Your Tribute

Since 2002, Your Tribute has provided a safe and secure environment for friends and family to connect and share memories. With Your Tribute you can create a free online obituary or personalized memorial website for a loved one in minutes.

What to Consider When Planning Your Own Funeral No Comments

Death is quite possibly one of the most difficult things any of us will ever have to face. Naturally, when the time comes for us, we want the process of funeral planning to be as easy as possible for our grieving loved ones. This is exactly why so many people are beginning to consider the benefits that come with planning their own funeral in advance. Deciding this is the right decision for you and your loved ones is one thing, but making sure all the bases are properly covered is another…

Executor Checklist No Comments

Determine Whether the Case Will Go to Probate When probate becomes needed depends frequently on the size of the estate and if there is no existing Will. If assets that are assigned to beneficiaries make up most of the estate, you may not need probate. Some states allow streamlined probate proceedings. No probate is needed if:  All real estate and assets are jointly owned.  All bank accounts are in “payable on death” format with named beneficiaries.  You can transfer funds retirement plans to named beneficiaries.  You can transfer real property to surviving spouse.  You can transfer assets held in trusts to named beneficiaries.   Decide Whether to Hire a Lawyer If the estate has many different types of real estate, significant tax liabilities, or the potential for disputes among inheritors, hiring a lawyer may be a good choice. In most cases, executors are able to handle their duties without a lawyer, especially if the executor is the main beneficiary and doesn’t expect any complications. You can hire a lawyer for two reasons: You’d like the attorney to guide you and answer questions, but still let you do all the work. In that case, it will be helpful for the lawyer to do any research you need and to review documents as you complete them. You’d like the lawyer to do absolutely everything required. The lawyer will be paid, either by charging a flat rate fee at an hourly rate, out of the estate proceeds.   You May Need Additional Help To get help, if you decide not to hire an estate attorney, you can: Ask probate court clerks basic questions about court procedures, but they cannot give you any legal advice. Consult court staff lawyers, if available, to look over all the probate documents. They may notice errors and allow you to fix them and resubmit. They may even tell you how to fix them. Refer to books written for laymen about settling estates. Find a good one that assumes you know nothing about estates, and guides you step-by-step through the entire process.   File the Will and Notify Beneficiaries If there is a Will, you must file a copy with the local court. File the Will — Ask about probate fees. You should ask the court to list you as the responsible person on the documents. Update the Beneficiaries — Provide updates at this time and at regular intervals and milestones. Beneficiaries need copies of the notice of the probate filing. Update the Excluded Relatives — If there are close relatives who are not named in the Will, but would have been beneficiaries if there had NOT been a valid will, it is a good idea to send them a notice, too. Be tactful and considerate. Obtain Copies of Death Certificates — Insurance companies and financial institutions ask for original copies of death certificates to transfer funds and close accounts. Locate Assets — Locate, identify, make an inventory, and provide security for the decedent’s assets. You are responsible for

8 Alternatives to a Traditional Burial No Comments

When most of think about funerals, we think of traditional caskets, church and graveside services and a sprinkling of earth into an open grave. This, of course, is the traditional western funeral that we have either been too or seen countless times on TV and in movies. Whilst there is absolutely nothing wrong with this type of funeral, there are alternatives that may be considered slightly less rigid and even have a lighter more convivial feel. An End-of-life plan is something that is purely down to an individual and should be respected according the their beliefs, wishes and choice…

Grief Survivor 28 Steps Toward Hope and Healing (Featured Book) No Comments

Have you ever felt overwhelmed by grief? You’re not alone! This beautiful hardcover book, Grief Survivor will help you: write about your loved one, understand that you’re not losing your mind- you’re grieving!, know they will not be forgotten, begin to embrace life again after loss. Beth Marshall is the author of two grief-related journals- Grief Survivor, and A Time to Heal, a grief journal. After losing close family members, Marshall found comfort through saving photographs and writing…

The Rise of Humanist Funerals No Comments

A funeral, without a doubt, is the most personal event that a person can be associated with. While tradition once meant that people came to expect a religious service, this is no longer the case. With more people choosing not to follow a particular faith, humanist funerals are on the rise and have even recently been featured in the long running British soap opera, Coronation Street. What are humanist funerals? A humanist funeral is an alternative to having a religious or faith-based funeral ceremony. Designed to be meaningful and personal to the deceased…

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Are You Suffering from a Grief Disorder? No Comments

Creating an online tribute to remember someone’s life is a positive step you can take after the loss of a loved one. However, despite celebrating the life of someone who was close to you in this way, the grieving process is not easy and you may be left with lasting feelings of emptiness and a depressed mood. When this is the case, you are suffering from more than simply grief and you may have instead what is termed a grief disorder. It’s important that you recognize the symptoms of this so that you can receive timely treatment…

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Post-Funeral Checklist No Comments

When a loved one passes away there are a number of steps that must be taken. Many of these steps involve preparing for the funeral. The funeral service and related celebrations of life are an important way to honor the person who passed away. Unfortunately, after the funeral is over there are still a number of very important tasks that must be completed. This is a checklist created to remind you of details that need to be completed after suffering the death of a loved one. Each item may not apply to you personally, but are helpful to consider. This checklist may offer explanation or help during this difficult time.   Checklist Thank You Notes Complete thank you notes to acknowledge flowers, food, spiritual remembrances, memorial donations or special services.   Finalize Paper with Lawyer Meet with the family lawyer to begin Estate/Trust/Probate details. Give your lawyer a copy of the Will (where appropriate) and certified copies of the death certificate. Probating an estate can become a long process, and it’s best to get it started immediately. Codicil the will. If you have lost your spouse, it may be that you had agreed mutually to dispose of all possessions to each other if one of you were to die. Now that this has occurred, and you are about to receive these assets, you might want to designate new beneficiaries in the case of your death. Set up a meeting with your lawyer to make these adjustments.   Complete Full Notification of Death Complete the full notification of death. Call the deceased’s employer to learn if any death benefits may be due to the family. In many cases, death benefits will be owed from previous employers as well. Contact civic, social, religious organizations, fraternal, U.S. Post Office, voter registration and any subscriptions to remove the deceased’s name.   Clear Social Networks and Subscriptions  Disable social networking sites like Facebook. Contact telephone, cable, utility, newspaper and magazine companies. Transfer accounts where desired and cancel others.   Take Stock and Make a Plan for the Future  Create your unique plan for the future. Complete an advanced funeral plan for yourself with the help of your chosen funeral home director. Also, take the time to organize all your important papers, and remove those papers of the deceased that are no longer pertinent.   Insurance Companies  Contact all relevant insurance companies. Now is the time to apply for benefits, stop or change your coverage. Ask for help from your local agent when filing your claim. Remember to send a copy of the certified death certificate with your claim. Remember, these are basic instructions and the insurance companies may have their own protocol. These insurance companies may request proof and detailed information so be prepared. There are many ways of settling insurance claims. It’s always a good idea to have legal counsel to smooth the process along. Also, funeral directors and insurance agents are often good sources of information. Be thorough and wrap up loose ends