Obituaries

Kathryn Sullivan-Jones
B: 1946-10-20
D: 2019-02-06
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Sullivan-Jones, Kathryn
Lynton Bourne
B: 1933-01-05
D: 2019-02-06
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Bourne, Lynton
John McGee
B: 1930-03-09
D: 2019-02-05
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McGee, John
Carissa Robinson
D: 2019-02-02
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Robinson, Carissa
Willa Higgins
B: 1927-02-19
D: 2019-01-30
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Higgins, Willa
Charles Mitchell III
B: 1950-01-03
D: 2019-01-29
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Mitchell III, Charles
Betty Barnett
B: 1931-05-16
D: 2019-01-19
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Barnett, Betty
Jennette Griffin
B: 1946-10-10
D: 2019-01-18
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Griffin, Jennette
BETTY SADDLER
B: 1941-05-11
D: 2019-01-15
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SADDLER, BETTY
Clarence Laster
B: 1935-07-08
D: 2019-01-14
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Laster, Clarence
Bessie Bryles
B: 1914-07-09
D: 2019-01-14
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Bryles, Bessie
Bettie McClain
B: 1935-08-05
D: 2019-01-13
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McClain, Bettie
Harvey Mc Murray
D: 2019-01-10
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Mc Murray, Harvey
Richard Vaughns
B: 1947-04-30
D: 2019-01-05
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Vaughns, Richard
Dovey Hicks
B: 1949-09-28
D: 2018-12-27
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Hicks, Dovey
James Allen
B: 1959-08-28
D: 2018-12-18
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Allen, James
Ella Braddock
D: 2018-11-21
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Braddock, Ella
Arthur McIver
B: 1951-08-06
D: 2018-11-11
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McIver, Arthur
Charles Freeny
D: 2018-11-09
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Freeny, Charles
Willie Ewing
B: 1917-09-23
D: 2018-11-07
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Ewing, Willie
Patricia Valentine
B: 1947-10-27
D: 2018-10-31
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Valentine, Patricia

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

Can You Afford To Die?

Can you afford to die?  This is an important question to ask yourself if you have loved ones.  First of all, those left behind will have to make arrangements and pay for your services and disposition, be it burial or cremation.  Most services take place within 4-7 days of one’s passing.  So immediately, adequate funds or assignable insurance is needed to go forth with services.  The cost of  arrangements vary from several hundred to several thousand dollars, depending of the type of service and disposition your family selects.  I have heard people say “let the county bury me.”  By law, a person’s legal next of kin is responsible for making funeral arrangements and for paying for them, unless they are indigent or can document that they have inadequate income.

If that is the case, then the county will cremate the person. 

So what position would your family be in if you stepped out of the picture?  Would they have adequate funds or insurance to take care of your services?  Many people have money in bank accounts that no one has immediate access to when they pass away.  It can take a minimum of 45 days before a family member has access to those funds.  Many people have insurance, but does your family know where the policy is, or the policy number or even the name of the insurance company?  Is your beneficiary an adult and accessible?  Sometimes people make minor children or incarcerated loved one’s beneficiaries, and this can cause significant delays in accessing the insurance for services.  Many of us are insured through our jobs.  What happens to your coverage when you resign, get laid off or retire?  These are important questions to ask because under some of these circumstances the insurance is terminated, greatly reduced or made available at significantly higher costs to you. 

Secondly, after the funeral is taken care of how would your passing effect the lifestyle of your family?  Would they be able to remain in your home or would they have to move?  Would your children be able to finish college or even afford to go to college?  Would your family be able to pay the car note or the existing bills?  Some people don’t think about these things, but it is wise to entertain them at least long enough to make some provisions. 

What to do?  

  • Pre-plan.  This is a good first step.  Decide what you want in funeral services and interment and make sure there are funds available to cover the costs today and in the future.  Guaranteed funeral plans offered by your local mortuary are good ways to accomplish this. 
  • Meet with family and decide what would be needed for them to carry on.  Locate and evaluate  your existing  insurance coverage and, or  explore additional insurance options.  Remember to choose your beneficiary wisely.
  • Meet with a probate attorney to discuss ways to set up your assets and financial affairs in the best interest of your immediate family. Wills and Living Trusts can be valuable documents to have.

Coping with the loss of a loved one emotionally, is very difficult in itself.  To have the immediate and long-term financial burden in addition, is added stress.  Most of us hope and plan to live long, quality lives.  We can still take the time to lessen the impact our passing would have on our family by being financially prepared.     


Gail Valentine Taylor, M.S.W.

Funeral Director 

(626) 798-8941

email: gailt@woodsvalentinemortuary.com

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