Cremation planning can be challenging for bereaved families, but with Boston Cremation’s online planning process, you can plan your loved one’s cremation or your own cremation easily.
John Maher: Hi, I’m John Maher and I’m here today with Rebekah Peoples, a licensed funeral director with Boston Cremation. Today we’re talking about cremation planning and the ease of the online planning process. Welcome, Rebekah.
Rebekah Peoples: Thank you, John.
How Cremation Planning Differs from Planning a Traditional Funeral
John: Rebekah, when I think of a traditional funeral home, I think of meeting with the funeral director to plan for the arrangements of my loved one’s funeral and burial.
Things work a little bit differently with cremation planning. Can you tell me a little bit about the online planning process that you have at Boston Cremation?
Rebekah: Yes. At Boston Cremation, we realized that a lot of people today are on the Internet surfing — whether it is on their computer, on their tablet, even on their phone — people are on the Internet all the time. People actually use the Internet as a resource a lot of times for looking for things related to cremation.
We thought that since people are already on the Internet, we would put our planning process online for people who want to do that.
It’s not necessary to do it online, but for people to do it online, it makes it easy because they can actually fill out a form that we have online, they can enter all the information for some of the legal documents that we need, and it just kind of takes away from some of the time constraints of being able to do it at your comfort, whenever you want, and fill it in at your own pace. Even if you fill in part of it amd don’t fill in the rest of it, but just want to get it started, it’s something that’s just really easy to do. It takes care of a couple of the forms at one time. The cremation authorization is included in that and people can also pay online.
Advantages of Online Cremation Planning
John: What are some more of the advantages of online cremation planning? Is it normally more difficult?
Rebekah: No, it actually is easier for some people, because a lot of people are on the Internet almost all the time or at least connected in some way. A lot of times when people, unfortunately, are thinking about using our services, it may not be nine to five, it might be sitting with someone regardless of time of day or night and, of course, the Internet is always available, whatever time.
Sometimes we’ll come in in the morning and take a look at our email, because anytime someone pre-plans online, we get a message emailed to us that someone has done the pre-planning online so that we can be responsive right away to that.
Sometimes we see that people have planned at odd times of the day or night, so that’s something that you can do not just whenever is convenient for you, but also wherever you are. People have Internet access now just about anywhere they are.
Cremation Planning vs. Preplanning Online
John: Sure. Is the process essentially the same whether or not I’m planning a cremation for a family member who has already died or for a cremation pre-planning where I’m arranging a future cremation for either myself or a loved one?
Rebekah: You can actually do either. It’s very easy and it’s the same forms for both. On our homepage is a red button that says, “Arrange Now” and that doesn’t differentiate whether you’re planning ahead of time or planning at the time, but once you get into the form and start filling in the information toward the bottom of the form there are two questions. One of them says, “Is this for immediate need?” You would check “Yes” if the person had already passed, and the second question is, “Is this for pre-planning?” which you would check, “No” in this case.
If you were planning ahead of time, whether you’re a healthy person who is just thinking you want to get things taken care of, or whether it’s someone that you know you’re going to need us for imminently, you would just check on there, “Is it for immediate need?” No. “Is it for pre-planning?” Yes.
Cremation Release Forms
John: Okay. You mentioned that the form also has a place that you can fill out that involves a release form. Can you tell me a little bit more on that?
Rebekah: Yes, when you get to the bottom of that form, there is the actual authorization for the cremation. Massachusetts is one of the few states that allows people to sign for their own cremation before they die.
If you were pre-planning for yourself, you would obviously just put your own name in there that you’re the person authorizing that. Again, in this technology-oriented world that we’re in, it takes a digital signature right in that form.
If you were a person who’s making these arrangements for a family member, but you’re the person who’s going to be legally responsible with the time to authorize the cremation, you put that name in.
John: Okay, well that’s really great information, Rebekah. Thanks again for speaking with me today.
Rebekah: Well, thank you.
John: For more information, visit www.bostoncremation.org or call 781-322-0909.