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Funeral Planning & Bereavement Guide

ROBERTS CEMETERY

E TAKE PLEAS PY A CO

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Hugh Durham & Associates

Auction Services, LTD.

1008 North Main Anderson, SC 29621

104 Crayton St. Anderson, SC 29621

864.225.3788 888.783.1498


Welcome www.sullivanking.com 3205 North Highway 81 Anderson, SC 29621 864-225-5431

ROBERTS CEMETERY

About Us................................................................................................................................Pg 4 Our History............................................................................................................................Pg 7 Meet Our Staff.......................................................................................................................Pg 8 Our Services...........................................................................................................................Pg 10 Planning Ahead.....................................................................................................................Pg 14 Pre-Planning Forms..............................................................................................................Pg 26 When A Death Occurs.........................................................................................................Pg 38 Frequently Asked Questions...............................................................................................Pg 42 After Care & Grief................................................................................................................Pg 48 Settling An Estate..................................................................................................................Pg 56 Map & Location....................................................................................................................Pg 68

S K Y W AY S

M E D I A

CANADA: 3rd Floor, 7111 Syntex Drive, Mississauga, ON L5N 8C3. Tel 1-289-290-4409 USA: 40 Wall Street, 28th Floor, Manhattan, New York, 10005. Tel 1-646-8105-748 PUBLISHER: Skyways Media EMAIL: info@skyways-media.com www.skyways-media.com

DISCLAIMER: While every effort is made to ensure the accuracy of advertisements and editorial in this publication, the views expressed are not necessarily those of the publisher or editor. While every care is taken with material submitted for publication, no liability for loss or damage can be accepted by the publisher or its agents. All text and images within this publication are copyright of Skyways Media LP and may not be reproduced without written permission of the publisher. Whilst we are appreciative of the support of our featured sponsors neither the publisher nor the funeral home warrants or endorses the products and services featured within this guide.

To advertise in the next edition of this publication please call 1-514-667-3673. 3


About Us Section at a glance: • Our History • Meet Our Staff Sullivan-King Mortuary, a family owned funeral home is conveniently located at 3205 North Highway 81 in Anderson, South Carolina. Our facility, designed and built to reflect timeless architecture and detail, is furnished throughout with beautiful antiques and colorful details. The dÊcor suggests the feel of a lovely, inviting home. Established in 1923, Sullivan-King Mortuary is widely recognized in this community as a respected, honored and trustworthy provider of funeral services. In addition to personalized funerals, Sullivan-King Mortuary provides pre-need planning, an on-site crematory, cemetery and mausoleum options at Roberts Cemetery and bronze, granite and marble cemetery memorials and monuments.

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ROBERTS CEMETERY

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Each funeral service is different, a unique memorial for the family to remember. “As a near 100-year-old, family owned and managed business, passion, respect, knowledge and experience are evident with each family served.� Bolt McClain

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Our History In August 1923, the late J.S. McDougald, along with his associates, the late B.B. Bleckley and D.L. Reid, organized McDougald-Bleckley Mortuary. Mr. McDougald served as Manager and Secretary. Sam O. Sullivan purchased an interest in the company a few years later and served as Vice President and Treasurer. Following the death of Mr. McDougald in 1930, W.W. “Bill� King became Manager and Secretary. Following the death of Mr. Bleckley in 1935, D.L. Reid, Sam O. Sullivan, and Bill King became the major stockholders of the company. In 1941, the company moved into the former Post Office on Main Street. In 1949, the name of the company was changed to Sullivan-King Mortuary. Original Location cc 1923

Mr. Sullivan and Mr. King continued to operate the company until March, 1969, when both men died in the span of three weeks. Jack D. Gilliland, who joined the firm in 1952, became acting manager. In May 1969, Mr. Gilliland became a major stockholder and was named President and General Manager. Mr. Gilliland would lead the firm for 28 years, until his retirement in 1997. The company was sold to David C. King, son of the late Bill King, and Bolt McClain, a longtime employee of the firm. Mr. King now serves as Chairman of the Board while Mr. McClain serves as President and General Manager.

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Meet Our Staff

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Bolt McClain

David King

Sheila King

Jeff Waters

Matt Young

Laura Morrison

Leland Hollingsworth

Joel Gravely

Joe Marchbanks

Jerry Kinsler

Bill Marchbanks

Lucretia Ray


DeeDee Waters

John Marchbanks

Rick Bradshaw

Taylor King Young

Jack Anderson

Ken Marshall

Glynette Williams

Imogene Cromer

Staff members of Sullivan-King Mortuary & Crematory are caring and experienced professionals who understand that each family is unique and has personal requests and traditions.

Ken Cromer

Cecil Foxworth

Gene Timms

These requests and traditions are of utmost importance to our staff.

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Our Services Section at a glance: • Funerals • Cremation • Cemetery • Monuments The

professional

staff

at

Sullivan-King

Mortuary understands the importance of celebrating and creating a tribute to life. We offer personalized services in a respectful, comforting environment. Our professional team has been serving the community for many years and we extend our commitment of unparalleled customer service to you and your family.

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ROBERTS CEMETERY

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Funerals Funerals are a celebration of life where friends and family gather together and pay tribute to a loved one. Our dedicated, professional team is committed to providing a personal and caring touch with exceptional customer service for every funeral arrangement. Whether you choose a traditional burial or a cremation; our licensed professionals will guide you through the many options available to meet your individual needs and budget. Our pre-planning staff is available to discuss your wishes and take you through the many options available which will provide your family with a guide for your unique celebration.

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Cremation

Monuments

Families have enjoyed the personal service of our

A monument is a lasting expression of your

professionals, assisting with celebrations of life

celebration of life. Choosing a monument may

that memorialize loved ones for future generations.

be for a loved one or part of your pre-planning

Our team will assist you and your family with

arrangements. We have the resources to inspire

arrangements for cremation, urns and vaults and

your decisions and the knowledge to guide you

we do so with care and personalized service. If you

step by step through the process. We are a full-

are considering cremation for yourself or a loved

service provider from selection to installation, and

one, we are happy to provide any information to

our knowledgable staff will consult with you on the

aid in your decision and provide you with peace of

style, design, type, and wording that will leave an

mind. You will find more detailed information about

impression for future generations.

cremation on page 23. We are happy to provide you with more details and even show you the crematory.

Make an appointment to discuss what we have to

You also have the option of being present with your

offer.

loved one as the cremation process is started.

Cemetery Roberts Cemetery, established in 1789, is a community cemetery on Highway 187 near the shores of Lake Hartwell. This historic cemetery includes grave spaces and a Pavilion Mausoleum with a designated area for family estate mausoleums and graves. The founder of Roberts Presbyterian Church, Rev. John Simpson, Anna Anderson Hunter, daughter of Gen. Robert Anderson, namesake of Anderson County and the City of Anderson and numerous war veterans are among those interred in this colonial cemetery.

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Planning Ahead Section at a glance: • Plan For The Inevitable • Why Plan Ahead? • Why Sullivan-King? • Is Pre-Payment Required? • How to Pre-Plan Your Funeral • Arrange and Delegate • Pre-Planning Checklist • Funeral Arrangements • Visitation • Burial Plans • Graveside Service • Cemetery Property • Headstones • Burial • Memorial or Tribute Service • Cremation • FAQs

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ROBERTS CEMETERY

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Pre-Paid Funeral Savings: Funeral prices double on average every ten years. When you pre-pay, you lock in today’s prices until the time of death – no matter how many years later. Pre-Paid Funeral Expenses Flexibility: Pre-paid funerals are fully transferable with any other funeral home. For example, if you chose to move your funeral arrangements to Sullivan-King, it is as simple as coming in and signing a letter stating your wishes. Payment Options: At Sullivan-King Mortuary pre-paid funeral funds are not held by the funeral home but by a third party insurance or trust. Payment plans are flexible and based on your needs. Peace of Mind: Pre-planning provides your family with a guide to your celebration of life. In fact, pre-arranging one’s funeral can be viewed as a “high-benefit, low-risk” decision. Our staff and pre-planning directors are here to guide you through the process; give us a call to discuss your celebration of life.

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Plan For The Inevitable

It’s All About Taking Control

Pre-planning your funeral should be a natural part

Given time to consider these decisions, you’ll quickly

of life, since you are making end-of-life decisions

realize that pre-planning is all about ensuring that

in a calm and rational atmosphere. Start the online

your wishes are known so they can be acted upon

planning process now through our website, or

when the time comes. Making the commitment to

meet with one of our pre-planning directors. This

planning ahead has many benefits:

discussion just makes sense. • The process is simple. Absolutely everyone can

Why Plan Ahead? Pre-Planning is a matter of taking the time to think about – and record – your end-of-life desires. This thoughtful gesture is helpful to those you love, and a way to let go of anxieties about the future. Once done, you can relax, knowing your plans are available to your friends or family.

Why Pre-Plan With Sullivan-King? By pre-planning with us, you’re assured that your final wishes are known. This relieves your family of the burden of making difficult decisions under emotional duress.

make a pre-plan, and there is no waiting for return documents. The plan is completed, and put on file in our office. • Pre-planning lets your family clearly know your wishes. • Relieves your family members of making very personal decisions on your behalf at the time of need.

Is Pre-Payment Required? The simple answer is no. You can establish your plan by simply recording your wishes, allowing your family to pay for your desired services at the time of your passing. Or, you can protect yourself and your family, by prefunding your plan. This ensures your expenses will be covered and guaranteed to lock in today’s prices.

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How To Pre-Plan Your Funeral Pre-planning your funeral will make certain that your choices are respected and carried out, without leaving your family to wonder what your wishes might have been. When you’re ready to make a plan, call us and we will have one of our pre-planning directors set up an appointment to see you. There are many different ways to begin the planning ahead conversation. You know your family and how your loved ones might best respond to the topic. For some families, it might be a casual conversation over dinner or another family gathering. For other families, a formal meeting might be better suited. Regardless of your approach, the conversation is much easier to have when death is not imminent. Bringing up the subject with loved ones earlier in life when they are younger, and most likely healthier, makes the topic easier to discuss and keeps the focus on the celebration of life rather than an impending loss. Whether you’re sharing plans for your own final arrangements with loved ones, or encouraging loved ones to make and share their plans with you, the conversation about planning ahead is an important one for every family. While no one wants to think about their death or the death of a loved one any sooner than they must, having the conversation in advance alleviates the need for potentially more unpleasant or difficult conversations in the future.

Here are some tips that may help you start the advance planning conversation with your loved ones: • Set a time to have the conversation. Schedule it as an appointment with your loved ones, whether you want to share your plans with them or ask them to make their plans to share with you. • Tell your parent or loved one that you want to ensure their final arrangements are done according to their wishes, and you need their help to make that happen. • Ease into the conversation. Questions such as “Have you ever thought about where you would like to be buried?” or “What type of funeral would you like to have?” may open the discussion to more details about your loved one’s wishes. • Attending the funeral of a friend, family member or colleague, or watching a movie or television show with funeral scenes may naturally prompt the discussion with your own loved ones. Talk about what you liked or didn’t like about the services you saw or attended. • Tell your children or loved ones that because you care for them so much, you don’t want to burden them with difficult decisions when you’re gone. Tell them you’ve made your own final arrangements and provide them a written record. • Make your funeral and cemetery plans with us and then wrap a copy of your contract and wishes in a gift box and present it to your children. • Make it a family affair. Schedule an appointment with your chosen funeral home or cemetery provider and invite your children along to participate in the selection of services, funeral merchandise, and cemetery property.

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Arrange & Delegate The people who know and care about you will be

• Provide your executor with a copy of your will.

there when needed. Your role is to provide them

• Make sure your delegate has a list of important

with instructions, important financial details, and

account information or telephone numbers for

then relax.

retirement plans, insurance policies, investments, bank accounts, safety deposit boxes, properties, preferred attorney, and accountant. • Designate a power of attorney to ensure that proper information can be accessed in the event of your illness.

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Pre-Planning Checklist

Funeral Arrangements

For many, it feels like there’s an overwhelming

Whether you’re planning for yourself or for a loved

amount of things to consider. However, taking

one, the funeral service is one of the most important

control of the important things in life just feels good;

elements of a person’s final arrangements. With the

you know it’s the right thing to do for you, and your

opportunity for great personalization, the funeral

family. Laying the foundation for a well thought out

service can truly reflect the uniqueness of the life it

plan for you or a loved one takes a bit of time, but, it’s

honors. Regardless of whether you or your loved one

worth every moment spent. After all, you’re setting

have opted for burial or for cremation, the funeral

the stage for a more relaxed and enjoyable life,

or memorial service fills an important role. It can:

because you’ll have the peace of mind preparedness brings. Here’s what to do to get started:

• Honor, recognize, and celebrate the life of the deceased

• Prepare a contact list of individuals who should be notified in a medical emergency or death. • Write an obituary or simply jot down information you would like included in an obituary. • Decide

where

obituary

and

memorial

information should appear.

• Allow friends and family to say their last goodbyes • Provide closure after the loss of a loved one • Allow friends to console the family of the loved one So what is a funeral? In general terms, a funeral is

• Choose the type of service you would like

a gathering of family and friends after the death of

including the burial you prefer and make those

a loved one that allows the opportunity to mourn,

arrangements. You will need to decide:

support each other and pay tribute to the life of the

• Cemetery lot location

deceased. The following are services to consider as

• Casket type; cremation urn type

part of the funeral arrangements. A similar service

• Vault or mausoleum crypt

generally referred to as committal often occurs after

• Type of service: religious, military, non-

the funeral service. Funeral directors are often asked,

denominational, or fraternal • The contact details for the funeral home you designate • Pallbearers, music, flowers, scripture or other readings • Preferred organizations or church to receive donations in lieu of flowers • Select the speakers and the eulogies that you desire

“What is the standard way to arrange a funeral?” We believe that each funeral can be as unique and memorable as the life being honored. When planning your own funeral service in advance, think about the way you want to be remembered. Perhaps you’d like a traditional funeral aligned with certain religious or ethnic customs. Or, a celebration focusing on great memories made with family and friends may be your preference. Maybe it’s a combination of both. You can have one service, or several, to honor your life. Regardless of the service or services you choose to include in your funeral plan, you can personalize them in almost any way imaginable.

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Visitation

Burial Plans

Usually held the day before or the day of the funeral

When considering final arrangements for yourself

service, the visitation provides a way for friends and

or a loved one, one of the first decisions you might

acquaintances to pay respects and offer condolences

make is whether you prefer burial or cremation.

to your family. As with the funeral service, you may

This decision often influences other important

want to decide if you want an open or closed casket,

considerations such as elements of the funeral service

should one be present.

and type of cemetery property.

Funeral Or Cremation Service

Graveside Service

A formal or informal ceremony or ritual prior to burial, a funeral service often provides a sense of closure to family and friends. Although your faith or culture may dictate some elements of a funeral service, you may want to personalize other elements of the service. At a funeral service, a casket or urn is present, though you may choose to have the casket open or closed.

Memorial Or Tribute Service

As its name implies, a graveside service may be held at the grave site just prior to burial of a casket or urn, and usually consists of final remarks, prayers or memories. A similar service, generally referred to as a committal, often occurs after the funeral service.

Cemetery Or Mausoleum Property In addition to funeral services and the choice of burial or cremation, cemetery or mausoleum property, or “interment rights,� is another consideration when

At a memorial or tribute service, a casket or urn is

you’re making final arrangements, either for yourself

usually not present. Otherwise similar to a funeral

in advance, or for a loved one.

or visitation, a memorial service gives family and friends a time to come together in your memory and celebrate your life.

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Questions To Consider: • Where should the funeral be held? At your place of worship? At the funeral home? Another place of your choosing? • Who should officiate the service? • Will your service adhere to the traditions of your faith or culture? • Do you want a eulogy, and who should deliver this message? • Would you like an open or closed casket? • What music should be played? • What readings would you prefer? • Is there a special poem you’d like shared with the guests? • Are there any special photographs or other memorabilia you would like displayed? • Should the décor reflect a particular hobby or interest of yours, such as fishing, gardening or music? • Is there a particular emblem or engraving you want on your headstone or marker? • Should there be refreshments served or a more elaborate party held after the service?

Headstones Some cemeteries allow upright headstones, called “monuments,” to be used with ground burials. Headstones that are flat against the ground are called “markers.” In some cemeteries, or sections of cemeteries, only flat markers are used to preserve the natural appearance of the landscape.

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Burial Most people are familiar with the concept of traditional casket burial, or “interment,” but may not be aware of the variety of options that are often available. Many cemeteries offer one or more of the following: • Cremation Ground Burial: burial of the urn below ground. A “vault” or “outer burial container” may be required at some cemeteries. • A cremation niche in a mausoleum or at a grave site. • Mausoleum, or Community Mausoleum: a large building that provides above-ground entombments. • Private Family Mausoleum: a small structure that provides above-ground entombment of two or more decedents. • Companion Crypt: permits two entombments side-by-side or end-to-end. At Roberts Cemetery, end-to-end crypts are available for three entombments.


Cremation

What Is Cremation?

Many people overlook the importance of cemetery

Cremation is a process of reducing the body to bone

property for those who choose cremation, but permanent placement, or “final disposition,” of the ashes or “cremated remains” is an important part of

fragments by applying intense heat for a period of two to three hours. The cremated remains, which are commonly referred to as “cremains or ashes,”

final arrangements. Just consider:

are removed from the cremation chamber. They are

• A permanent site gives loved ones a physical

a temporary container. The ashes weigh typically

then processed into finer fragments and placed in

place for visitation and reflection. • The ceremony accompanying the placement of an urn in a cremation niche or a cremation garden in a cemetery provides family and friends with closure after the loss of a loved one. • When ashes of a loved one are kept with relatives, they can easily become misplaced or discarded through the years, as future generations may not feel a connection to the deceased. • A

permanent

placement

provides

future

generations with a location to visit when researching heritage. Some common methods of final disposition of cremated remains are: • Cremation Niche: an above-ground space to

between three and six pounds. An urn may be selected for the final disposition of the cremated remains. While cremation is an alternative to earth burial or mausoleum entombment, the funeral service is not limited in any way. Should you choose cremation, you will still have the same options for memorialization. Cremation can take place before or after the funeral service. In this section, we’ve answered the most common questions we are asked about cremation. If you desire further information, please contact us.

Do We Need To Buy A Casket? A casket is not required however, law requires that at

accommodate a cremation urn. a

a minimum, the deceased must be placed into a rigid

mausoleum or chapel and constructed of

combustible container. Many options of caskets and

numerous niches designed to hold urns.

containers are available.

• Columbarium:

Often

located

within

• Cremation Garden: a dedicated section of a cemetery designed for the burial, scattering or other permanent placement of ashes. • Memorial Benches: benches that either simply memorialize a loved one scattered or buried

Where & When Does Cremation Take Place?

in a cremation garden, or actually contain the

Cremations occur at a crematorium in a cremation

remains.

chamber or retort. Regulations allow only one cremation at a time. To assure continuous and trusted care, Sullivan-King Mortuary maintains an on-site crematory.

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Is Cremation Cheaper Than Burial & Would Embalming Be Required? Typically, cremation is less expensive than earth burial. Depending on which cemetery is selected, the cremation cost may be less expensive than the purchase of a cemetery plot. While cremation is an alternative to earth burial or mausoleum entombment, the funeral service is not limited in any way. While not mandatory, some circumstances may

Do We Need A Funeral If We Select Cremation? Cremation does not limit the type of funeral service that may be chosen. The same options that apply to earth burial are available with cremation. Some of these choices include: casket type, location of the service and visitation, music selection, open casket and the display of personal mementos. Some families elect to have a complete service at the funeral home or place of worship.

require embalming. If you prefer an open casket with a visitation prior to the service, embalming is highly recommended. Embalming is required when mausoleum entombment is chosen.

Can We Place Personal Items In The Casket Or Container Prior To Cremation? Many personal items may be placed in the casket or container; however, some items may need to be removed prior to the cremation process. All items left in the casket or container will be destroyed during the cremation. Your funeral director can advise you on what items may stay and what items must be removed from the casket or container.

What Can Be Done With The Cremated Remains? Burial The cremated remains may be buried in an existing cemetery plot or a new plot may be purchased. Inurnment The urn may be placed in a niche in an above-ground structure called a columbarium. Scattering Scattering areas are available at many area cemeteries. Shipping You may wish for the cremated remains to be shipped to another country. Our staff has experience with the details of international shipping. Keeping Many people prefer to have the urn at home with them. Cremated remains may also be divided for distribution among loved ones and used in memorialization keepsakes.

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Pre-Planning Forms Section at a glance: • Pre-Planning Forms • Obituaries Most of us plan ahead in life, for weddings, children’s education, family vacations and other significant, anticipated events in life. We also plan for the unanticipated events of life by purchasing life insurance and insurance for homes, autos and health care. With this understanding of planning, the benefits of making funeral pre-arrangements has become popular to so many others who have taken the steps to plan their own arrangements.

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ROBERTS CEMETERY

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Pre-Planning Forms To my loved ones, I wanted to spare you as much anxiety, doubt, and confusion as possible so in this booklet I have suggested some arrangements for you to consider at the time of my death. You will find vital statistics, funeral service guidelines, and cemetery requests, which are important to the funeral director while assisting you to plan the details of my service. I have also included more personal material for eulogies, obituaries and other remembrances. Please accept these arrangements with love, hoping to give you comfort and help you to remember the times we shared.

Signature:

Date:

Witness:

Date:

First person to be notified upon my death: Name: Address: Telephone: Relationship: Notes:

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Vital statistics about me: Name: Address: City: State:

Zip Code:

Social Security Number: Date of Birth:

Gender:

Place of Birth: Occupation: Employer: Business/Industry: Military Service: Marital Status: Maiden Name: Full Name of Spouse: Father's Full Name: His place of birth: Mother's Full Name: Her place of birth:

My preference for the location of the visitation, service or celebration of life: Visitation

Service

Sullivan-King Mortuary

Sullivan-King Mortuary

Place of Worship

Place of Worship

Other:

Other:

Notes:

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My preferences for the service: Clergy or Officiant:

or

Funeral Home to Recommend

Name: Contact Information: Notes:

Personal Items: Eyeglasses:

Remove

Leave On

Jewelry:

Remove

Leave On

Clothing:

Purchase at the time

Selected

Describe:

Pallbearers (Six or more are customary): 1.

4.

2.

5.

3.

6.

Musical Tributes: Soloist: Organist/Pianist: Music:

Favorite Genre or Artist: Community Organizations or Clubs that may want to participate or be recognized:

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Cemetery instructions:

The following are my wishes regarding my final resting place. Name of cemetery: Address: Property, crypt, or niche owned? If yes, specify location written on cemetery purchase agreement:

Final resting place:

Earth burial

Mausoleum

Niche space

Interment following Cremation Other Marker or Monument: Purchased:

Yes

No

Monument company name: I need SKM Decorative Arts to add a death date to my existing marker:

Yes

If no: SKM Decorative Arts is available to custom design and install bronze, granite, and marble memorials in area cemeteries. Financing is available. Notes:

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Information for newspapers - a guideline: Spouse, widow, or widower of: Married for number of years: Children, their spouses, and their places of residence:

Grandchildren, their spouses, and their places of residence:

Siblings, their spouses, and their places of residence:

Education: Clubs and Lodges: Military Service: Special interests, hobbies, and pets, etc.: Memorial donations: Favorite motto/quote:

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A personal life review for the funeral and eulogy: I would like the following religious beliefs expressed:

Favorite poem, verse, or scripture:

Some significant accomplishments in my life:

One of my fondest memories:

One of the greatest inspirations in my life:

If I could live my life over again, I would change:

Favorite places:

Favorite color, flower, food, etc.:

I want my family to remember me for:

A message to my family and friends:

Special notes:

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Obituaries I N S T RU C T I O N S / OB IT U A RY T E M PL A T E Replace all CAPITALS below with the appropriate information. [GIVEN NAME] [MIDDLE NAME (AND NICKNAME)] [SURNAME NAME], [AGE], of [CITY], [STATE], passed away on [DATE OF DEATH] in [LOCATION OF DEATH]. Funeral service will be held at [LOCATION] on [DATE] at [TIME] with Reverend [NAME] of [CHURCH] officiating. Burial will follow at [CEMETERY NAME], [CEMETERY LOCATION]. Visitation will be held at [LOCATION] on [DATE] at [TIME]. [NAME OF FUNERAL HOME] will be handling the funeral arrangements. [NAME] was born in [LOCATION OF BIRTH] to [PARENT’S NAMES] on [DATE OF BIRTH]. He/she went to high school at [SCHOOL NAME] and graduated in [YEAR]. He/she went on to earn a degree/certificate in [DEGREE TYPE] from [SCHOOL NAME]. He/she worked as a [JOB TYPE] for [COMPANY] for [NUMBER OF YEARS]. He/she enjoyed [ACTIVITIES/HOBBIES]. He/she received [AWARDS/HONORS] and was involved in [CHARITIES/ORGANIZATIONS]. [NAME] is survived by his/her [RELATION], [NAME] of [CITY]. (List all survivors which could include: spouse, children, siblings, parents, grandchildren, nieces and nephews). He/she is preceded in death by his/ her [RELATION], [NAME]. (List predeceased: spouse, parents, children and siblings.) Memorial donations may be made to [ORGANIZATION NAME], [MAILING ADDRESS]. The family wishes to extend their gratitude to [ORGANIZATION/NAME] [FINAL WORDS].

Remember most newspapers charge by the word, this template is good for getting the information necessary in as few words as possible. However, this template is not written in stone. You can make any adjustments you feel necessary.

Why Do We Need An Obituary? It is helpful to friends and the community to have an obituary notice published announcing the death and type of service to be held. A notice can be placed on our website and/or in a local newspaper.

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When A Death Occurs Section at a glance: • Making The First Phone Calls • Calling The Funeral Home

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ROBERTS CEMETERY

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Making The First Phone Calls Whether you receive a 2 a.m. phone call with news of an unexpected death or share your loved one’s final moments of a long illness, your initial reaction to the death likely will be shock. It doesn’t seem to matter how prepared we are – or aren’t – a loved one’s death often leaves us feeling numb and bewildered. If you’re responsible for making the funeral arrangements or executing the will, shock and grief can be immobilizing. Even simple decisions can be overwhelming. What to do first depends on the circumstances of the death. When someone dies in a hospital or similar care facility, the staff may contact the funeral home you choose on your behalf. You will need to notify family and friends. It may be easier on you to make a few phone calls to other relatives or friends and ask each of them to make a phone call or two to specific people, so the burden of spreading the news isn’t all on you. If you are alone, ask someone to keep you company while you make these calls and try to cope with the first hours after the death. You will still need to speak to the funeral home, to arrange a time to finalize details and sign any necessary documents.

Calling The Funeral Home During this first phone call we will obtain permission to bring your loved one into our care and obtain approval to embalm as appropriate. A funeral director is available by phone 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.

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As part of our services to your family, we can:

The funeral director will register the death after

arrange transportation of the deceased, obtain death

receiving a medical certification of death and the

certificates, assist in selecting a casket, urn, grave

particulars of the deceased from an appropriate

marker and cemetery space, arrange the funeral/

person. The funeral director can then issue a death

memorial/burial service and visitation, help you

certificate and issue a burial permit for the deceased.

notify the deceased’s employer, attorney, insurance company and banks, offer grief support, or direct you to other resources.

How We Register A Death If a person dies in South Carolina, the death must be registered with the Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC). The death registration process consists of the following steps: The funeral director will fill out required information concerning the deceased and forward it to a medical practitioner, coroner, or medical examiner to sign the cause of death. The death certificate is required to be filed within five days of the date of death. On the request of the funeral director, the particulars of the death will be provided by an appropriate person in a required format. These particulars can be provided by: • Nearest living relative of the deceased person present at the death or last illness; • If no such relative is available, by any relative of the deceased; • Any adult present at the death, if no relative is available; • Other adult having knowledge of the facts; • Adult occupying the premises where the death occurred; • Or; the coroner who has been notified of the death, made an inquiry or held an inquest regarding the death.

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Frequently Asked Questions Section at a glance: • What Is A Funeral And Can I Personalize it? • What Happens If A Death Occurs At Night Or On The Weekend? • What Should I Do If A Death Occurs While Away From Home? • What Do Funeral Directors Do? • What Type Of Service Should I Have? • Funeral Etiquette • How You Can Help The Bereaved • Eulogies

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ROBERTS CEMETERY

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What Is A Funeral And Can I Personalize it? The funeral is a ceremony of proven worth and value for those who mourn. It provides an opportunity for the survivors and others who share in the loss to express their love, respect, and grief. It permits facing openly and realistically the crisis that death may present. Through the funeral, the bereaved take that first step towards emotional adjustment to their loss. Can I personalize my funeral? - Absolutely, in fact, we recommend it. After all, the funeral is a celebration of life. Our funeral directors are happy to discuss all options and ensure your funeral is tailored to your wishes. It may be personalized in many unique ways.

What Should I Do If A Death Occurs At Night Or On The Weekend? We are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. If you request immediate assistance, such as a death at home, our professionals will be there as soon as possible. If the family wishes to spend a short time with the deceased to say goodbye, just advise us. We will then come when your time is right.

What Should I Do If A Death Occurs While Away From Home? We can assist you if a death occurs anywhere on the globe. We can assume responsibility and coordinate the arrangements for the return of the deceased person to our community.

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Funeral Etiquette

What Do Funeral Directors Do? Funeral

directors

are

both

The accepted customs of dress and behavior in a caregivers

and

administrators. In their administrative duties, they make the arrangements for transportation of the deceased, complete all necessary paperwork, and implement the choices made by the family regarding the funeral and final disposition of the deceased. As caregivers, funeral directors are listeners, advisors and supporters. They have experience assisting the bereaved in coping with death. Funeral directors are trained to answer questions about grief, recognize when a person is having difficulty coping, and recommend sources of professional help. Funeral directors also link survivors with support groups at the funeral home or in the community.

funeral have changed over time, but courtesy never goes out of style. Here’s what we’d like you to know about funeral etiquette. It’s important to know what religious, ethnic, or personal considerations you need to take into account. And it’s also important to be respectful of the emotions of close family members. Here are a few things expected of you: Offer an expression of sympathy. Sometimes we are at a loss for words when encountering something as final as death. Simply saying “I’m sorry for your loss” is usually enough. Be respectful and listen attentively when spoken to, and offer your own words of condolence.

What Type Of Service Should I Have?

Find out the dress code. These days almost anything goes, but only when you know it’s the right thing. In fact, sometimes the

Only you can answer that question. The type of

deceased has specified the dress code. If you are

service conducted for the deceased, if not noted in

able to find out the wishes of the family, then dress

a pre-plan, is decided by the family. The service can

appropriately.

be held at a place of worship or at the funeral home. The service may vary in ritual according to religious

Gifts & signing the register book.

denomination or the wishes of the family. The

It doesn’t matter if it is flowers or a donation to a

presence of friends at this time is an acknowledgment

charity, as always, “it’s the thought that counts.”

of friendship and support. A private service is by

After a death, the family will likely be overwhelmed

invitation only where selected relatives and a few

and may not remember everyone they spoke with

close friends attend the funeral service. A memorial

and may not have had a chance to interact with

service is usually a service without the physical body

everyone. Signing a register book allows the family

present and can vary in ceremony and procedures

to know who was there, which can offer comfort and

according to the family’s community or religious

solace after the event.

affiliations, needs, and wishes.

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How You Can Help The Bereaved Before The Funeral 1. Offer to notify his/her family and friends about funeral arrangements.

5. Help co-ordinate the food and drink supply.

2. House-sit to maintain a presence in the home during the funeral and visitations or to help at home with pets.

6. Offer to pick up friends and family at the airport and arrange housing.

3. Help answering the phone and greeting visitors. 4. Keep a record of everyone who calls, visits or has been contacted.

7. Offer to provide transportation for outof-town visitors. 8. Help him/her keep the house cleaned and the dishes washed.

After The Funeral 1. Prepare or provide dinner on a day that is mutually acceptable.

8. Make a weekly run to the grocery store, laundry, or cleaners.

2. Do Step 1. every week for two to three months.

9. Help with the Thank You notes and/or other correspondence.

3. Offer to help with household chores such as watering or pruning.

10. Anticipate difficult periods such as anniversaries, birthdays, holidays, and anniversary of the day of death.

4. Feed and exercise the pets, if any. 5. Write notes offering encouragement and support. 6. Offer to drive or accompany him/her to the cemetery regularly. 7. Offer to house-sit so he/she can get away or visit family out of town.

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11. Always mention the deceased by name and encourage reminiscing. Above all, just listening and your concern and presence will help.


Eulogies • Gather information. Talk with family members,

• Become familiar with your speech so you can

close friends, and co-workers to get important

recite it without making it look like you’re

information on the deceased. Some important

reading from a script. The more you practice the

information to include in the eulogy is the family

more comfortable you will feel.

and other close relationships, their education/ career, hobbies or special interests, places

• Make them laugh, but be respectful. A funeral is

the person lived or traveled, and any special

not a roast, however there is room for humor in

accomplishments.

your eulogy. Fondly remember a story about the person and keep it appropriate. Laughter is truly

• Organize your thoughts and jot down your

the best medicine, and some well-placed humor

ideas. Create an outline of your speech, and fill

will help people cope, and will bring back fond

in the information that you gathered about the

memories of the deceased.

person. • Don’t be afraid to show emotion. Funerals are • Write it down. This is not a toast at a wedding

an extremely emotional event, nobody expects

where you can make off-the-cuff remarks, and

you not to shed a few tears. However, if you feel

you should not ad-lib a eulogy. Writing it all

that you will be too strongly overcome by your

down allows you to include and remember

emotions, have a back-up plan in place where

every detail you wanted in your eulogy. When

someone you trust can deliver the eulogy for

you bring a copy of your eulogy to the podium

you. Give them a copy well in advance if you

make sure it is easy to read, print it out in a

feel this could be an issue. Always have a glass

large font, or if it is hand-written leave a few

of water as well as tissues handy.

spaces between the lines. Keep in mind your time constraints, it’s best to keep things on the short side. • Review and Revise. Your first draft will not be the last. When you think you are done, sleep on it and look it over in the morning when it is fresh again, that will be the time to make any necessary revisions. • Practice, Practice, Practice. Read over your eulogy several times in order to become familiar with it. Practice in front of a mirror, read it over to some friends or family and have them give you feedback.

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After Care & Grief Section at a glance: • What Is Grief? • The Grieving Process • Accepting A Loss

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ROBERTS CEMETERY

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What Is Grief? After the cards are all open, the guests have gone, and the flowers have faded, families are left with the difficult task of recovery in the weeks, months, and years following a funeral. With our free grief support you’re assured of our commitment to helping you through this difficult time. Sullivan-King is very proud to be able to coordinate a comprehensive grief follow-up program to assist the surviving loved ones with practical guidance, literature, and emotional support any time it’s needed. Our mission is to help the family not just during the funeral process, but also be there with support and other programs. The death of a loved one is probably life’s most painful event. People’s reactions to death remain one of society’s least understood and most off-limits topics for discussion. Oftentimes, grievers are left totally alone in dealing with their pain, loneliness, and isolation. Grief is a natural emotion that follows death. It hurts. Sadness, denial, guilt, physical discomfort, and sleeplessness are some of the symptoms of grief. It is like an open wound which must become healed. At times, it seems as if this healing will never happen. While some of life’s spontaneity begins to return, it never seems to get back to the way it was. It is still incomplete. We know, however, that these feelings of being incomplete can disappear.

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Healing is a process of allowing ourselves to feel,

Sometimes a person can become overwhelmed

experience, and accept the pain. In other words,

or bogged down in the grieving process. Serious

we give ourselves permission to heal. Allowing

losses are never easy to deal with, but someone

ourselves to accept these feelings is the beginning of

who is having trouble beginning to actively re-

that process.

engage in life after a few months should consider getting professional help. For example, if continual

The healing process can take much less time than

depression or physical symptoms such as loss of

we have been led to believe. There are two missing

appetite, inability to sleep, or chronic lack of energy

parts. One is a safe, loving, professionally guided

persists, it is probably time to see a doctor.

atmosphere in which to express our feelings; the other is knowing how and what to communicate.

The Grieving Process When we experience a major loss, grief is the normal and natural way our mind and body react. Everyone grieves differently and at the same time, there are

Allow Yourself To Mourn Someone you love has died. You are now faced with the difficult, but important, need to mourn. Mourning is the open expression of your thoughts and feelings regarding the death and the person who has died. It is an essential part of healing. You

common patterns people tend to share.

are beginning a journey that is often frightening,

For example, someone experiencing grief usually

This guide provides practical suggestions to help

moves through a series of emotional stages such as shock, numbness, guilt, anger, and denial.

painful, overwhelming, and sometimes lonely. you move towards healing in your personal grief experience.

Physical responses are typical also and can include: sleeplessness, inability to eat or concentrate, lack of energy, and lack of interest in activities previously enjoyed. Time always plays an important role in the grieving process. As the days, weeks, and months go by, the person who is experiencing loss moves through emotional and physical reactions that normally lead toward acceptance, healing, and getting on with life as fully as possible.

Allow For Numbness Feeling dazed or numb when someone loved dies is often part of your early grief experience. This numbness serves a valuable purpose: it gives your emotions time to catch up with what your mind has told you. This feeling helps create insulation from the reality of the death until you are more able to tolerate what you don’t want to believe.

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Realize Your Grief Is Unique Your grief is unique. No one will grieve in exactly

Be Tolerant Of Your Physical & Emotional Limits

the same way. Your experience will be influenced by a variety of factors: the relationship you had with the

Your feelings of loss and sadness will probably

person who died, the circumstances surrounding

leave you fatigued., your ability to think clearly

the death, your emotional support system and your

and make decisions may be impaired, and your

cultural and religious background.

low energy level may naturally slow you down. Respect what your body and mind are telling you.

As a result of these factors, you will grieve in

Nurture yourself. Get daily rest. Eat balanced meals.

your own special way. Don’t try to compare your

Lighten your schedule as much as possible. Caring

experience with that of other people or to adopt

for yourself doesn’t mean feeling sorry for yourself;

assumptions about just how long your grief should

it means you are using survival skills.

last. Consider taking a “one day at a time” approach that allows you to grieve at your own pace.

Talk About Your Grief Express your grief openly. By sharing your grief outside yourself, healing occurs. Ignoring your grief won’t make it go away; talking about it often makes you feel better. Allow yourself to speak from your

Develop A Support System Reaching out to others and accepting support is often difficult, particularly when you hurt so much. But the most compassionate self-action you can take during this difficult time is to find a support system of caring friends and relatives who will provide the understanding you need.

heart, not just your head. Doing so doesn’t mean you are losing control, or going “crazy”. It is a normal part of your grief journey. Find caring friends and relatives who will listen without judging. Seek out those persons who will “walk with, not in front

Treasure Your Memories

of” or “behind” you in your journey through grief. Avoid people who are critical or who try to steal your grief from you. They may tell you, “keep your chin up” or “carry on” or “be happy.” While these comments may be well-intended, you do not have to accept them. You have a right to express your grief; no one has the right to take it away.

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Memories are one of the best legacies that exist after someone loved dies. Treasure them. Share them with your family and friends. Recognize that your memories may make you laugh or cry. In either case, they are a lasting part of the relationship that you had with a very special person in your life.


Expect To Feel A Multitude Of Emotions

Embrace Your Spirituality If faith is part of your life, express it in ways that seem appropriate to you. Allow yourself to be around

Experiencing a loss affects your head, heart, and

people who understand and support your religious

spirit, so you may experience a variety of emotions as

beliefs. If you are angry with God because of the

part of your grief work. Confusion, disorganization,

death of someone you loved, recognize this feeling

fear, guilt, relief, or explosive emotions are just a

as a normal part of your grief work. Find someone to

few of the emotions you may feel. Sometimes these

talk with who won’t be critical of whatever thoughts

emotions will follow each other within a short period

and feelings you need to explore.

of time or they may occur simultaneously. You may hear someone say, “With faith, you don’t As strange as some of these emotions may seem,

need to grieve.” Don’t believe it. Having your

they are normal and healthy. Allow yourself to

personal faith does not insulate you from needing to

learn from these feelings and don’t be surprised if

talk out and explore your thoughts and feelings. To

out of nowhere you suddenly experience surges of

deny your grief is to invite problems that build up

grief, even at the most unexpected times. These grief

inside you. Express your faith, but express your grief

attacks can be frightening and leave you feeling

as well.

overwhelmed. They are, however, a natural response to the death of someone loved. Find someone who understands your feelings and will allow you to talk about them.

The Value Of A Funeral

Allow A Search For Meaning You may find yourself asking, “Why did he die?” “Why this way?” “Why now?” This search for meaning is another normal part of the healing process. Some questions have answers. Some do

The funeral ritual does more than acknowledge the death of someone loved. The funeral helps survivors face the reality of death and can be an important step in the grief process. The funeral is a way for you to

not. Actually, the healing occurs in the opportunity to pose the questions, not necessarily in answering them. Find a supportive friend who will listen responsively as you search for meaning.

express your grief outside yourself, together with family and close friends that can lend support and consolation.

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Accepting A Loss For each of us - rich or poor, young or old - there are

Move Toward Your Grief And Heal

times in our lives when we must face and deal with personal losses and the pain and sorrow they cause.

The capacity to love requires the necessity to grieve

Examples that come easily to mind are the death of

when someone you love dies. You can’t heal unless

a parent, spouse, child, or other close family member

you openly express your grief. Denying your

or friend. Many other events and transitions also

grief will only make it become more confusing

bring with them sadness and a need to grieve:

and overwhelming. Embrace your grief and heal. Reconciling your grief will not happen quickly.

• Being told you have a serious, possibly terminal illness. • Having to give up interests and activities that have been a major part of your life. • Seeing serious decline in mental or physical health of someone you love.

Remember, grief is a process, not an event. Be patient and tolerant with yourself. Never forget that the death of someone loved changes your life forever. It’s not that you won’t be happy again. It’s simply that you will never be exactly the same as you were before the death.

• Retiring from a work career or voluntary activity that has helped shape who you are and what you

“The experience of grief is powerful. So, too, is your

stand for.

ability to help yourself heal. In doing the work of

• Losing a significant part of your independence and mobility; even giving up driving a car can be

grieving, you are moving toward a renewed sense of meaning and purpose in your life.”

a significant loss for many people. • Moving out of your home. • Saying goodbye to a favorite pet. Losses such as these are simply part of living. Like their counterparts among the joyful occasions in our lifetime - the birth of a child or grandchild, a celebration of marriage, an enduring friendship they are part of what it means to share in the human experience, and the emotions they create in us are part of living, as well.

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- Dr. Alan D. Wolfelt, Center for Loss and Life Transition


FLORIST

1662 E Greenville St, Anderson, SC 29621 (864) 226-6261 | www.chezjuliesflorist.com After hours please call: (864) 367-3129


Settling An Estate Section at a glance: • Important Documents • Estate Settlement Issues • Death Certificates • Administration Of A Will • Probate Or Administration? • FAQs • Settling An Estate

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ROBERTS CEMETERY

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Probate is a rather formal procedure. One minor omission, failure to notify all required parties, or a missed deadline can cause unnecessary delays. While there is no requirement to use a lawyer, having help from someone who knows the process can certainly be an advantage. The death of a family member or friend is a stressful time. Experience shows that even in close families it is possible to get emotional over estate matters, which can be upsetting and raise issues of fairness or create unfounded suspicion. A lawyer can often help during these difficult times.

Estate Settlement Issues Wills, probate, administration without a will, Pension Plan benefits, veterans benefits, insurance benefits, joint property, beneficiary designations, claims of dependents and creditors, probate fees, income and estate taxes, and other issues may appear overwhelming after the death of a loved one. Sorting and settling all the details may be confusing because many of the terms are unfamiliar. We hope that this

Important Documents Locate as many of the following documents as possible: death certificates, wills, land title documents, bank statements, statements from financial advisors, Savings Bonds, stock certificates, social security card/number, income tax statements, pension statements, vehicle and boat registration documents, insurance policies, and marriage and divorce documents.

Death Certificates Before the business and legal issues of the estate can be pursued, it will be necessary to obtain a death certificate. The funeral home will supply the next of kin or executor with these. In certain cases, a certified death certificate is desired by a family member. These are obtained from the Department of Health and Environmental Control (DHEC). Vital Records will only be given to the appropriate individuals.

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document might eliminate some of the mystery and help you in the process. This guide is not intended to be a substitute for specific individual tax, legal, or estate settlement advice, as the issues and concerns of each estate are different. Where specific advice is necessary or appropriate, consultation with a competent professional is strongly recommended. Most of all, keep in mind that while it is important to take care of all of these concerns, it’s also important to move at a pace that is comfortable for you during your grieving process.


Administration Of A Will

Probate & Administration

Preparing a will allows you to deal with your estate

Probate is the court process that confirms the existence

in the manner you choose. With the assistance of

of a valid will and confirms the legal representative

a lawyer this should be fairly straightforward. A

of the estate.

will makes the administration of your estate much simpler and less expensive. However, a will might

Administration is also a court process but a

not deal with all of your assets, such as:

representative is appointed to handle the estate, usually of a person who died without a will. Once the

• Assets that have a specific named beneficiary,

legal representative is confirmed or appointed, they

such as life insurance proceeds, pass directly to

can handle the deceased’s estate. Obtaining probate

that beneficiary and not through the estate. This

or administration of an estate is not cheap or quick.

can sometimes be affected by the wording in a

Both probate and administration are processes that

will and care has to be taken in that regard.

require court approval. The executors of a will, or

• Property that is held in joint tenancy with

the administrators of an estate without a will, must

someone else generally passes automatically to

determine the assets and liabilities of the estate. This

the surviving joint tenant. A provision in a will

process can be time consuming depending on the

leaving the deceased’s share in that joint asset to

complexity of the assets of the deceased. Documents

someone other than the surviving joint tenant

outlining the assets and liabilities must be presented

would have no effect unless all joint tenants died

to the court for approval. Depending on the activity

simultaneously.

schedule of the court calendar, approval could take

• Property that is held in a spousal or other trust

several months.

remains in the trust and does not pass to the beneficiaries named in the will.

Most people have not dealt with the legal process

• Pension plans, IRA, 401(k) or other retirement

of obtaining probate or administration. A lawyer

benefit plans that have a named beneficiary do

who is experienced with estate matters can provide

not pass through the estate.

an estimate of the legal costs involved to assist you with your loved one’s estate. Do not hesitate to ask for help.

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Q. What Is Probate Or Administration?

Q. Why Is Probate Or Administration Necessary?

Answer: Probate is the legal process whereby your

Answer:

named executor applies to the court to have the will

administrator as the legal representative of the estate

proven as valid and to be given the authority to

and gives the executor or administrator the power to

deal with the estate property in accordance with the

distribute the assets of the estate in accordance with

provisions of the will.

the provisions of the will or pursuant to the Wills,

Probate

establishes

the

executor

or

Estates and Succession Act. If the net value of the Typically, probate is a procedural matter that does

estate is less than $25,000 it may not be necessary

not involve an actual court appearance. However, if

to apply to the court to administer the estate. The

the will is challenged this changes considerably.

probate or administration process also provides a mechanism for setting a deadline for contesting a

Only a small percentage of wills are challenged.

will and creates a time frame for the distribution of

Your executor determines the various assets and

the deceased’s property.

liabilities of the estate and presents them to the court in an affidavit. All of the beneficiaries and potential beneficiaries must receive notice of the application. If the court is satisfied with the documentation, and no one challenges the will, then probate is granted in favour of the executor. It is preferable to have a will so that the deceased determines how their estate is distributed and who will deal with the process. If the deceased died without a will in South Carolina, their estate passes in accordance with the provisions of the Probate of Wills and Administration Act. A formula is followed to determine how the estate is

Q. What Is Involved In Administering The Estate? Answer: Your executor/administrator has many duties

including:

identifying,

cataloging

and

safeguarding all property owned by the Deceased; obtaining a valuation of the estate assets; paying all debts and taxes; proving that the will is valid and legal; and distributing the property to the rightful heirs.

distributed. If there is no will, the next of kin usually takes on the role of the administrator of the estate and goes through basically the same process as an executor to determine the assets and liabilities of

Q. Who Is Responsible For Handling Probate?

the deceased. The court process to be appointed as an administrator is very similar to that of obtaining

Answer: In most circumstances, the executor named

probate. There are some extra steps due to the fact that

in the will takes this job. If there isn’t a will, or the will

there is no will and it is generally more expensive to

fails to name an executor, another family member has

deal with an estate without a will. In both situations,

to step forward to apply to deal with the estate. This

the court will approve a representative. If there is a

is typically the closest capable relative, or the person

will, the probate court appoints an executor. If there is

who inherits the bulk of the deceased person’s assets.

no will, the probate court appoints an administrator.

60


Q. How Long Does Estate Administration Take?

Q. Should I Plan To Avoid Probate?

Answer: The duration varies with the size and

Answer: Generally, in a situation involving the first

complexity of the estate and any difficulties

marriage of a husband and wife, it is possible to

determining the deceased’s assets and liabilities,

arrange your legal affairs so that property can pass to

locating the beneficiaries of the estate, obtaining the

the surviving spouse without the necessity of probate

court authorization, and preparing and filing tax

or administration. It is almost always necessary to

returns for the estate. It can take up to 12 months

go through the probate or administration process

after the court authorization is obtained to get final

following the death of the second spouse.

clearance from the relevant agencies. If the will is contested or, if anyone objects to any actions of the

It is becoming less common for people to have only

executor or administrator, the process can take a

one marriage. If you are in a second marriage, or have

long time. A normal estate takes between 12 and 18

significant assets, it is a good idea to get sound legal

months to complete. Some estates have been known

and accounting advice when planning your estate.

to drag on for decades.

Q. What Is The Probate Process Of An Uncontested Will? Answer: Typically the executor or administrator deals with a lawyer experienced in probate matters. The probate or administration documents outlining the assets and liabilities of the estate are submitted to the court for approval. All of the beneficiaries and potential beneficiaries must be notified of the process. This gives them a chance to file an objection if they disagree with the application. The vast majority of estates are resolved in this way. Unfortunately, you only hear about the estates involving a dispute. The reality is that less than five percent of estates are actually formally disputed. If no objections are received, and everything appears in order, the court approves the application and issues the court authorization appointing the executor or administrator.

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Settling An Estate

The executor must arrange to collect income from investments or other sources. Bank accounts must be identified, and the amounts can often be used to

The deceased person remains a legal entity through

pay the costs associated with estate administration,

their estate. The assets, debts, and obligations of the

including funeral and burial expenses and probate

individual need to be settled.

fees.

A lawyer can help you complete the required

Life insurance policies must be assembled and the

paperwork to wrap up the deceased’s affairs.

insurers notified. Proceeds payable to the estate should be deposited in an estate bank account, and

Beneficiaries should be notified of the possible benefits

proceeds payable to a named beneficiary.

they might receive. If a Certificate of Appointment is sought, notice of the application must be sent to

Employment benefits from current or former

the beneficiaries. If one or more charities has been

employers may be available and should be pursued.

named as a beneficiary, particular care must be taken

Particulars should be obtained of any annuity

in providing notice. Due to their status as charities,

contracts, pensions, and Social Security benefits.

they must exercise diligence in receiving the gift, and

Consideration should be given to benefits available

may require a detailed accounting from the executor

through the Department of Veterans Affairs.

of the financial administration of the estate. Similarly, individual beneficiaries who may be somewhat

Interests in real estate properties should be

distanced from the deceased by relationship or

determined, and identified as principal residence,

location can sometimes sense an unexpected windfall

investment property, vacation property or otherwise.

and become demanding of information.

If title was not solely in the name of the deceased, the nature of co-ownership is important to determine.

Even if estate assets are not perishable or subject to

Mortgages on any such properties should be reviewed

volatile value swings, the executor must take special

and confirmed. If mortgage payments are required,

care to ensure they are secured and protected.

it is essential to determine if and how they can be

This may include reviewing current insurance for

kept current. Tax obligations and status should be

adequacy, and instituting or modifying insurance

determined, and insurance coverage reviewed.

coverage as required. Interests in other trusts or estates should be identified. Where appropriate, assets should be taken into

If benefits under such arrangements are ongoing,

custody by the executor. This is especially important

the ability to complete the estate administration

for assets such as cash, marketable securities, valuable

could be affected. IRAs, 401(k)s or other retirement

papers, jewelry, deeds of property, and insurance

benefit plans should be inventoried. Even if such

policies. If the deceased owned or operated, or was

accounts include a named beneficiary, there can be

involved in, a private business, it may be necessary

taxable income to the deceased or estate, income tax

to arrange competent management, and to consider

liabilities incurred.

if the business should or could be sold.

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All of the foregoing assumes the deceased had prepared a will. However, a significant proportion of American adults have not done so. If there is no valid will in place, it is normally a close relative who would take on the role of estate trustee; however, the process to obtain the Certificate of Appointment is more involved, and distribution of assets is determined by statute rather than by the intent of the deceased. As this section hopefully indicates, the role of the executor in administering an estate is both significant and complex. Engaging experienced professionals is an important aspect of the work of the executor, and can mean the difference between a successful administration and a frustrating, drawn out experience.

63


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Important Notes

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Important Notes

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