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Planning Ahead for Your Death

Preparing a funeral plan

Death is inevitable – Have you planned?

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It is tough to accept death as the inevitable outcome, and that makes thinking ahead for it rather uncomfortable. This is why so many people often overlook all the advance preparations. But the harsh reality is that one day everyone is going to die, and that makes it imperative to begin planning now…because when your end is imminent, it may actually be a relief to know you are prepared.

Taking care of your funeral services ahead of time serves as an essential component of a reliable financial and estate plan. When you pre-plan your arrangements, you relieve your loved ones from emotional and financial pressures during a stressful time. Furthermore, pre-planning also allows you to choose your course of disposition, the kind of services you want, and gives your family the ability to focus on their grief and recovery. 

Another obvious advantage of pre-planning is that you are likely to make rational and thoughtful decisions with a calm and clear thought process, which your family might not be able to make in a time of grief and despair.

How to be prepared for your funeral?

In order to make the most of your pre-planning process, you must ensure that you’re taking all the appropriate actions. Start your preparation by visiting funeral homes and choosing the one you and your family are most content with. Be informed of death entitlements, and consider religious and moral beliefs. Lastly, choose your method of disposition (burial, cremation, etc.). Conclude the planning with estimating the costs of your funeral service.

Arranging for your funeral expenses in advance

Like pre-planning, pre-paying your funeral expenses can help you address the critical concerns of the future in a reliable and easily accessible manner. Strategies such as life insurance are an easy and efficient way to handle your funeral expenses. Upon your death, this pre-arrangement can be used to take care of the entire funeral ceremony and even your debts or obligations.

Death is a sensitive subject, and speculating about what would follow if you were no longer around is scary. While nobody thinks about their own mortality, death is one of the certainties of life everyone has to face one day. So, if you want a financially and emotionally secure tomorrow for your loved ones, the only way you can ensure this is by establishing a firm funeral plan. The advantages of planning far exceed the discomforts that come with the thought of dying.

So plan ahead and give your loved ones the opportunity to treasure and value your life, and relieve them of the difficult decisions and expenses that might arise when you’re no longer with them.

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Laws and Regulations With Scattering Ashes

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With the rising popularity of cremation, it is likely that you or a loved one may consider cremation over a traditional burial. There are lots of reasons why it’s a good option, including the fact that it’s less costly than burial, involves less labor, and it’s better for the environment than being buried in a grave.

However, many people don’t know what they want to do with a loved one’s ashes after cremation. There are more laws and regulations for ash scattering than you may realize— so make sure you know the rules governing where and how ashes can be spread.

Laws For Scattering Cremated Ashes

Regulations on spreading ashes are predominantly enforced and managed by the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) in the United States. A large portion of the restrictions over how and where you spread ashes come from property disputes or environmental safety concerns.

One of the best ways to make sure that your loved one’s ashes are scattered legally is to contact an ash scattering service. These little-known businesses, like Rest Ashured, know the laws in their areas and can ensure that cremated ash is scattered properly.  Rest Ashured offers a mountain scatter garden, a memory tree, and even burial at sea along the shores of Virginia Beach, Topsail Island, North Carolina, or in the Outer Banks of North Carolina.

Scattering Ashes in the Ocean

scattering ashes in the ocean

Having a burial at sea for your cremated loved one is harder than you may think. Due to the potential for pollution and environmental concerns, the EPA regulates what you can put in the waters in and around the USA.

You are legally allowed to spread ashes at sea as long as you are no more than three nautical miles off the coast. However ashes, and other organic items like flowers, are the only things you are allowed to spread. Anything else you decide to put in the water in considered a pollutant and is illegal under the Clean Water Act. By federal law, scattering ashes in wading pools or directly on beaches is illegal.

Rest Ashured’s burial at sea service takes place in the Atlantic Ocean, off the coast of Virginia or North Carolina.

Ash Scattering in Rivers and Lakes

If you have plans to scatter your loved one’s ashes in inland waters, definitely check with the EPA as well as the local authorities beforehand. Often, you’ll need a special permit to scatter your loved one’s ashes in a local waterway. Make sure you apply for these permits in advance, especially if you and your family members plan on having a ceremony for the scattering.

Ash Scattering Elsewhere

There is also a concern about spreading your ashes on private land. If you choose to scatter your ashes in land you own or on certain public lands, that is typically allowed. However, if you decide to spread your ashes on someone else’s property, you must get the permission of the landowner.

Theme Parks

Places such as National Parks and theme parks are very common places to want to scatter ashes. National parks are public land, and you simply need a permit. These permits are usually rather affordable, between $25-75 per permit.

However, theme parks are considered private property. Scattering ashes in those places will, at best, get you removed. Often, the ashes won’t stay where you scattered them, the employees have to remove them in theme parks like Disney World.

Scatter Gardens

Scattering gardens are a great option for people looking for a public area in which to scatter their loved one’s ashes. Often, cemeteries have scatter gardens that you can use. They can cost money, but it depends on the scattering garden options in your area.

Memory trees are another potential scattering garden option. A memory tree is a tree that’s been planted for your loved one, with their ashes scattered at the roots during the planting process.

Rest Ashured’s scattering garden is uniquely located in the Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia, with views of the James River. Memorial stones and memory trees for people’s loved ones are close to the beautiful space.

Aerial Scattering

Having your loved one’s ashes released from an airplane has become very common in recent years. While you’re allowed to travel with cremated ashes in your carry on bag on most airlines, it’s not recommended. And there’s really no way to release the ashes in a sealed passenger plane. This means it’s significantly easier to hire a service specifically for this.

Because of the disparity between the laws across states and localities, and because of the federal regulation of scattered ashes, it can be difficult to figure out what to do. It’s often safest to hire a specialist to scatter the ashes to ensure your loved one gets the final resting place they deserve!

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Traveling With Ashes

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What to know if you’re Traveling with Ashes

There may come a time when you need to travel with ashes. Whether you are moving, trying to spread them somewhere, or simply transporting them, you may need to look into flight policies to discover the best way to move them. 

When doing so, it is important to know the regulations of taking cremated remains on planes, and which companies are more open to it.

Issues for Cremated Remains on Planes

Most containers for ashes, urns, are made out of breakable glass. The TSA recommends that you use cardboard or wooden containers on planes though to avoid breakage. This will also guarantee that the urns can be scanned. Urns that are made out of glass may also contain lead, which makes them impossible to X-ray. If this is the case, the urns will not be allowed on the plane.

However, if you cannot find another way to store the remains, make sure you show up earlier than you normally would. Hopefully, this will give you time to work out any issues with a glass urn before your flight.

Airfare Companies on Cremated Remains

It is also important to know which companies are more open to having cremated remains on their planes. United, Spirit, U.S. Airways, American, and Frontier all allow cremated remains on their planes without any stipulations. Whereas Southwest, Jet Blue, and Delta have a few requirements. Most of these requirements are simply getting permission to carry the remains in advance or making sure it is carry-on luggage, but if you want more information you should consult the companies’ online policies.

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The Rise In Popularity Of Cremation

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Why Cremation is a Great Alternative to Burials

People are increasingly choosing to be cremated rather than having a traditional burial. As a matter of fact, Time magazine reported that people were choosing to be cremated 49% of the time in 2015, compared to only 45% who chose traditional burials. This is because in many ways cremation is more advantageous.

There are variety of reasons why cremation may be appealing. For one, it costs less than traditional burials. Traditional burials can cost many thousands of dollars. This is because burials require land that has to be bought, a more expensive handling process, and the arrangements can be pricy. However, cremation can sometimes cost just a few hundred dollars. This is much more manageable, and does not put undue stress on grieving families who may struggle to cover the expenses of a traditional burial.

Cremation can also reduce strain on the environment. Traditional burials require a lot of land, which means that land cannot be used for other purposes. With rising populations, it may become necessary for people to choose cremation, as traditional burials may become too costly.

Cremation Offers more Variety in Ceremonies

Many cremation services can help spread ashes in a variety of ways. Some offer a variety of locations; mountains, parks, and bodies of water are just some examples of locations. Cremators can also fly ashes to locations of your choosing, and aerial scattering is also an option.

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