Category Archives: Cremation Services

cremation service in Clarksville, TN

Cremation Services, POAs, Executors and Guardians

Do you know what executors, guardians, and people holding powers of attorney are? Or what do they have to do with planning a memorial or a cremation service in Clarksville, TN? If you don’t, it’s ok. You’re not alone. Many people are confused about what these different things, jobs, and people are and what they have to do with end-of-life planning. Executors, guardians, and people holding powers of attorney (POA) are similar in many ways, but they all have unique roles to play when it comes to planning cremation services, funerals, and other death-related matters.

Guardians are given legal control to make personal and financial decisions for someone else when that person, the ward, is deemed unable or unfit to make such decisions for themselves. Guardians may or may not have control over the final disposition. This is determined case-by-case and depends on the powers given to the guardian in probate court. Guardians are usually the ward’s spouse or adult child, but anyone can be appointed a guardian if the court believes he will act in the ward’s best interests. In some cases, if there is no next of kin, a Public Guardian appointed by the state will make funeral arrangements.

A Power of Attorney is not a person. A POA is a legal document in which one person, the principal, gives another person, the attorney-in-fact, the power to act on their behalf in financial and legal matters. Most POA documents are financial, legal, or both and are only applicable when the principal is still alive. If the document is financial, the attorney-in-fact does have the power to preplan and prepay for the principal’s funeral, cremation, or another death-related service. However, the attorney-in-fact cannot make any death-related arrangements after the principal has already died. The attorney-in-fact is also not able to make funeral plans for another person on the principal’s behalf, such as a spouse or a child.

And finally, an executor is the person that has control over a deceased’s assets. Though many people believe executors have control over the details of a deceased’s final disposition, this is not true. In fact, an executor’s main, and often only, role when it comes to disposition is tocremation service in Clarksville, TN inform the funeral agent or director of their particular role in the deceased’s will. An executor is mostly intended to deal with more financial matters from locating the deceased’s property and opening an estate checking account to probating the will, paying bills, and filing all necessary tax forms. The executor’s job is over after the estate is divided up and closed.

To begin, some of the laws surrounding these roles vary from state to state, so be sure to research your local laws. Sykes Funeral Home & Crematory is here for you if you want to learn more about Illinois death-related law or your options for Clarksville, TN cremation services. We are happy to offer you our services in your time of loss or preplanning. Give us a call today.

cremations in Clarksville, TN

Common Cremation Service Questions and Their Answers

Perhaps you’ve looked at your wardrobe before going to a memorial and wondered what in the heck you’re supposed to wear. Or maybe you’ve been to a memorial after a cremation service in Clarksville, TN, and wondered who that person in the dark suit was. You’re not alone. Many people have lots of questions about cremations, funerals, and other related topics!

Luckily, this list of common cremation service-related questions and their answers can hopefully help shed some light on your queries:

  • Should Kids Come to the Service? – The memorialization process is very important for mourning and dealing with grief in a healthy and constructive way. This is true for kids just as it is true for adults. Childcare experts say that children should have a say in the matter of whether or not they should attend a funeral. Ask your child if he wants to go to the memorial service and make every effort to respect his choice.
  • What Does “In Lieu of Flowers” Mean? – “In lieu of flowers” is often the phrase used in a service program, death announcement or obituary when the bereaved request that mourners memorialize the deceased in other ways besides sending flowers. This could mean a donation to a charity or even a gift of food for after the event.
  • What Do You Wear to a Funeral or Memorial? – This question has a tricky answer, as it really depends on the service. Some funerals and memorials are more traditional with guests wearing black clothing to honor the somber feel of the event. But other services are more modern and celebratory, making it OK for guests to wear color or more casual clothing. Use the location of the service as a clue to the type of clothing you should wear. A funeral at a church? Black, more formal attire is best. A memorial at a beach? Casual is most likely just fine.
  • What do Funeral Directors Do? – Funeral directors are, first and foremost, in charge of preparing a body for burial or cremation, but they also help with a ton of other things from arranging memorials and funerals to providing transportation to and from the place of disposition.
  • What’s the Difference Between a Memorial and a Funeral? – The main difference is thecremation services in Clarksville, TN presence of the body. A memorial is when the body is not present at the gathering to celebrate the life of the deceased, and a funeral is when the body is present at the service. Generally, memorials happen after cremation service or other instances that would prevent the body from being present, like when the body is donated to science.
  • Should I Send a Sympathy Card? – Sending a card is just one of the many ways you can show support for the bereaved. If you do send a card, send it within two weeks of the death. If you don’t want to send a card, you can reach out in another way like a phone call, email or visit.

Sykes Funeral Home & Crematory is here to help if you want to learn more about these topics or Clarksville, TN cremation services.

funeral homes in Clarksville, TN

Should You Bring Children to Veteran’s Cremation Services?

Every parent’s first instinct is to keep their children from harm, which often means keeping children out of memorials after cremation services in Clarksville, TN. This is especially true when the deceased was a veteran.

Even adults don’t want to deal with death, so protecting your child from death seems to make a lot of sense! However, in many cases, keeping a kid from attending a funeral could actually do more harm than good. The memorialization process is very important for mourning and dealing with grief in a healthy and constructive way. This is true for kids just as it is true for adults.

Children who don’t get the chance to say goodbye to a loved one at a funeral might feel resentment that they missed out, might not get the closure they need to heal and grieve in a healthy way, and might even develop untrue and scary scenarios in their minds about death because they weren’t exposed to the truth. In fact, experts say that children should have a say in the matter of whether or not they should attend a funeral. Ask your child if he wants to go to the memorial service and make every effort to respect his choice. In order to make sure his choice is informed, give him plenty of information about what he will see and experience at the event.

Talk about memorial or funeral details like who will be there; what will happen throughout the day and the funeral itself, from eating and drinking to sitting still during the service; where the funeral will take place, and even why memorial services happen in the first place. Go into as much detail as you feel necessary, especially when it comes to the step-by-step description of the event to dispel any anxiety or untrue ideas your child may have about memorial services, funerals, and death. If he has questions, do your best to answer thoroughly but simply, sticking to the basics and remaining honest.

If your child chooses to go to the memorial service or funeral, take care to explain that he isn’tcremation services in Clarksville, TN expected to feel any certain way. Some people at the event might be crying or very sad, and that’s OK. He can cry or be sad, or express however he’s feeling in a respectful way. Also, be sure to avoid using euphemisms about death. “Grandpa passed away” or “Grandpa is sleeping” are very confusing and untrue. Make it clear that death is permanent, but it doesn’t have to be scary. Finally, let your child participate as much or as little as he wants, whether that means sitting quietly during the service, choosing photos for a memorial collage, coloring a picture to put up as decoration, or lighting a candle during the service. Don’t forget to follow up with your child after the funeral or memorial service to see if he has any questions.

Sykes Funeral Home & Crematory is here to help if you want to learn more about Clarksville, TN cremation services or funeral tips for veterans. Call or visit us today.

cremation service in Clarksville, TN

Funeral Agents and Cremation Services

Someone will have to make decisions about your funeral or cremation service planning in Clarksville, TN, from where you will be buried or cremated, how your will estate be carried out, and many other important jobs at the time of your death.

This person is usually one of your next of kin. Your next-of-kin is an immediate family member, like a husband, wife, or common-law spouse, a child, your parents, a domestic partner, or your siblings. But what happens if you don’t have any next of kin? Or if you don’t want your next of kin to be in charge of your will and cremation service arrangements? What do you do? Who will make sure your final wishes are carried out?

There are plenty of situations in which this happens. For example, people often get divorced and therefore are estranged from their ex-spouse and children. People outlive their family members. Or, in other instances, someone may not want their children to be in charge as they might argue about how to execute the cremation and estate funeral after the death of their parents.

If these or similar situations apply to you, you can always designate a funeral agent.

A funeral agent is a person designated to have legal responsibility over all the matters concerning someone else’s disposition. In the funeral world, this is called the “right to control.” You can hire a funeral agent and give them the right to control your cremation service planning and the legal power to override the decisions of anyone else, including your children, siblings, spouse, domestic and civil partner, and parents. Funeral agents can be anyone you choose, from a friend or clergy member to a neighbor, coworkers, social worker, or extended family member. However, its best to choose someone that will outlive you and will understand and be able to handle the ins and outs of planning a cremation.

Choose and appoint your funeral agent carefully. While the laws vary from state to state, the most common process is by either adding a codicil to your will or by filling out a form. If you want to designate a funeral agent in your will or in a codicil to your will, you need to talk to a lawyer and explain your wishes. Since the executor of a will is not necessarily the funeral agent, it is important tocremation service in Clarksville, TN make the wording clear and specific in your will.

Have your lawyer draw up a will or amendment that makes it clear who your funeral agent will be. If you want to fill out the form, you should get the form from your local government and make sure its notarized and signed by the intended funeral recipient and two witnesses.

Sykes Funeral Home & Crematory is here to help if you want to learn more about funeral agents and other aspects of preplanning for a Clarksville, TN, cremation service. Whether or not you appoint a funeral agent is completely up to you, as it is a very personal choice.

cremation service in Clarksville, TN

Be Prepared for Veteran’s Services

As scary as it is to plan for your death, you need to do whatever you can to make it easier for your loved ones after you’re gone. Even though no one will ever be fully prepared a loved one’s death and cremation service in Clarksville, TN, it’s still important to take steps now to make your passing smoother for your family – especially when it comes to a veteran of the armed forces.

What can you do to prepare for your death right now?

To begin, you need to leave your last wishes. Make it known how you want your funeral or memorial to be done. Do you want a cremation service? A memorial? Traditional burial? There are a lot of questions that need to be answered when it comes to planning a service, so don’t leave your loved ones to answer all of them when their grieving your loss.

Your family might rely on you for financial support, meaning that when you die, they will not only lose you but will also love the income you provided. Take care of your loved ones by purchasing life insurance. Life insurance can help offset the costs of funeral and cremation services and can also provide additional income for living expenses, remaining debts, and other costs.

What about all your documents? You might know where your important documents are, but will your family be able to find them? They might not know to check the top dresser drawer for your will, the bottom drawer for your life insurance policy, and your desk for the bank account information. Make it easier on your loved ones and keep all your important documents in one safe place that is easily found and accessed by a surviving family member. Include your social security card; legal forms for retirement accounts, deeds, and rental agreements; tax returns; and lists of all online and computer passwords

You also need to make a will. Everyone should have a will, as wills make it easy for the bereaved to know exactly what the deceased wanted. Plus, if you don’t leave a will, the state might end up choosing who gets your asses and who will care for your dependents. Double check that your 401k, life insurance, and IRAs have the correct beneficiaries listed. In other words, make sure that the people or person you want to get the money after your gone are listed on the documents. This iscremation services in Clarksville, TN especially important as someone’s beneficiary documents can supersede wills and even divorces.

Don’t forget to sort your possessions. Catalog important items of monetary or sentimental value to ensure they are kept and passed to the proper person after you’re gone. Don’t forget to notate why each item is important so no information gets lost.

Sykes Funeral Home & Crematory is here to help if you want to learn more about what you can do for your eventual passing. We can assist with any preplanning or Clarksville, TN cremation service or veteran service questions you may have. Call or visit us today for more information on what we can do for you.

cremation services in Clarksville, TN

Grief Podcasts

Losing a loved one isn’t and will never be easy. While we all deal with grief in different ways, sometimes it can get away from you and become too much to handle all on your own after a loved one’s cremation service in Clarksville, TN. How do you know if your grief is too much? And what can you do about it?

While everyone’s grief can look a bit different, there are a few warning signs that ring true for everyone if grief is becoming too much. For example, an inability to move on, or the loss of enjoyment is a bad sign. You shouldn’t stop living your life completely during grief. You’re still allowed to pursue your interests and goals. If your grief is preventing you from pursuing activities that you enjoy or enjoying things you normally would, you may just need help finding your way forward.

Avoiding time with loved ones isn’t always good, either. Sometimes it’s easier to process grief on our own, but it’s also important to be with loved ones. If you find yourself consistently avoiding other people, you should consider getting some help with your grief. Another example is apprehension of new relationships due to the fear of loss. However, in order to move forward and continue to grow, we must forge new relationships.

You might also need a bit of extra help if you find yourself getting lost in escapism in having an inability to continue normal activities. Staying busy or trying to escape to avoid feeling sad is not a long-term solution. Eventually, you will need to face your feelings.

But what can you do about it?

Many people that are grieving find it very helpful to listen to grief podcasts as they are easily accessible and provide bereaved support and community in a very convenient way. Whether you’re looking for more causal listening or are hoping for expert advice, there are tons of helpful grief podcasts available on Spotify, such as The Mindfulness & Grief Podcast by Heather Stang. Heather Stang has a Master’s in death, dying and bereavement, called thanatology. This degree gives her a unique perspective to grief and can help listeners deal with hard emotions,cremation services in Clarksville, TN encourage self-care and compassion, and honor what is left of the deceased.

There’s also Good Grief by Blake Kasemeier. Blake lost her mother to lung cancer and then started Good Grief to help other people through their own losses and mourning journeys. What’s Your Grief is by Eleanor Haley and Litsa Williams. Hosted by two mental health professionals, this podcast discusses the gamut of grief-related topics. Grief Out Loud is by The Dougy Center. Hosted by a clinical social worker, Grief Out Loud talks about the most commonly avoided topics regarding grief. And finally, Grief/Relief by Moe Provencher isn’t hosted by a professional and is geared more towards real people sharing real parts of their lives and grief to help normalize the topic.

Sykes Funeral Home & Crematory is here to help if you have more questions on grief or would like to learn more about Clarksville, TN cremation services. Call or visit us today.

cremation services in Clarksville, TN

Veteran Cremation Services After Body Donation

Organ and tissue donation give the gift of life, sight, and health every single day, and make excellent additions to cremation services in Clarksville, TN. This is even true when it’s a veteran that’s doing the donating.

According to national statistics, about 115,000 people in the United States are waiting for a life-saving transplant right now, and about 20 people die every day while waiting for an organ. Plus, there are countless other diseases, infections and conditions that kill because we don’t know enough about how to treat or cure them.

Depending on your preferences, needs and specific circumstances, you can choose to donate your whole body or your organs and tissues, as body donations can be used for both science and life-giving organ donations. Organ and tissue donation focus on recovering specific tissues and organs for the purpose of gifting them to people waiting on transplant lists. One organ donor can save up to eight people and one tissue donor can save up to 50 people. Organ and tissue donation don’t prevent the bereaved from having a cremation or funeral after the donation, though the exact cause and circumstances of the death and organ donation might impact the timing of any funeral or cremation service arrangements.

The United Network for Organ Sharing (UNOS) is in charge of organizing and distributing organs and tissues across the United States. Donated tissues and organs are removed from the original body by surgeons and then given to the new body. If you would like to register as an organ and/or tissue donor you need to contact your state UNOS outpost or associated institution online or by the phone. Many registries require the donation of many kinds of organs from eyes and tissues to hearts, lungs and more. You can choose to be both an organ and tissue donor and a whole-body donor. If you choose this route, any needed organs and tissues will be removed and then the body will be sent to a chosen institution.

Whole body donation is when the entire body is donated to be used in medical training, scientific research, or mortuary science training. While not as outwardly glamorous or heroic as donating organs or tissue to a dying person, whole body donation still saves likes as it helps medical students learn more about anatomy and disease and provides researchers with the opportunity to explore medical conditions and diseases. Both of these can lead to thousands of saved lives in the future as they help educate the future leaders of medicine and determine how diseases and conditions can be treated or cured.cremation services in Clarksville, TN

It’s important to make arrangements with an institute in advance in order to donate your whole body to medical or mortuary science. There are barely any out-of-pocket costs associated with whole body donation, and, oftentimes, your remains will be returned to our family once they are no longer needed. Generally, the remains are cremated at the institution and then the ashes are sent back to the family for final disposition.

Sykes Funeral Home & Crematory is here to help if you want to learn more about donation, veteran’s services, or Clarksville, TN cremation services.

cremation service in Clarksville, TN

The Importance of Obituaries

Whether you’re having a funeral or a memorial service after a cremation service in Clarksville, TN, there are many reasons why you should publish an obituary for your lost loved one, including:

  • Sharing the Loss – Sharing your grief and loss with the general community can be a big help after the death of a loved one. You’d be surprised how many people will reach out with helpful offers like condolences, prayers and general help. As a bonus, obituaries that are posted online almost always have comment sections in which people can post and share their own experiences with the deceased and words of comfort.
  • Notating History – An obituary is also a good way to make sure the deceased’s story is written down for future generations. Children, grandchildren, cousins, aunts and uncles will all be able to access a part of their personal history.
  • Paying Tribute – Each person on this planet has a unique life story as special as they are. While we can easily assume that the deceased lived and died, an obituary gives a window into how they lived and why they were important and special. Beyond the basic facts of life like date of birth, age date of death, survivors, and predecessors, an obituary can include other fun and unique information about a person including their hobbies, favourite foods, work history and amazing accomplishments.
  • Part of the Grieving Process – Remembrance is a big part of grieving. In other words, when you spend time thinking about a lost loved one by narrating that person’s history and remembering why that the deceased was important to you, you are showing and experiencing your grief in a healthy way and will ultimately help you move forward in your particular grief journey.

These reasons, and many more, are why obituaries are not just a random tradition with no reasoning or meaning. Up until about twenty years ago, most local newspapers published obituaries for free as they were considered to be news stories. These older obituaries mostly listed facts and kept the emotional editorializing to a minimum. Many newspapers also printed death notices which, unlike obituaries, were paid advertisements that gave the name of the deceased, the date, and the time and location of funeral services. These days, the majority of newspapers charge fees for printing obituaries.

cremation service in Clarksville, TN

While these fees can be expensive, they do mean that the purchaser has the power to write whatever he wished about his deceased loved one, be it emotional or fact-based. There is also some funeral home that post obituaries on their websites for free or for a small fee. Ask your funeral home or funeral director about their policy regarding this new tradition. You can also post an obituary on a memorial website like Legacy.com or post an obituary on Facebook or another social media site for free.

Sykes Funeral Home & Crematory is here to help if you want to learn more about obituaries or Clarksville, TN cremation services. Call or visit us today.

cremation services in Clarksville, TN

Dividing Possessions After Cremation Services

Beyond planning cremation services in Clarksville, TN the bereaved are also responsible for coming up with a plan for the deceased’s possessions. Organizing, going through, and dividing possessions is very difficult. It can be made easier when there is a clear will or an executor, but a lot of times there isn’t, and the family is left to do it all on their own. This can lead to a lot of tension.

These tips can help you divide your loved one’s possessions with as little pain and tension as possible.

  • Compromise – Despite what many people may think, it isn’t the most valuable items that cause the most problems. It’s usually the smaller, more sentimental items that can lead to arguments and pain. Remember, this is your family, and everyone is hurting after the loss. Try to act with empathy and come to compromises whenever possible.
  • Get Appraisals – Some items might have significant monetary value, such as coins, jewelry, antiques and other valuable things. Take the guesswork out and get a professional appraiser to determine the exact value of every item. Once the values are established, divide everything as evenly as possible making sure each person ends up with about the same monetary value amount. If there are items that no one wants, sell them and divide the proceeds.
  • Don’t Leave Anyone Out – Try to think of anyone that would appreciate a piece of the deceased’s life and memory. From aunts and uncles to long lost cousins, caregivers, friends and neighbors, you’d be surprised at who would greatly appreciate a token to remember the deceased by.
  • Think Before You Donate – While donating unwanted items is generous and helpful, be careful not to donate too quickly. Really take your time and think about each item. While it might not be wanted now, it might end up being very important down the line.
  • Take Turns – Take turns picking items and draw straws or use another method tocremation services in Clarksville, TN determine the order. Think of it like a sports draft. It’s a fair way to make sure everyone gets a chance to choose something meaningful to them. It’s also an interesting and sort of special way to see which items mean the most to which people. You might have never known how much your sister valued Grandma’s cookie jar otherwise.
  • Use Stickers – Give each family member stickers of a certain color and have them place stickers on items they want. Items with only one sticker can go to that person, but items with more than one sticker will have to be divided another way, like taking turns.
  • Make Copies – There are some items that can be shared thanks to modern technology. Make digital copies of old family photos, movies, and tapes and then distribute the files so everyone has their own copy. Digitizing these old memories is a good idea beyond dividing them evenly as it protects them for future generations to enjoy.

Sykes Funeral Home & Crematory is here to help if you want more help or information about Clarksville, TN cremation services or other death related tips.

cremation service in Clarksville, TN

Look Out for These Death Scams

Unfortunately, beyond planning a lost loved one’s cremation service in Clarksville, TN the bereaved also have to be on the lookout for scams as there are plenty of unscrupulous people ready to take advantage of the bereaved in their vulnerable state of grieving.

It is important to remember that, in general, if anyone ever contacts you over the phone claiming that you or the deceased owes money always ask for the person’s name, firm, contact number, and address. If they are legitimate, they will be willing and able to provide this information. If not, they will usually hang up.

When you’re facing a loss, you need to be extra careful and alert for scams. There are many death-related scams, but there are some that are more common than others. For example, there are IRS scams. Some scammers will call the bereaved claiming to be the IRS and stating that the deceased owed money on taxes. Sometimes the scammer will threaten the bereaved with legal action if they don’t pay. This scam can be avoided because the IRS will never demand payment or threaten legal action over the phone. The IRS only communicates via written statements through the mail. You can follow up with the IRS to determine a call’s legitimacy.

Sometimes the bereaved will receive a phone call or email saying that the deceased had a life insurance policy but he or she was behind on payments. The scammer will say that in order for the bereaved to get the insurance payout they will have to pay the overdue premium payments, and then the scammer will provide a wire transfer account or prepaid debit card for the bereaved to pay the “premium payments”. You can avoid this scam as a real insurance company will never ask you to give payments or personal information over the phone.

Some scammers will email or call the bereaved to say that the deceased’s Medicare insurance card needs to be updated and will ask the bereaved to provide the deceased’s birth date and social security number with the hope of stealing the deceased’s identity. But it’s important to keep in mind that the federal government will never attempt to get personal information over the phone, so any phone call asking about this info is a scam.cremation service in Clarksville, TN

Sadly, scammers take advantage of the bereaved by claiming to be collection agencies after a debt that the deceased owed for a credit card or other kind of outstanding balance. The scammers will contact the bereaved by phone and will sometimes even take the time to send fake invoices addressed to the deceased indicating an overdue balance. Always seek legal advice before paying an outstanding debt or balance as the bereaved might not be responsible for paying it after the death of a loved one.

You have to be ready for scammers after the death of a loved one. Sykes Funeral Home & Crematory is here to help with more information on avoiding these scams and Clarksville, TN cremation services. Call or visit us today.