There was an Earthquake here in Los Angeles that occurred at 11:42 AM on Tuesday, July 29, 2008. Both my children were at their autism day camp while I was attending a Memorial the next town over. After the service I headed over to the camp to see how everyone handled the shake. My 13 year old was going to Round Table Pizza for lunch with them getting ready to leave the classroom. Turns out Nicholas never felt the rolling or jolt. Luckily the Earthquake did not stand in the way of the pizza lunch since Nicholas was so looking forward to it.
The talk for days was that of the pizza lunch and the Jurassic Fight Club series premiering on History Channel the same night. On the ride home I explained to Nicholas where I was during the Earthquake. This sparked an interesting dialogue where Nick asked me if he or his brother Matthew were to die would I have a Memorial for them. Nicholas wanted to know how I would know who to call to have a Memorial and how to take care of all that.
I explained to him about the Life Insurance Policies we all have and how my Brother in New Jersey is listed as the Beneficiary. We have always talked of living in California due to the Regional Center Services and how he either wants to work at the Los Angeles Zoo or Sea World. There are options in San Diego for Matthew if Nicholas prefers to head to San Diego in the future. There are Grants we can look into for the future.
The discussion on the way home involved my explaining Cremation in simple terms to my son. I told him this is the option my Father and Grandmother chose and the family complied with those wishes. I told him this is what I always wanted and I said I was thinking of a pre-pay plan that would be similar to making car payments. He seemed to think this was a good way to make sure we had the money to pay for such a service in the event of an untimely and sudden death.
When we got home I showed Nicholas the booklet from the Memorial and we visited the website written about the boy who passed away. Nicholas said it was very sad and he felt bad for the sister. I proceeded to search for some sites to learn more about planning for a cremation and what information I needed to know. There is a term known as TOD, meaning Transfer of Death account. This sample is for an Invididual, but they also have Joint transfer accounts.
The Cremation and Burial Society of San Diego has a list of questions for advance planning. KTLA has this article on planning your own funeral. At Kids Protection Plan you can prepare free legal documents and name Guardians for your children. I went through all the steps at the Cremation Society, picked a Plan with the final cost coming to $2017.00. I would need this for three people and there does not seem to be a plan available at that site. I suggest using Google for your search and including your city or State to find appropriate plans and services. There are even Guides for sale on Ebay.
Canadian Cremation Service
Forest Lawn Services
Funeral Prepay Plans in the UK
Funeral Consumers Alliance
Autism Tissue Program
Plan a Funeral Memorial Service
Bereavement Air Travel
This is an article I wrote after Hurricane Katrina. It is Essential Items for the Family. I include what we have in our Earthquake kits.