Portfolio – Women’s Edition May 2016

Pre-Planning with Dignity Memorial
A Life Well Celebrated
By Bonnie L. Simon
Michael Hendren, General Manager

Published May 2016

For Women’s Edition Colorado Springs

Originally posted at WomensEdition.com, reposted with permission.

We don’t often think of funeral arrangements when we think about financial planning, but since arrangements can cost anywhere between $7,500 and $33,000 and since costs double roughly every 10 years, it’s worth considering planning and paying in advance. “It’s heart-breaking when people experience a death and are unable to do the things they want to do because they don’t have the financing,” laments Michael Hendren, the general manager for Dignity Memorial.

Dignity Memorial has been serving Colorado Springs since 1912 and own and operate five premier funeral homes and cemeteries in the city, to include the Swan Law properties. “Dignity Memorial providers offer affordable pre-arrangements that allow you to share your personal thoughts, important information and final wishes with the ones you care about most” adds Michael. Dignity Memorial has over 2000 funeral homes and cemeteries across North America which allows people to move their arrangements with them when they relocate.

Dignity Memorial offers a range of options for services, burial, and cremation. Services can be crafted by the family or can follow a traditional plan. They encourage the inclusion of personal touches. The planning tools include space to record the memories, stories, and accomplishments that can be used to celebrate a life.

Whether caring for a loss today or planning ahead, your Colorado Springs Dignity Memorial professionals can help you coordinate every detail to create a personal, meaningful tribute. For example, Michael tells a story about an individual that passed away and their hobby was collecting greeting cards. The staff arranged for people to write messages in the cards during the funeral. These cards, with the heartfelt messages of friends and family, were buried with the individual. Touches like these personalize an important life cycle event. Dignity Memorial strives to make sure the families, that they are honored to serve, have a memorable and meaningful experience.

Michael notes that many adults will have to care directly for a death and make arrangements, but many people don’t know what to do. One of the roles of a funeral home is to walk families through the process, respecting each family’s customs regarding death and memorial services. Dignity Memorial’s funeral homes serve everyone and are familiar with the customs of all religions, as well as those of the military.

Michael stresses the special attention to veterans in Colorado Springs. The local Dignity Memorial funeral homes donate time, talent and treasure to veterans’ organizations. “We offer free seminars to thousands of veterans a year so that they understand what is available to them through their military service upon their passing,” notes Michael. Many veterans believe that the military covers all the costs associated with a death, but this is not the case. The military pays for the cost of the burial itself. The family is responsible for the funeral or cremation, the casket, and transportation to the burial location. These are important details for military families to know in advance.

Dignity Memorial’s staff in Colorado Springs are experts in military burial benefits and honors. They work with families to make sure each veteran receives the benefits he or she is entitled to, as well as to include military honors in the funeral service. Veterans can request a Planning Guide to help them and their families understand what benefits they are eligible for. The pre-planning tools offered on Dignity Memorial’s website offer special options for members of each branch of our military.

Their dedication to serving those who served our country is apparent in their approach to programming. They offer a discount to members of the Veterans of Foreign Wars and the American Legion. Dignity Memorial is a founding member of the We Honor Veterans organization, formed to offer educational tools and resources to American military veterans. In 2015, Dignity Memorial brought Wreaths Across America to Colorado Springs through Memorial Gardens Cemetery and placed more than 100 wreaths on veterans’ graves throughout the holidays. In 2016, they expect 500 wreaths to be placed. They also care for the final arrangements of local homeless veterans.

Everyone, veterans and non-veterans, needs to know that funeral costs rise over time. “The insurance that you buy, in most cases, will never keep pace with inflation,” Michael concludes. “A reputable company will allow you to make advance arrangements and never charge more than the contracted amount.”

Contact Dignity Memorial at www.Swan-Law.com or 719-471-9900 to build your plan. When the time comes, your family won’t be faced with these two questions: “Did I honor their wishes?” and “Did I do the right thing?” Preplanning ensures that this will not be the case for your family. Planning ahead is your wish that your final goodbye is a reflection of all you have been and loved.