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Americans value funeral services, but few
January 17, 2011 - America is a nation of
planners. Americans plan their vacations,
retirement, careers and even plan right down
to daily life.
But, of the two "inevitables" in life -
death and taxes - tax planning receives the
majority of attention.
And while you might be able to avoid paying
taxes, you're not going to have much luck
avoiding death, yet less than 33 percent of
Americans actually pre-plan their funeral.
An overwhelming majority of Americans - 95
percent - say a funeral service is important
in honoring and celebrating the life of a
Even individuals who would choose cremation
indicate they want some type of gathering
service for families and friends to share
memories together, according to the research
conducted by the Funeral and Memorial
The act of having a funeral service,
regardless of choosing cremation, burial or
other disposition, is absolutely critical to
the grieving process, says grief counselor
"Many of us don't want our funeral to be a
fuss for our loved ones, but the support
that is provided during a gathering has
proven to help families deal with the grief
and loss more effectively," Williams says.
The rise in cremation has changed the way
funeral professionals operate. Funeral homes
now offer many different ways to accommodate
the growing demand for cremation, while
still helping extended families come
together to share the loss and the stories
of a life well lived.
"Many families are surprised to learn that
they can have cremation, but still have a
more traditional funeral gathering with
visitation and even religious rituals," says
Bill Backman, III, president of Aurora
Casket, the largest family-owned casket
supplier in America.
Backman says that anyone seeking to begin
the pre-planning process should understand
all of their options and funeral directors
can provide the best information.
Information is also available online.
Families can gain more information about
funeral choices at
www.FuneralPlan.com , download a free
pre-planning guide and find funeral homes in