Senior Resources » Elder Law » Pre-Planning, Part 2: What Happens When a Loved One Passes

Pre-Planning, Part 2: What Happens When a Loved One Passes

Dan White at Evergreen Washelli talks about crossroads and transitions. We will all face the crossroads when we pass. What can families do if they haven’t pre-planned? Dan takes us through the steps of what happens when a loved one passes and what arrangements need to be made in those circumstances.

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*The following is the output of transcribing from an audio recording. Although the transcription is largely accurate, in some cases it is incomplete or inaccurate due to inaudible passages or transcription errors.

The following podcast is a special presentation of answers for elders featuring evergreen was shelley and welcome back to answers for elders radio. I am back here with Dan White from evergreenwash shelley. Dan, as we wrap up crossroads and transitions, obviously we will all face the final cross roads, which is when we pass. That is a huge cross roads for families and obviously if you haven’t preplanned. We talked in our previous segment about you know. What does that mean? Now we’re at the point. What I is somebody hasn’t, you know, preplanned. What can families do and what it’s what is the process? Well, the process can can vary depending on where it is that you happen to pass. If you are at home and it is truly an accident or you just natural cause, natural causes and no doctor or no hospice is involved, then certainly you’re going to call nine one. Okay, they will come and make a determination if they need to have further investigation or take it to the hospital. Sure, once that’s been ascertained, then you need to contact a funeral home because here in the state of Washington, a body is required to be transported, picked up by a funeral by a funeral home, then what happens is your you are brought into our care. If you chose Evergreenwash, shelley, you would come, we would put you in temporary preservation and while you’re there we would contact the family. Okay, to schedule for and an arrangement, as what he’s called. So, as you said, we talked. We call it at need, at time of need, is what it is as supposed to preplanning. If you have not put into place a funeral trust or a life insurance policy, then we walk through and have to make all of those decisions with you as a kin. How do you know, when you say next of can, if there’s no will or no you know, a preplan arrangement or anything like that? How do you know who the next of kin really is? I mean, I guess that’s always been a question. What is there? If there’s no paperwork, how do you determine that? Well, if the person who is is coming in they state that they are the next of can, that of course in we will ask them to show us some sort of proof to say that the other is my father. And then, certainly, if there are multiple children, they should or are multiple family members, and then we rely on the family to pretty much to a test. And I can only imagine in that situation, if you don’t know what father needed, there’s going to be a lot of differences of opinion. With faing, with kids, there is there is an awful lot of differences of opinion and especial emotional processes that everybody’s dealing with, I’m sure. Yes, and so it can go from very loving. If the children, if they are here representing a parent and the the and the spouse is not there, then it comes to the point of if they all get along together, decisions are made quickly. If they don’t, they can create some very bitter environments and have some, so I say, challenging discussions as to what’s going to happen. Okur, and then you guys kind of have to end up somehow figuring out well, how to be the peacemaker exactly, and we have to do that. So what I recommend to families who know that their survivors have a difference of opinion or feelings is that they use here in this state of Washington, we have what’s called an assignment of an agent appointment of an agent to act in your behalf or for your final disposition. That can be filed. You can have that. Then, if you have that done, that’s who we listen to. Is that the same as, like the executor? No, okay, no, it is not. It really is a piece of paper which is just just is talks about your final disposition only. So handling of the funeral arrangements, handling of the final placement, if you’re going to be buried or cremated, those those are all answered and we only take that person’s word, even if there are other family members involved. Okay, so it’s a good thing to have and I’m happy that the state had has that form because, solutely it makes it easier for us in those kind of of very sensitive absolutely absolutely, because I know when my father passed away I shared an earlier state segment. You know, we weren’t all on the same page. Obviously, as his kids, we heard my father say what he wanted. He made it really clear. The problem is he didn’t follow through on it. Well, at the end of the day, his wife was the one that had the final decision for obvious reasons, and so, you know, always nagged me and that that you know, he didn’t get his final wish and you know what it is, what it is. You know, really didn’t have any any say no, yeah, it was the next can and be in the spouse. Since she is correct, who was able to do that? Correct? Correct, and so, obviously, you know, in an ideal world, we talked about preplanning, but if this isn’t the case, so when a family sits together, what are some of the questions that they’re going to be asked as far as sitting down with one of your advisors? Well, what happens when they sit in a meet with the funeral director? One of the main jobs that the funeral director will do will be to gather information to complete the death certificate. Okay, the death certificate has two parts. There’s the upper part, which is filled out by the funeral director. The bottom part is actually filled out by the doctor to determine the cause of death. We, as a funeral home, cannot move forward until we have that filed, sure, and then we can move ahead with the final disposition, whether it’s going to be a burial or whether it’s a cremation. But the things that need to be addressed is will there be a service? HMM. And if there is going to be a service, where’s it going to be held? Will it be held in one of our facilities on grounds? will be held in a in a church? Will it be held at graveside? Well, so they have those if it’s a burial. So we are talking to Dan White from everging Wash Elly and you guys. Is have three locations here in basically the North Seattle area. Is that correct? In yes, that is correct. We have three. We have one on Aurora Avenue at one hundred and one one. That’s five ones of Raura Avenue North. It’s in the North Gate area and that’s our cemetery. That’s actually been around since one thousand eight hundred and eighty four. Yeah, you are national news over a Memorial Day. Long time, are we are. Yeah, so we have that. We also have a another cemmetery up in Brier and that’s called Abbey View Memorial Park. And then we have a standalone funeral home in Bothel and that’s lifetime celebrations, because it really is all about celebrating one’s life. Sure and so, sure, not just marking to death, is what the old funerals used to be. Sure. So, yes, that’s important. So, Dan, obviously we have a few minutes left. So you’re going to be sitting with the family and we talked a little bit about now the first options. Right then, what happens? Obviously? Well, then you also need to determine if you’re going to have a viewing. Got It. Okay, and if you are having a viewing in which public will be attending, then embalming is required. Got It. So that’s the only time in a viewing situation that the embalming really is required, unless you’re going to do cosmetizing, then we require embomit. What is caused? SMETIZING, makeup, got it and such and so the people that we use as are makeup and applying to the face, they want to make sure that the embalming has occurred right. Well, makes total sense. Yeah, to be able to. Yeah. So those are the decisions. There lots of other decisions. Choice of Cascod if you’re cremated, choice of earns, where your final placement’s going to be, family, who’s coming in, where you’re holding a celebration, when you really the locations going to be, locations going to be there. So do you oftentimes, at that time, do you if husband passes away, it’s probably a good idea that time to plan for the wife as well if they want to be together. It doesn’t that make sense correct and and you know sometimes the wife they will want to do that at the time of need. But sometimes the grieving process is it is not quite intense and it’s just not not the right time. But it’s certainly does spark in in us that it is the right time, especially since we’ve just experienced to death and we don’t want that to happen for our survivors. Sure, sure, and obviously understanding, like when obviously, when one loved one passes away, you want to be next to them oftentimes. So that may be a factor as well. Yes, as far as if you’re choosing a grave, locations and such and yes, and you want to have several different options. We have mausoleums that you can be placed in and we also have long crips. They right place right. We have grave side by side. Amazing. A lot of times one spouse will want to be buried and the other spouse will want to be cremated. So you can do that and and we do that all the time. I said, I’ve had for one couple. The husband passed and he was cremated. He’s currently at home with his his wife, but her instructions are such that when she dies and passes, his earn is to be placed into her casket and well, they will be placed into the mausoleum together. Wow, that’s really good. You can’t do the reverse, though. No, I was going to say that’s not so crazy. That doesn’t happen. No, so, Dan, you know as far as that goes. What I guess at the at the end of the day, what kind of advice do you have for families if they haven’t preplanned? You know which what is your words of wisdom? Words of wisdom would be, again, to do it, because it’s as important as you buying home and homeowners insurance, automobile insurance. You Plan for weddings, you plan for childbirth, you plan for graduations, you plan for Reti ironment. This is the last step in making that transition and don’t leave it to anybody else. Absolutely, do it yourself, absolutely, because it’ll give you great peace of mind knowing that your loved ones don’t have to be faced with problems and decisions that they may not have the answers to. And just just overall, just a sense of peace of mind. Yes, that we started out to. You know, the last segment with it goes right back to that. You know, it’s been a perfect way to end our series on crossroads. And Dan, I’m just so thrilled to have you on the show. How do we reach you? Best way to reach me as through my cell phone, and that’s four two five two, four one two eight fifty three. Or you can reach me at wash shelley through my email, d white, at was Shellycom, and please I will help anyone and answer any questions. Yes, please reach out and called Dan and take care of that now. So thanks again for having being on the show today. It’s been a pleasure. SIS thank you. This has been a special presentation of answers for elders featuring evergreen. Was Shelley for more information about evergreen? Was Shelley. Their website is was shelleycom. That’s Wa shll ICOM.


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Originally published June 30, 2018

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