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  • Writer's pictureCatherine Swan

8 Surprising Facts about Funeral Planning

On a cold March day, the inside of the Yampa Valley Funeral Home is warm and inviting. The wood finishes of the chapel feel natural, like the inside of a home.  The Lockes, who have owned and operated Yampa Valley Funeral Home for 15 years, know how to make people feel at ease.

We sat down with Mitch this afternoon to talk about funerals, and we learned a number of surprising facts that we want to share with you:

Cremation is by far the most popular choice in this area: more and more people are choosing cremation as their preferred option after they pass away–Mitch estimates he does about 90% cremations in the Yampa Valley.  The ashes are easier and less expensive to ship, as most families live far away.

Cremation isn’t always cheaper: While it can be cost-effective, there are some exceptions.  If you want to have a viewing of the body, such as an open-casket memorial service before your cremation, your family will have to pay for embalming costs and the casket.  These add up quickly, so if you’re looking to cut costs, you might considering foregoing the viewing.

The funeral home no longer has a hearse. In the Rocky Mountains, the hearse simply couldn’t make it to most gravesites and cemeteries, even in good weather. Instead, the Lockes use an SUV for transporting bodies, one that can make it to the cemetery in North Routt without any trouble.

You can bury a body on private property: In some ways, the wild west still remains: it’s perfectly legal to bury your loved one on your property in Colorado.

You can do a lot with your ashes, but you can’t scatter them: Were you thinking about having your ashes scattered on Rabbit Ears Pass or by your favorite campsite in North Routt?  It’s definitely a no-no at least in Colorado.  Consider one of the many amazing things your family can do with your ashes.

Pre-planning a funeral is the best way to ensure your wishes are preserved: When you visit the funeral home and pre-plan and pre-pay for your funeral, you are doing your family an enormous service.  You might say, “What do I care?  I’ll be dead!” but your children or siblings who are still living will be left to guess at what you wanted.  The best way to save the effort is to plan your funeral ahead.

Pre-planning is also the most cost-effective: The price of your plan gets locked into your contract.  So even as prices inflate, your funeral is still paid for when you pass.  You can’t put a price on the peace of mind, either.

You should call the funeral home first.  If you have a loved one who has a prepaid plan with Yampa Valley Funeral Home and passes away somewhere else, always call the Yampa Valley Funeral Home first.  They will contact the local mortuary or funeral home and typically be able to transfer the plan or work with other professionals to bring the body here.  Trying to handle it yourself might result in the loss of the pre-payment on the funeral.

Have you pre-planned your funeral?  Bought a cemetery plot?  If you want to learn more about your options in the Yampa Valley, contact the Yampa Valley Funeral Home at 970-879-1494.

And if you’re the kind of organized person who always plans ahead–first, pat yourself on the back, and second, call Swan Law to get a review of your estate plan: 970-879-1572.

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