arrangements.

And finally, an executor is the person that has control over a deceased’s assets. Though many people believe executors have control over the details of a deceased’s final disposition, this is not true. In fact, an executor’s main, and often only, role when it comes to disposition is to inform the funeral agent or director of their particular role in the deceased’s will. An executor is mostly intended to deal with more financial matters from locating the deceased’s property and opening an estate checking account to probating the will, paying bills, and filing all necessary tax forms. The executor’s job is over after the estate is divided up and closed.

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To begin, some of the laws surrounding these roles vary from state to state, so be sure to research your local laws. Deer Creek Funeral Service is here for you if you want to learn more about Illinois death-related law or your options for Oakland, CA cremation services. We are happy to offer you our services in your time of loss or preplanning. Give us a call today.

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Mausoleums and Their Benefits

According to the National Funeral Directors Association, a mausoleum is “a building designed for above-ground placement of a casket. The casket is placed into a crypt that may be designed for one or two persons.” While a traditional ground burial after a service in a funeral home in Oakland, CA is always a valid choice, there are many other options for a deceased’s final resting place, like mausoleums. But why should you choose a mausoleum?

Mausoleums are free-standing structures that provide a secure, dry and clean place for bodies to be interred. There are many different kinds and styles of mausoleums. Some mausoleums have one crypt, or a chamber designed to hold one body, while others have a larger space made to hold a few people like a family or a couple. Some mausoleums even have more than one room for different parts of a family. Mausoleums are commonly decorated with exterior markers to denote who is resting inside, and yet others have windows and glass to allow in natural light and air.

The term mausoleum came from one of the first one’s ever built. Built in 353 BC near what is now known as Turkey, The Mausoleum of Halicarnassus was the final resting place of a famous Persian king named Mausolus. However, just because these structures have a long history doesn’t mean they aren’t still popular. In fact, mausoleums offer tons of great benefits, making them a common choice for internment. Some of the benefits of mausoleums include protection and privacy. Though everyone will experience grief, most people prefer to show their mourning in private. Because mausoleums are enclosed buildings, they offer the bereaved much-desired privacy in their time of loss. Similarly, because they are enclosed buildings, mausoleums also offer protection for the body. Many of them are also climate-controlled, which gives the bereaved even more peace of mind for the body and comfort when they are paying their respects.

Mausoleums have been proven to have comparable costs to those of a more traditional ground burial, especially if the structure will be used to house more than one body. Families can lower the costs of burial by purchasing a shared mausoleum.

And finally, both traditional ground burial and cremation have negative impacts on the environment, such as ground disruption or release of gasses into the atmosphere. Since mausoleums can hold more bodies per square foot of ground that a traditional burial, they are better for the planet and are a great option for those that want to leave a small footprint behind when they’re gone. Mausoleums are also convenient. Mausoleums are convenient for the bereaved as they offer easy access to the lost loved one for year-round visitation. Hot summers, cold winters, rain and other elements aren’t an issue.

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Deer Creek Funeral Service can help you decide if a mausoleum is the right choice for you or your family. We have vast experience as an Oakland, CA funeral home and can offer you more information on your different internment choices. Call or visit Deer Creek Funeral Service today.

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Cremation Service Questions and Their Answers

Perhaps you’ve looked at your wardrobe before going to a memorial and wondered what in the heck you’re supposed to wear. Or, maybe you’ve been to a memorial after a cremation service in Oakland, CA and wondered who that person in the dark suit was.

You’re not alone. Many people have lots of questions about cremations, funerals and other related topics! Luckily, this list of common cremation service-related questions and their answers can hopefully help shed some light on your queries:

  1. What do Funeral Directors Do? – Funeral directors are, first and foremost, in charge of preparing a body for burial or cremation, but they also help with a ton of other things from arranging memorials and funerals to providing transportation to and from the place of disposition.
  2. Should Kids Come to the Service? – The memorialization process is very important for mourning and dealing with grief in a healthy and constructive way. This is true for kids just as it is true for adults. Childcare experts say that children should have a say in the matter of whether or not they should attend a funeral. Ask your child if he wants to go to the memorial service and make every effort to respect his choice.
  3. What Does “In Lieu of Flowers” Mean? – “In lieu of flowers” is often the phrase used in a service program, death announcement or obituary when the bereaved request that mourners memorialize the deceased in other ways besides sending flowers. This could mean a donation to a charity or even a gift of food for after the event.
  4. What’s the Difference Between a Memorial and a Funeral? – The main difference is the presence of the body. A memorial is when the body is not present at the gathering to celebrate the life of the deceased, and a funeral is when the body is present at the service. Generally, memorials happen after cremation service or other instances that would prevent the body from being present, like when the body is donated to science.
  5. Should I Send a Sympathy Card? – Sending a card is just one of the many ways you can show support for the bereaved. If you do send a card, send it within two weeks of the death. If you don’t want to send a card, you can reach out in another way like a phone call, email or visit.
  6. What Do You Wear to a Funeral or Memorial? – This question has a tricky answer, as it really depends on the service. Some funerals and memorials are more traditional with guests wearing black clothing to honor the somber feel of the event. But other services are more modern and celebratory, making it OK for guests to wear color or more casual clothing. Use the location of the service as a clue to the type of clothing you should wear. A funeral at a church? Black, more formal attire is best. A memorial at a beach? Casual is most likely just fine.

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Deer Creek Funeral Service is here to help if you want to learn more about these topics or Oakland, CA cremation services.

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Burial Markers and Funeral Homes

You will most likely need to choose some kind of burial marker, whether you’re preplanning for your own eventual passing or dealing with a loved one’s recent death and service at a funeral home in Oakland, CA. A burial marker, like the name denotes, is what marks a burial site. However, they mean usually mean much more than that as burial markers are also what will symbolize the deceased for the rest of time. Of course, you will always have the memories of a lost loved one, but their burial marker will be what you go to visit or show future generations, and what other people will see.

When most people think of burial markers they just think of gravestones. But there are actually lots of different kinds of burial markers, including:

  1. Benches – Bench memorials are just what they sound like: benches that either mark a grave or are a memorial for a deceased person. Though they are more unconventional and can be expensive, they create peaceful spaces that allow the bereaved to sit and reflect on the life of their lost loved one. Some people choose to decorate their loved one’s memorial bench with quotes, etchings, and the name of the deceased. There are even some benches that house cremated remains.
  2. Mausoleums – Mausoleums are free-standing, above-ground structures that provide a secure, dry and clean place for bodies to be interred. They also come in many different shapes and sizes, with some being small for just one body and others being massive to house multiple generations of the same family.
  3. Upright Cemetery Monuments – More commonly referred to as gravestones, upright cemetery monuments are what you will most commonly see in cemeteries and graveyards around the world. These upright markers are easy to see, making it simple to find a certain marker in a full cemetery or field. You can easily customize a gravestone into almost any shape, size, color or material from classic stone headstones to white crosses, marble angels and more. You can also customize what the gravestone says, with most people choosing to put their loved one’s name, dates of birth and death, and a short message.
  4. Flush and Flat Markers – Flush and flat grave markers are inserted into the ground above a gravesite. They are usually very simple and subtle to match their streamlined, in-ground design. But there are some kinds of more elaborate flush and flat markers, like those with vase attachments that allow the bereaved to leave flowers and other tokens on the grave.

As you consider which one you might choose for your lost loved one, just remember that there really is no wrong choice if you choose from the heart. Think about what your loved one would have wanted and what would best symbolize him or her, but don’t over-complicate it or get stressed.

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These are just a few of the many options for marking a final resting place. Deer Creek Funeral Service is an Oakland, CA funeral home. We offer a range of services and can help you choose the best grave marker for your loved one.

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Should You Bring Children to Cremation Services?

Every parent’s first instinct is to keep their children from harm, which often means keeping children out of memorials after cremation services in Oakland, CA. Even adults don’t want to deal with death, so protecting your child from death seems to make a lot of sense! However, in many cases, keeping a kid from attending a funeral could actually do more harm than good.

The memorialization process is very important for mourning and dealing with grief in a healthy and constructive way. This is true for kids just as it is true for adults. Children who don’t get the chance to say goodbye to a loved one at a funeral might feel resentment that they missed out, might not get the closure they need to heal and grieve in a healthy way, and might even develop untrue and scary scenarios in their minds about death because they weren’t exposed to the truth. In fact, experts say that children should have a say in the matter of whether or not they should attend a funeral.

Ask your child if he wants to go to the memorial service and make every effort to respect his choice. In order to make sure his choice is informed, give him plenty of information about what he will see and experience at the event. Talk about memorial or funeral details like who will be there; what will happen throughout the day and the funeral itself, from eating and drinking to sitting still during the service; where the funeral will take place, and even why memorial services happen in the first place.

Go into as much detail as you feel necessary, especially when it comes to the step-by-step description of the event to dispel any anxiety or untrue ideas your child may have about memorial services, funerals and death. If he has questions, do your best to answer thoroughly but simply, sticking to the basics and remaining honest. If your child chooses to go to the memorial service or funeral, take care to explain that he isn’t expected to feel any certain way. Some people at the event might be crying or very sad, and that’s OK. He can cry or be sad, or express however he’s feeling in a respectful way.

Also, be sure to avoid using euphemisms about death. “Grandpa passed away” or “Grandpa is sleeping” are very confusing and untrue. Make it clear that death is permanent, but it doesn’t have to be scary. Finally, let your child participate as much or as little as he wants, whether that means sitting quietly during the service, choosing photos for a memorial collage, coloring a picture to put up as decoration, or lighting a candle during the service. Don’t forget to follow-up with your child after the funeral or memorial service to see if he has any questions.

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Do you want to learn more about Oakland, CA cremation services or funeral tips? Just get in touch with Deer Creek Funeral Service.

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Planning a Service at Funeral Homes

Traditions surrounding death, grieving, and funeral homes in Oakland, CA are changing. This change is good as it allows for ultimate personalization for celebrating the life of the deceased. These days, there are almost no rules when it comes to planning a memorial or funeral service. This lack of guidelines, while good for personalization, can make planning tough.

Where do you start? Begin with location. The traditional funeral home or church isn’t necessary the only choice for a memorial anymore. You can also choose to have a service in a park, on a beach, at a home, in a museum, or almost any other place that holds significance to you, the deceased, and the rest of the bereaved.

You can also personalize parts, if not all, of a lost loved one’s memorial. You can really have fun with this part of the planning. Readings, poems, prayers and even music can be easily combined with a service, as can any other aspect of the deceased’s life and personality. For example, if the deceased loved jazz music, you can hire a jazz band to play at the reception or play jazz music during the service. Don’t forget to also include personal memorabilia like photos, videos, and beloved objects.

Also think about the master of ceremonies. Sometimes families don’t want a religious service led by a pastor or clergy member. In these cases, they may want to hire a celebrant. Celebrants are licensed masters of ceremony that work with the bereaved to customize memorial services in fresh and unique ways. Most funeral homes and cremation providers can offer lists of recommended local celebrants. What about final disposition? Burials used to be the default, but not anymore. There are tons of options these days from cremation services and body donation to entombment and more.

Another new trend is asking for people to send donations “in lieu of flowers”. You can ask guests to make contributions to a cause the deceased believed in as a good way to carry on his or her memory. Flowers are a traditional part of memorials and funerals, and probably aren’t going anywhere anytime soon. They can transform any room into a comforting and welcoming space perfect for grieving a loss and celebrating a life. Consider getting personalized floral displays or arrangements for even more flair. There is a new tradition of giving small gifts, like party favors, to memorial guests. These gifts are a nice way to help them keep the deceased in their minds and hearts long after the service is over. Feel free to get creative, like making recipe cards with the deceased’s favorite dishes.

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Planning a funeral or memorial service is very personal, so these ideas are just to get you started. If you want more ideas or help planning a funeral or service at a Oakland, CA funeral home Deer Creek Funeral Service is here to help.

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Funeral Agents and Cremation Services

Someone will have to make decisions about your funeral or cremation service planning in Oakland, CA, from where you will be buried or cremated, how your will estate be carried out, and many other important jobs at the time of your death. This person is usually one of your next of kin. Your next-of-kin is an immediate family member, like a husband, wife, or common-law spouse, a child, your parents, a domestic partner, or your siblings.

But what happens if you don’t have any next of kin? Or if you don’t want your next of kin to be in charge of your will and cremation service arrangements? There are plenty of situations in which this happens. For example, people often get divorced and therefore are estranged from their ex-spouse and children. People outlive their family members. Or, in other instances, someone may not want their children to be in charge as they might argue about how to execute the cremation and estate funeral after the death of their parents.

If these or similar situations apply to you, you can always designate a funeral agent. But what is a funeral agent?

A funeral agent is a person designated to have legal responsibility over all the matters concerning someone else’s disposition. In the funeral world, this is called the “right to control.” You can hire a funeral agent and give them the right to control your cremation service planning and the legal power to override the decisions of anyone else, including your children, siblings, spouse, domestic and civil partner, and parents.

Funeral agents can be anyone you choose, from a friend or clergy member to a neighbor, coworkers, social worker, or extended family member. However, its best to choose someone that will outlive you and will understand and be able to handle the ins and outs of planning a cremation. Choose and appoint your funeral agent carefully. While the laws vary from state to state, the most common process is by either adding a codicil to your will or by filling out a form.

If you want to designate a funeral agent in your will or in a codicil to your will, you need to talk to a lawyer and explain your wishes. Since the executor of a will is not necessarily the funeral agent, it is important to make the wording clear and specific in your will. Have your lawyer draw up a will or amendment that makes it clear who your funeral agent will be. If you want to fill out the form, you should get the form from your local government and make sure its notarized and signed by the intended funeral recipient and two witnesses.

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Deer Creek Funeral Service is here to help if you want to learn more about funeral agents and other aspects of preplanning for an Oakland, CA cremation service. Whether or not you appoint a funeral agent is completely up to you, as it is a very personal choice.

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The Deceased’s Social Media Accounts After a Death

You can’t just leave a deceased’s social media or otherwise online life behind. There are a lot of financial and legal steps you need to take when someone you love passes away and has a service at a funeral home in Oakland, CA, but you can’t forget about their social media and other online accounts.

Use these tips to take care of common online accounts after a death.

  • Google – Thankfully, Google accounts are fairly easy to deal with. If the deceased had any kind or any number of Google accounts, from Google Docs, Google Drive, Google Calendar to Google Photos, Gmail or even YouTube, they had a Google ID. Google has a program called Inactive Account Manager in which someone can preset all data and accounts linked to their Google ID to be wiped after a certain period of inactivity. If the deceased used that program, your work is done. If they didn’t, simply file a request to Google, submit documents proving your relationship to the deceased, and the company will close down the Google ID.
  • Twitter – Twitter will work with a verified immediate family member or an executor of an estate to deactivate a deceased’s account. You must submit a request for a deactivation and removal online, upon which you will be sent an email with instructions for providing proper documentation of your relationship to the deceased and the death.
  • funeral home in Oakland, CAFacebook – Facebook has set up two different methods to handle a deceased’s account: Deletion and Memorialization. If you wish to delete their Facebook page, you have to submit a request to Facebook, provide documentation proving they are deceased and your relationship to them, and wait the 90-day period. Facebook also offers a Memorialization option, which turns the deceased’s page into an online memorial that keeps the original content and allows others to post memories, comments and photos.
  • Instagram – Instagram is similar to Facebook in that it allows the bereaved to delete or memorialize an account. Only immediate family members can file a request to delete an Instagram account, and they are required to submit proof of relationship and proof of death, such as a death certificate. Instagram accounts can be memorialized once the company gets a valid request backed up by death documentation and proof of relationship. A memorialized Instagram account can’t be changed at all, and the posts will only be visible to the audience with which they were first shared. In other words, you can’t make a memorialized account public if it was originally private.

Our digital footprints will only get bigger the longer our society spends online. You can also make it easier for your family after you’re gone by taking steps now to organize your accounts. If you want to make things easier on your family and loved ones after your death, start making a list of all your accounts, usernames, and passwords now so they have easy access to your information.

Deer Creek Funeral Service is here to help if you want to learn more about dealing with death or Oakland, CA funeral homes?

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Be Prepared

As scary as it is to plan for your death, you need to do whatever you can to make it easier for your loved ones after you’re gone. Even though no one will ever be fully prepared a loved one’s death and cremation services in Oakland, CA, it’s still important to take steps now to make your passing smoother for your family.

What can you do to prepare for your death right now?

To begin, you need to leave your last wishes. Make it known how you want your funeral or memorial to be done. Do you want a cremation service? A memorial? Traditional burial? There are a lot of questions that need to be answered when it comes to planning a service, so don’t leave your loved ones to answer all of them when their grieving your loss.

You also need to make a will. Everyone should have a will, as wills make it easy for the bereaved to know exactly what the deceased wanted. Plus, if you don’t leave a will, the state might end up choosing who gets your asses and who will care for your dependents. Double check that your 401k, life insurance, and IRAs have the correct beneficiaries listed. In other words, make sure that the people or person you want to get the money after your gone are listed on the documents. This is especially important as someone’s beneficiary documents can supersede wills and even divorces.

Your family might rely on you for financial support, meaning that when you die, they will not only lose you but will also love the income you provided. Take care of your loved ones by purchasing life insurance. Life insurance can help offset the costs of funeral and cremation services and can also provide additional income for living expenses, remaining debts and other costs.

What about all your documents? You might know where your important documents are, but will your family be able to find them? They might not know to check the top dresser drawer for your will, the bottom drawer for your life insurance policy, and your desk for the bank account information. Make it easier on your loved ones and keep all your important documents in one safe place that is easily found and accessed by a surviving family member. Include your social security card; legal forms for retirement accounts, deeds, and rental agreements; tax returns; and lists of all online and computer passwords

Don’t forget to sort your possessions. Catalog important items of monetary or sentimental value to ensure they are kept and passed to the proper person after you’re gone. Don’t forget to notate why each item is important so no information gets lost.

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Deer Creek Funeral Service is here to help if you want to learn more about what you can do for your eventual passing. We can assist with any preplanning or Oakland, CA cremation services questions you may have. Call or visit us today for more information on what we can do for you.

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Funeral Homes and Millennials

If you’re a millennial or in a similar young age group, you probably haven’t and don’t want to think about funeral planning. We don’t blame you – even people that aren’t as young as you don’t want to think about their passing. But you need to spend time thinking about what you want for a funeral homes in Oakland, CA as preplanning is very important.

So, what do you do? How do you get started? These tips can help:

  • Choose a Funeral Home– The very first step is to choose a funeral home, as someone will need to prepare your remains for disposition, handle your service, and even be a place to hold your service. Do some research on local funeral homes to learn about their prices, services, beliefs, and offerings. This way you can find one that has what you need and want.
  • Save Some Money – Millennials are also looking to save money on funeral expenses, like caskets. Yes, some caskets are expensive. But there are tons of other options that are much more budget friendly. Your funeral director can advise you on the best one to choose for your needs and budget.
  • Doesn’t Have to be Religious – Younger generations are also moving away from funeral and memorial services, as many people think that funerals and memorials are strictly religious events. While funerals can certainly be religious, they don’t have to be. You can choose to have a non-traditional memorial service that isn’t religious or hire a funeral celebrant to lead a non-religious funeral. Your funeral service can be anything you want it to. Do you love golf? You can have a celebrant focus on your golf game. Are you a huge flower lover? Cover your funeral in flowers.
  • What About Disposition? – More and more people, especially younger generations, are choosing cremation over burial as, to them, burial is a waste of space, money and time. In fact, the National Funeral Directors Association reports that more than half of the dispositions in the USA these days are cremations. But what do you want? Do you want to be buried? Cremated? You can still have a traditional funeral service if you want to be cremated, or you can have a non-traditional memorial service even if you want to be buried. It’s totally up to you! Your funeral director can help you determine what you want done with your remains before, at, and after the service.
  • Check Prices – In addition to using Google, Yelp and other websites to help you find a good funeral home you can also check the funeral home’s actual website to get a good idea of pricing. Funeral homes are required by law to provide clear and accurate prices for all of their services so you can get a good idea of what’s available and how much it will cost before you event step foot into a funeral home.

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If you want more help just in get in touch with Deer Creek Funeral Service, a Oakland, CA funeral homes, to learn more about preplanning and our services. After all, planning your funeral doesn’t have to be stressful or painful with these tips.