By Yvette Tello

So many people are passing away right now. I have had the unfortunate pleasure of helping with funeral arrange- ments. Worst experience of my life. There’s insurance waiting periods . It really is a hassle.. My uncle tried to make sure his affairs were in order and it’s still difficult. My uncle had no children. He was a good man and he never bothered anyone for anything. This is the least I can do to honor a good man’s life. Before covid, it wasn’t hard. When my ma passed, my daddy and I handled everything with no problem but things are different now. Privacy laws are different too. The funeral homes are having a hard time to verify policies without certain informa- tion. It’s crazy now. We all need to be prepared. I don’t want my children to go through this. I’m helping my grandma and my dad because this is very stressful. I don’t want them to go through this. My uncle pre-planned his funeral because he did not want to be a burden to anyone. He was to be buried with his father as he never married or had chil- dren and it is a double plot. The owner of the plot was his sister, my late aunt. The cemetery is asking me to provide a death certificate for her. The records of vital statistics can’t give me an appointment until December. So, I will need to bury my uncle elsewhere. People think they have their affairs in order but the way these things are; are they law or are they policy of the cemetery? Do you have your affairs in order? I do not. but after this experience, I am defi- nitely taking care of what needs to be done. If you were to pass tomorrow, would someone have your social security number and know where your insurance policy paperwork is at? Do you have insurance? Do they know what your last wishes are; what you want to wear or where you want to be buried? Let’s talk about it…

Nicole Torres-Cooke: “My mom does pre-need servic- es. My funeral is planned and paid for when the time comes.”

Kathy Elaine: “I’ve been thinking the same ..sad but true…getting my things straight!”

Lea Moreno Santana: “Yes ma’am. My husband and I have our arraignments be- cause that’s what our parents taught us. Our boys know exactly where the policy is kept and what our wishes are. We are almost done paying it, but if we pass, they will pay it off. In the policy, we included if we were in another state, our bodies are to be brought back. We wanted to make sure nothing came out of our boys pocket.”

Sandra Luna Perez: “It is very exhausting and it will drain you mentally and physi- cally. Praying for you my friend and the family.”

Stacy Fairhurst-Gan – sheimer: “This is one of the hardest conversations for us to have. I recently got my in- surance licence in the state of Florida. I have these conver- sations everyday with clients, medicare, health expenses, long term care, final expense planning, and retirement plan- ning.Think of the life insur- ance as more then just your final expenses. Especially married with children; think of it as income replacement, debt reduction, tax and pro- bate solutions.”

Geronimo Franco: “This is something I think about all the time. I really need to get that in order. None of us are in somewhat good health. We take for granted that we will be here tomorrow. No one plans on dying, right?”

Jazmin D Zuñiga: “I want to be cremated. I have insur- ance that will end in 2022 so I will be getting another plan next year. I have to make my will for my house to go to my daughter Jairy.”

Brenda Garcia: “Something to think about!”

Joann Laque: “You would think these places would have compassion for the families.”

Chris Gerhard: “After Ron passed in June, I started put- ting my will and funeral ar- rangements together. Still working on it all. Since he died without a will, his chil- dren and I did a GoFundMe to help with cremation expenses, and money for his children to probate his estate because he had no will. It was so hum- bling, and to me, humiliating, to have to ask other people to help with final expenses of our loved one. I refuse to ever put my family through that. My affairs will be in order within the next 30 days. Everything. My family will know my wishes and where my life insurance policies are and I’m also pre-paying for my cremation. I also refuse to take up real estate with my dead body only to be dug up later on as the world contin- ues to populate. Tomorrow is never promised. Heck, the rest of today isn’t promised. We need to be prepared. And in the research I’ve done in the last couple months, it’s not that expensive. I’d so much rather be prepared now than have my family have to deal with all that in addition to trying to grieve my loss. It’s too hard. And I don’t want that burden on my loved ones. And for the record, it’s actu- ally cheaper to pre-pay. I was unaware of that. But, prices go up on everything over time. Same with funeral expenses. I’d rather pay now.”