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TOPIC: Mom dying in Maryland with burial in Georgia

Mom dying in Maryland with burial in Georgia 31 Aug 2011 15:53 #539

Thank you for this forum - heres my dilemma.
89 yr old Mom has home in south GA, plot and already inscribed headstone at cemetery.
She is with me, and now Hospice (end stage Alzheimer's), in Maryland last 2 yrs.

Were it up to me only, I would have Mom cremated, take her remains home, and scatter them at gravesite.
Mom long knew I prefer cremation, so she made my daughter promise she would ensure Mom had a regular burial.

When I first looked into this last year, I found the costs of a funeral home here, transport, and a funeral home there was going to cost around 15K and take up a good week of my life.

Not trying to be nasty here - its just that Mom has no other living family, friends or neighbors, and hasn't attended 'her' church in over 40 yrs. So all this hoopla, all this money, all this time, will be for my daughter and me? Ridiculous.

My daughter argues its what Mom wants, and its her money. Despite my feelings, its hard to argue with that. So my question:

Is there a way to accomplish what Mom wants without spending a small fortune?

I looked into Memorial Society of Georgia and they offer an affordable option - though it 100+ miles from their closest participating location to the cemetery. And I have yet to find a list of the participating funeral homes in Maryland. And this still doesn't cover transport.

I read the "Death Away From Home" brochure - but its hard to visualize the logstics of loading Mom up in a rental van and driving 14 hours down the Appalachians - and then what? Pull up at the cemetery and honk the horn?

I would truly appreciate it if someone could give me some practical guidance and information. I am beyond stressed and tired with end of life care and just want to have a plan in place. Thank you.
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Re: Mom dying in Maryland with burial in Georgia 15 Sep 2011 13:50 #549

I'll try to help.

Unfortunately what you have found out with the Memorial Societies is very common and most people do not understand this criteria when signing up with a Memorial Society. Let's say the Memorial Society in Georgia is offering cremations form $995, and you pass away on vacation in Maine, the Memorial Society is not going to cover your costs. So you have two options, 1) pay to have the body shipped back to Georgia and take advantage of your Memorial Society membership; or 2) pay a funeral Director in Maine for the services.

Lets say your mother passes away today. You call a local funeral home to pick her up and prepare her for transport to Georgia. I don't know what funerals go for in Maryland, but lets say their basic services are $1,500 plus $300 for removal/transportation to the funeral home, and $600 for embalming. Already, you're looking at $2,400. Then, the receiving funeral home in Georgia is going to charge you a "receiving of remains" charge that will total the cost of THEIR basic service fee plus transportation. This could run up an additional $2,000 or more.

The way around all this is to call a funeral home you want to use in Georgia. Do not call a funeral home in Maryland. The Georgia funeral home will make all arrangements needed to have the body picked up, prepared, and flown or driven to Georgia. This is called "trade work" and there are private companies who do nothing but trade work for funeral homes. The funeral home in Georgia will get a much better rate than what you can get from your local funeral home ultimately saving you a few thousand dollars.

Hope this helps.
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Re: Mom dying in Maryland with burial in Georgia 15 Sep 2011 14:31 #552

Thanks. The end is very near and i did complete my planning and will note in here in hopes of helping others.
i paid $35 for a membership in Memorial Soc of Ga.
There is a participatin FH halfway b/t the Atlanta airport and the cemetery. I emailed and they were VERY helpful - thus I chose them. their simple burial cost is $2050 which includes bringing Mom to graveside.
This FH will contact InmanTransport once notified of Moms passing.
As we are in/near a major city, Inman will be here within hours. (Yes, a local FH could be here more quickly, but their prices are not at all competitive).
Inman Transport cost for pickup and embalming, transport to airport, hom removal and death certificates at $20 eadch (I am getting 8) and estimates air traqnsport from WAS to ATL is a total of $1730
I ordered the clothing Mom wanted from FARSWORTH GOWNS. Great price, high quality. $160 total. Also I have a casket spray for graveside in a shopping cart at telefloral so family flowers are also ready
Cemtery (Mom already has a plot and headstone) is $2875 $1395 to open and close greaqve and $1480 or the vault. (The vault could also be shipped overnight from a place called peninsularcasket for less than $1000). All told my costs will be apprx $7000 - less than half of what it would have costs had I gone from FH to FH.
Note, if Mom expires before 30 days of membership in the Mem Soc (and she likely will) the FH costs will be $1200 more for same service. Still a comparative bargain.
Doing all this planning ha atually helped me get through the days of waiting - and while I am sure I have forgotten things, I also know i've done a good job under difficult cirsumstances keeping cost down and still getting a quality service I can feel good about.
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