Whether you’re planning a funeral or cremation service for a loved one, you want to remember them in a meaningful way.

Briana Ballenger with Weed-Corley-Fish Funeral Homes & Cremation Services, a Dignity Memorial provider, joined Studio 512 to tell us more about what Weed-Corley-Fish can offer.

Selecting a funeral home to take care of your loved one’s wishes is one of the most important decisions for a family. What kind of benefits are available to families when selecting a Dignity Memorial funeral home or cemetery?

“Selecting a funeral home to carry out your loved one’s wishes is an extremely important decision. I see more families calling our funeral homes to inquire about what kinds of services we can offer and how we set ourselves apart from other local funeral homes. Our Dignity Memorial Providers all have great provider benefits that families are entitled to take advantage of with no additional fees involved. They include:

· Compassion helpline

· Online obituary

· Bereavement travel assistance

· Relocation protection

· Lifetime flexibility

· 100% service guarantee

· Family 1st Cost Protection”

Funeral services continue to evolve. What options are available for people to memorialize a loved one?

“We’ve had many families choose to use our celebrant program for their services. Celebrants provide highly customized services to families. Sometimes a loved one passes away and they had no religious affiliation or church home, so they’ll call upon a celebrant to perform a memorial service.

“Other times, the family wants clergy to perform the religious aspects of a funeral, but a celebrant to speak more in depth about their loved one, keeping them at the forefront of the service.

“Essentially, a celebrant develops a service that reflect the life and passions of a loved one, but only after spending hours upon hours with family and designated friends.

“All of us have had someone pass and yet we still remember the most minute details about them because we miss them. We can help you capture those important details. Using videos, photographs, music, special readings, mementoes and the involvement of family and friends are all appropriate and encouraged.”

You also encourage people to document their wishes. It’s so important to make our wishes known, isn’t it?

“Many people think they have taken care of everything by writing a will, establishing a living will or even purchasing their cemetery plot. But that’s not the case. A will simply leaves instructions for the handling of an individual’s financial affairs, while a living will usually clarifies certain general wishes regarding medical treatment. The funeral or cremation service still remains to be planned and paid for. Without some direction, the loved ones you leave behind might be unsure of how to proceed, and that can lead to feelings of guilt or shame, or even disagreement about how to manage your affairs.

“Make sure that you or your loved one’s wishes are recorded in writing and shared with family members and an attorney. Keep a copy with important papers in a place that is easily accessible to family members.”

What resources are available for people who want to document their wishes for their family members?

“Prearranging a service is an excellent time for families to discuss and make objective decisions calmly and rationally together, away from the pressures and stress that often occur at a time of sadness and loss. So, again, sitting down with a funeral professional with family members is an opportune time to begin thinking about your wishes, and it really opens the door to have conversations.

“We’ve also developed our Personal Planning and Veterans Planning Guides, which are free guides that helps families with the planning process. You decide what type of service is most fitting for the way you want to celebrate your life. The guide walks you and your family through all the details, some you may not have thought of, like catering or unique favors for guests. It helps to ensure that every detail is remembered and every wish can be carried out.

“We encourage you to start with a story, passion or pastime to provide inspiration. Think about the things that bring you joy and make you unique. Then, we encourage you to speak with one of our trained funeral professionals to help you weave those special memories into a beautiful memorial with personal details and lasting impressions.”

It’s also important to think about financing those plans in advance as well, right?

“Planning a funeral or cremation service in advance can take care of the details. But only prearranging (i.e., prepaying for services) can take care of the actual expense of the funeral or cremation service ahead of time, easing the future financial burden on surviving loved ones.

“Prepaying for funeral or cremation services makes good financial sense. When you prearrange, you benefit from purchasing at today’s prices for an event that may not happen for many years. The cost of the products and services selected may never be lower, and again you’re not leaving your loved ones with the cost of your service. If you pre-plan – think about the type of service you want, along with all the details – and pre-arrange – fund the service and your final resting place – your passing will be less stressful on your loved ones and they can concentrate on the specific details that made you loved and unique.

“If you pre-plan through a Dignity Memorial provider like Weed-Corley-Fish, you have the ability to transfer your arrangements, so if you decide to move to be near the grandkids, your products and services will be honored at a location close to you.”

For more information about planning ahead, visit WCFish.com.

This segment is paid for by Weed-Corley-Fish and is intended as an advertisement. Opinions expressed by the guest(s) on this program are solely those of the guest(s) and are not endorsed by this television station.