Claudia Radcliff
B: 1912-10-20
D: 2017-10-09
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Radcliff, Claudia
Charles Devine
B: 1923-05-04
D: 2017-10-09
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Devine, Charles
Donnie Shay
B: 1950-08-05
D: 2017-10-09
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Shay, Donnie
Louise Frazer
B: 1924-09-04
D: 2017-10-04
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Frazer, Louise
Elbert Nollie
B: 1930-03-29
D: 2017-10-02
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Nollie, Elbert
Gladys Jacques
B: 1931-12-04
D: 2017-09-30
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Jacques, Gladys
Arlethia Craig
B: 1929-08-01
D: 2017-09-23
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Craig, Arlethia
Richard Snowden
B: 1932-05-30
D: 2017-09-15
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Snowden, Richard
Atty. Robert Redford
B: 1932-08-20
D: 2017-09-06
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Redford, Atty. Robert
Dr. Raleigh Saddler
B: 1935-11-11
D: 2017-09-03
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Saddler, Dr. Raleigh
Larry Ridgell
B: 1940-10-17
D: 2017-09-03
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Ridgell, Larry
Deolma Randall
B: 1940-11-08
D: 2017-09-02
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Randall, Deolma
Efren Celestino
B: 1986-03-07
D: 2017-08-31
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Celestino, Efren
Dorcas Flowers
B: 1924-10-04
D: 2017-08-29
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Flowers, Dorcas
Charlie Bennett
B: 1927-04-17
D: 2017-08-29
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Bennett, Charlie
Jeanne McPherson - Milner
B: 1955-07-29
D: 2017-08-28
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McPherson - Milner, Jeanne
Charles Robison
B: 1957-12-17
D: 2017-08-25
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Robison, Charles
Robert Roquemore
B: 1927-01-01
D: 2017-08-14
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Roquemore, Robert
Bishop Frederick Alexander
B: 1945-06-04
D: 2017-08-12
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Alexander, Bishop Frederick
Shirley Rener
B: 1943-12-29
D: 2017-08-10
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Rener, Shirley
Eric Holloway
B: 1989-08-26
D: 2017-08-07
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Holloway, Eric


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1455 N. Fair Oaks Avenue
Pasadena, CA 91103
Phone: 626-798-8941
Fax: 626-798-0195

Insuring Proper Burial

Last month’s Funeralwise article entitled “A Proper Burial” discussed the reality that most individuals and societies recognize the importance of a person having “a proper burial” or “a proper final disposition” (to include the option of cremation). To be laid to rest in a respectable manner is a natural and reasonable expectation.   However, it is not something that just automatically takes place.  There is a process, procedures and costs involved.  How can you insure a proper burial?  You can do so by pre-planning your services and, those of your immediate family. 

There are a number of circumstances that can threaten  a proper final disposition, such as inability to find insurance information and other important documents, indecisiveness, time delays, family conflicts, lack of money, etc...  Thorough Pre-Need Funeral Planning can help you avoid these pitfalls. 

Pre-Need funeral planning involves:

  • providing information that is needed for the official records at time of death, such as birthplace, birthdate, SS#, Veterans Service #, parents names, etc.. 
  •  making selections regarding: type of service, place of service, merchandise (such as the casket, vault, register book, urn, flowers, headstone,  etc.), vehicles (limousines), programs, newspaper notices, type of interment,  etc…  and,
  • Identifying or establishing a means to pay for funeral services and interment (burial or cremation). This is last but not least, as having funds to pay for the service is the most important step in insuring a proper disposition.  Without the money, it is difficult at best for families to proceed with any type of service. 

There are costs associated with funeral services that are best taken care of in advance.  Life insurance is one of the best methods of doing so.  It is important to choose a life insurance policy that can be “assigned” to the mortuary.  In this instance the insurance company pays the funeral costs directly to the mortuary and additional proceeds, if any, then are paid directly to the beneficiary. Selecting an adult beneficiary is important, as proceeds left to children are not readily available at time of death. Selecting a primary and a contingent (or secondary) beneficiary is a good idea, in case the primary beneficiary dies before the insured person. These steps help avoid the proceeds going into your estate, and therefore not immediately available for funeral services.  Most mortuaries offer excellent plans that you can pay on monthly to cover the cost of funeral services. 

Some people don’t believe in insurance and that is their prerogative.  It is important then that they have enough money in the bank that their next-of-kin can access right away, once death occurs.  The person designated should be a joint tenant on your bank account (one with at least enough to pay for your desired services and interment) and not just beneficiary, in order to have  immediate access to funds upon death. 

There are substantial death benefits available to veterans and their spouses, but the veteran’s Discharge papers: the DD214 and Honorable Discharge Certificate are needed.  It is best to locate them before death occurs.  We have had instances where the family knew their loved one was a veteran, but the Veterans Administration could not verify this, and denied burial.  This should not happen to a veteran who has served honorably, and can be avoided by securing the documents in advance.  

Pre-need funeral planning addresses all of the above as well as other issues that can cause problems and delays in the services and interment of a loved one.  Information, needed records and signatures are secured, important decisions and selections are made, and a means to pay for desired services is identified or established.  A trained counselor assists you and all of the above is kept in a person’s pre-planning file at the mortuary.  Copies are given to the appropriate family members also. You can insure a proper burial tomorrow by planning ahead today.   

Gail Valentine Taylor, M.S.W.

Funeral Director

Woods-Valentine Mortuary

(626) 798-8941

52 Weeks of Support

It's hard to know what to say when someone experiences loss. Our free weekly newsletter provides insights, quotes and messages on how to help during the first year.