Saturday, December 01, 2012
Sorting Saturday - Arrangements Upon Your Death
It's important to have a file folder or notebook in an easy access place that contains your wishes in case of emergency and death along with copies of any important documents. You should also sit down with your spouse, parents, adults siblings, children, etc. and go through this too. You can live until your 90 yrs old or you could die within the next minute. We never know. So it's important to be prepared ahead of time.
The first and most important preparation is whether or not you have accepted Jesus Christ as your Lord and Savior and asked Him to forgive you of your sins. As a Christian, I know that Jesus is the only way to be forgiven and made right with God. It is through Jesus alone that we make it to eternal heaven to live with Him. Otherwise, you will go to eternal hell because yours sins are not forgiven. He has done everything He could to save you and get you to heaven. He gave His only Son to be sacrificed on your behalf and it's as easy as accepting Him and believing in Him. And throughout your life God has tried to reach you, to get your attention, to lead you to Him so you could be saved. If you are reading this message, it's another attempt by God to get you to turn from your own way and accept His way. He loves you. He will forgive you as soon as you ask with a believing heart. He wants you to be in a relationship with Him. It is NOT His Will that you go to hell. But if you remain headstrong and stubborn, you will send yourself to hell.
1 Timothy 2:4-5 (Contemporary English Version) God wants everyone to be saved and to know the whole truth, which is, there is only one God, and Christ Jesus is the only one who can bring us to God. Jesus was truly human, and he gave himself to rescue all of us.
Acts 4:12 (CEV) Only Jesus has the power to save! His name is the only one in all the world that can save anyone.
John 3:15-18 (CEV, parenthesis mine) Then everyone who has faith in the Son of Man (Jesus, Son of God and Son of Man) will have eternal life.
God loved the people of this world so much that he gave his only Son, so that everyone who has faith in him will have eternal life and never really die.
God did not send his Son into the world to condemn its people. He sent him to save them!
No one who has faith in God's Son will be condemned. But everyone who doesn't have faith in him has already been condemned for not having faith in God's only Son.
Titus 3:4-5 God our Savior showed us how good and kind he is.
He saved us because of his mercy, and not because of any good things that we have done. God washed us by the power of the Holy Spirit. He gave us new birth and a fresh beginning.
Ephesians 2:8-9 You were saved by faith in God, who treats us much better than we deserve. This is God's gift to you, and not anything you have done on your own.
It isn't something you have earned, so there is nothing you can brag about.
Mark 16:16 "Anyone who believes me and is baptized will be saved. But anyone who refuses to believe me will be condemned." - Jesus
Romans 1:23-32 They don't worship the glorious and eternal God. Instead, they worship idols that are made to look like humans who cannot live forever, and like birds, animals, and reptiles.
So God let these people go their own way. They did what they wanted to do, and their filthy thoughts made them do shameful things with their bodies.
They gave up the truth about God for a lie, and they worshiped God's creation instead of God, who will be praised forever. Amen.
God let them follow their own evil desires. Women no longer wanted to have sex in a natural way, and they did things with each other that were not natural.
Men behaved in the same way. They stopped wanting to have sex with women and had strong desires for sex with other men. They did shameful things with each other, and what has happened to them is punishment for their foolish deeds.
Since these people refused even to think about God, he let their useless minds rule over them. That's why they do all sorts of indecent things.
They are evil, wicked, and greedy, as well as mean in every possible way. They want what others have, and they murder, argue, cheat, and are hard to get along with. They gossip, say cruel things about others, and hate God. They are proud, conceited, and boastful, always thinking up new ways to do evil. These people don't respect their parents.
They are stupid, unreliable, and don't have any love or pity for others.
They know God has said that anyone who acts this way deserves to die. But they keep on doing evil things, and they even encourage others to do them.
Romans 2:4-6 You surely don't think much of God's wonderful goodness or of his patience and willingness to put up with you. Don't you know that the reason God is good to you is because he wants you to turn to him?
But you are stubborn and refuse to turn to God. So you are making things even worse for yourselves on that day when he will show how angry he is and will judge the world with fairness.
God will reward each of us for what we have done.
Romans 3:10-12 The Scriptures tell us, "No one is acceptable to God!
Not one of them understands or even searches for God.
They have all turned away and are worthless. There isn't one person who does right.
Romans 3:22-25 God treats everyone alike. He accepts people only because they have faith in Jesus Christ.
All of us have sinned and fallen short of God's glory.
But God treats us much better than we deserve, and because of Christ Jesus, he freely accepts us and sets us free from our sins.
God sent Christ to be our sacrifice. Christ offered his life's blood, so that by faith in him we could come to God. And God did this to show that in the past he was right to be patient and forgive sinners. This also shows that God is right when he accepts people who have faith in Jesus.
Romans 4:25 God gave Jesus to die for our sins, and he raised him to life, so that we would be made acceptable to God.
Romans 5:1-2 By faith we have been made acceptable to God. And now, because of our Lord Jesus Christ, we live at peace with God.
Christ has also introduced us to God's undeserved kindness on which we take our stand. So we are happy, as we look forward to sharing in the glory of God.
Romans 5:6-11 Christ died for us at a time when we were helpless and sinful.
No one is really willing to die for an honest person, though someone might be willing to die for a truly good person.
But God showed how much he loved us by having Christ die for us, even though we were sinful.
But there is more! Now that God has accepted us because Christ sacrificed his life's blood, we will also be kept safe from God's anger.
Even when we were God's enemies, he made peace with us, because his Son died for us. Yet something even greater than friendship is ours. Now that we are at peace with God, we will be saved by his Son's life.
And in addition to everything else, we are happy because God sent our Lord Jesus Christ to make peace with us.
John 14:6 "I am the way, the truth, and the life!" Jesus answered. "Without me, no one can go to the Father."
Revelation 20:11-15 And I saw a great white throne, and Him (Jesus) sitting on it, from whose face the earth and the heaven fled away. And a place was not found for them.
And I saw the dead, the small and the great, stand before God. And books were opened, and another book was opened, which is the Book of Life. And the dead were judged out of those things which were written in the books, according to their works.
And the sea gave up the dead in it. And death and hell delivered up the dead in them. And each one of them was judged according to their works.
And death and hell were cast into the Lake of Fire. This is the second death.
And if anyone was not found having been written in the Book of Life, he was cast into the Lake of Fire.
I hope and pray that you have made that most important arrangement... being saved.
Here is a list of other things that you can be prepared for.
* Have a living will! And give copies to your closest family members so that they are aware of your wishes. You can even have a copy put in your medical record with your doctor. Make sure your loved ones know where this living will is stored.
* Have a will! This is not difficult but it is very necessary. If you don't want your estate and your children taken over by a government entity, then you better get on the stick and have a will made out for you and your spouse. Encourage your parents, your siblings and your adult children to get a will made. Keep a copy safely and in an easily accessible spot and make sure your loved ones know where it is.
* Keep a document that indicates your wishes of funeral home, your choices of cemetery, funeral, etc.
First, consider three options:
•Direct burial, cremation, traditional or full service
•Funeral Home and Cemetery
•Clothing – What do you want to be buried in?
•Jewelry – For traditional services only, consider what prized jewelry or possessions the deceased had, and consider including them. They can be removed before burial and given to the family.
Gravesite and Burial
•For burial, there are many different options:
◦Cemetery plot – If pre-purchased, you should request the funeral director to contact the cemetery.
•Casket - You will need to choose a casket or urn:
◦Wood (what type of wood such as oak, cherry, etc and what color such as light or dark)
◦Metal (what type of metal and what color)
•Open or closed Casket
•Grave marker – A new stone marker or engraving on one that is already present? A bronze plaque or a standing tombstone? Are you a veteran, or a member of a special organization that have symbols or official markers that can be affixed to the tombstone? What text do you want engraved?
•If you are a veteran, you may want a military presence. Indicate this in your preparations and the funeral home can tell your loved ones who to contact upon your death.
•Obituary – You can write out your own obituary. Please include core information such as birth date and where, parents, spouse, children, survivors, occupation, religious affiliation, date of death, date and place of funeral, date and place of Recieving of Friends/Wake/Memorial Service, cemetery. You can include anything else you want such as education, organizations you are a member of, hobbies, special people in your life, etc. Also a list of the newspapers you want your obituary to appear in. For instance: the newspaper of the town you currently live in, the newspaper of the town you were born and raised in, the newspaper in the town your parents live in, the newspaper of the town where you worked for 20 years, etc.
•Funeral location – Services are frequently held at the funeral home, churches, graveside, or in the family home.
•Eulogies and readings– Eulogies are short speeches that are delivered by one or many people. Who would you want to give a eulogy? For religious ceremonies, readings from the Bible bring comfort. Do you have favorite scriptures you want read?
•Who do you want to lead the funeral service? Your clergyman, your good friend who is a minister, your cousin who is a minister?
•Flowers – Do you want people to send flowers or make a donation in your honor to your favorite charity? There are usually flowers for the casket and you can make your choices such as your favorite flowers.
•Musician and Singers – Funeral directors and clergy will have a list of qualified organists. Or you can designate someone special to play or sing at your service. You can select hymns or songs for the singer and/or the congregation to sing. Do you want piano, organ, bagpipes, etc.
•Pictures and photo albums – In many services pictures and photo albums of the deceased can be placed on a table for family and friends. Designate any specific album or portrait you would want displayed.
•Pall bearers - Select your pall bearers (6 strong, healthy men).
•Remembrance event, wakes, receiving of friends? – Outside of the service, will there be a remembrance event? How do you want this to happen? At your home, your church, the funeral home parlor? Open or closed casket for this?
**Note** After you are dead, the funeral is to honor you but it's also to help your family. Keep in mind what they need to help them through this time of grief. For some, having the casket open is helpful and for others it's torture. For some, receiving the love and prayers and well wishes of friends and family is a comfort. For others, standing for 2 hours and shaking hands is too hard. So, as you make your plans, keep your family in mind and try to do what would be helpful for them.
* Make a list of all your life insurance policies and where the policies are located. Include everything you can think of: employers usually have life insurance on employees; your bank may have a small policy on you that was free; your credit cards may have life or disability policies that you choose and pay for; sometimes your bank requires life and/or disability policies on loans; the little policy your parents got for you when you were a kid and you've kept all these years; etc. Make sure there is a comprehensive list including contact information. Make your loved ones aware of this list and where it's stored.
* Do you have different investments and savings all over the place? Make a list of all your investments along with contact information. Such as 401ks; CDs in the 3 different banks you used; rolled over 401ks in such and such financial institution; that piece of real estate you bought for an investment in Tenbucktoo; your timeshare in Florida; the gold coin collection in that safety deposit box in your hometown; etc. Some people have everything in one bank and some people like to spread it out so that if one bank goes you haven't lost everything. This is especially true when you have more money than the FDIC will cover if a bank goes bankrupt. You are federally insured up to a certain amount. If you have more than that amount, it makes good business sense to divide it into multiple banks. Some people like to have a wide range of investments so that all their eggs aren't in one basket. They may collect gold coins, expensive art, mutual funds and savings bonds. Or they may invest in real estate, CDs and Utility stocks. Whatever you have, make sure you make a comprehensive list with contact information and make sure your loved ones know where you store this list.
* Make sure your loved ones know where your important papers are such as birth certificate, marriage license, social security cards, mortgage papers, property deeds, military discharge papers, etc. If you use a safety deposit box, make sure they know where and know where you keep the keys.
These are the types of things you need to prepare for. Again, encourage your parents, siblings, grandparents, adult children to do the same.
After your loved one dies, what do you need to do?
Find their funeral arrangements and follow their instructions! Simple as that!
After the funeral, this is a list of things to do:
Contact your pastor and your deceased loved one's pastor (if different).
Obtain 10-15 copies of the Death Certificate
Contact attorney, accountant, and executor of estate.
If your loved one was receiving Social Security benefits, notify your local Social Security office of the death, since these benefits will stop. Overpayments will result in a difficult process of repayment. If you are a surviving spouse, ask about your eligibility for increased benefits. Also, check on benefits that any minor children may be entitled to receive.
Contact the Veterans Administration-The Veterans Administration (VA) may offer benefits for funeral or burial costs. Stop any monthly payments that the VA might be paying the deceased.
Contact the health insurance company or employer regarding terminating coverage for the deceased while continuing coverage for others covered through the policy.
Contact the insurance company for all life insurance policies. You will need to provide the policy number and a certified copy of the death certificate and fill out a claim form. If the deceased is listed as the beneficiary on any other policy, arrange to have the name removed.
If the deceased was working, contact the employer for information on pension plans, credit unions and union death benefits. You will need a certified copy of the death certificate for each claim.
Return credit cards of the deceased with a certified copy of the death certificate, or notify the credit card company if you, as the survivor, want to retain use of the card.
Arrange to change any joint bank accounts into your name. If the deceased's estate is in trust, check with the Trust Department or Customer Service at the bank.
Arrange to change stocks and bonds into your name. Your bank or stockbroker will have the forms.
Make sure that important bills, such as mortgage payments, continue to be paid.
Stop subscriptions of newspapers, magazines, etc.
Stop utilities if applicable.
Forward mail at the post office (if applicable).
Here is a list of documents you will need to accomplish the above tasks:
Documents you may need to complete the tasks:
Death Certificates (10 - 15 certified copies)
Social Security Card
Birth Certificate for each child, if applicable
Deed and Titles to Property
Honorable Discharge Papers for a Veteran and/or V.A. Claim Number
Recent Income Tax Forms and W-2 Forms
Automobile Title and Registration Papers
Loan and Installment Payment Books and/or Contracts
I have a small safe in the house for my important documents. I also have a binder with our final arrangements, my parents wishes on their final arrangements, lists and copies of important documents like life ins, birth certificate, etc. I routinely check them to make sure there are no changes (about once or twice a year). I also try to remind my loved ones every once in awhile where all this is.
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