When it's time to go!
I have purchased a Golden Leaves Pre-Paid Funeral Plan for myself, and I have the most wonderful sense of peace of mind. Why, you may ask, would I do that?
I have taken this step to save my Next-of-Kin the trouble of having to find the funds to dispose of my body when I no longer have use for it. I believe that most people would agree that to do something like this for your family is a loving and responsible action to take. If you are living in your home country and you have a life insurance policy that will mature on your death with sufficient benefit to cover your last expenses, and, together with a Will, this should adequately cover the position.
The possible problems begin the moment you step out of your country, whether as a tourist or to live and work. When you do that you leave behind the society in which you and your family are possibly known, and have a credit rating and the support of other family members. Overseas, you are among a world of strangers and different rules apply when something as extreme as death occurs.
You would be a rarity if you thought beforehand about complications, such as I am enumerating.
Here in Spain every foreigner faces the same set of basic problems, and these can become hideously complicated due to religious or personal wishes. To begin with, it is the tradition to dispose of the deceased's body within twenty-four hours, or a maximum of 48 hours. When a man dies, his wife will have to call in a funeral director to remove the body, and she will have to follow the body to the Tanatorio, (the name given to a funeral home). There she will have to make known her wishes and the method of payment for services. Ideally, she should be able to debit her account for a cash payment, and the rest will go smoothly.
That rarely happens, in fact because most people don't have four thousand euros just sitting in a current account. The other problem will be Spanish/English languages. This is normally a time of great difficulty with emotions running very high. This is not the time to be scrambling over how to pay or even communicate effectively.
My Golden Leaves Pre-Paid Funeral plan works as follows: I have chosen a plan from among three options. I am in the process of completing payment for it. I am registered with a tanatorio at 25, Alfafar, 46910, Valencia. They have the details of my plan on record, and one day they expect to receive a call from my wife that they need to come and get me. They will ask her only one question: Do you wish for us to proceed strictly in accordance with the terms of the plan? I imagine she will answer yes, in which case they will then say tomorrow at 4pm. And that will be that. She can then make her calls and the first part of the transition will be complete, placing in her hands my death certificate. With that she will be able to proceed with the rest of the red tape.
This plan was devised by the internationally renowned firm of Funeral Directors, Rowland Brothers International, of the U.K. The firm was established in 1873, so they devised a plan to assist those who live, and die outside their native countries because out of their experience they have seen all too often the devastation caused when a member of the family dies unexpectedly and without preparations in place.
The other thing that I especially like is that the cost of the plan that I pay today is fixed for all time. I have said that it is my intention, and hope that I live to be 100 years of age. The company have said that will be fine, they will be there when I need them, and I am all paid up.
As a point of interest, statistically, men pre-decease their wives, and mothers their children
I will shortly visit the Tanatorio in Alfafar to meet the professionals who will care for me, and hopefully get a look at the process. This is a rare thing to do, and I'm fairly sure nobody else will have done that. I expect them to look at me curiously, and perhaps to say that they usually have to go and get me. I will reply that on this occasion I drove myself in, and I have every intention of driving myself home. Thank you!
A Golden Leaves Pre-Paid Funeral Plan, I think, is one of the best things I have done. Because of my status as a foreigner I have discovered that my life insurance policy and my Will are not sufficient to cover the situation here in Spain, so I have taken the necessary step to redress matters.
It makes sense! Now, I can get on with the best years of my life that are yet to come.
Copyright (c) 2013 Eugene Carmichael