If there was a death in your family yesterday, what would you be doing today?

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If there was a death in your family yesterday, what would you be doing today? Or let's take it one step further -- if you passed away yesterday, what would your family be doing today? Maybe we would like to imagine that everyone would be gathered in the family home reliving fond memories while recalling special occasions like family trips and favorite holidays together. Unfortunately, life, and particularly death, doesn't always play out like our favorite Hallmark Channel movie. The death of a loved one often can bring about chaos, confusion, family tension and new or unusual financial expenditures. But it doesn't have to be that way -- especially for Catholics.

As Catholics, we have certain rights and privileges based upon our faith. Among these privileges is the assistance of trained, professional family service coordinators (FSCs) from the Catholic Cemetery Association of the Archdiocese of Boston. These FSCs can help you plan ahead and layout a blueprint so that when a death does occur, it will be easier on those we leave behind.

FSCs will start by providing you with a free Pre-planning Kit. This kit has tools that can better help you prepare for the inevitable. The focal point of this kit, the Catholic Family Emergency Record Guide, will lay out an outline for you or a loved one's future plans -- remember, some of us are responsible for not only ourselves, but our loved ones as well.

The Family Emergency Record Guide is just what the name says. It is for any CATHOLIC FAMILY, that in a time of EMERGENCY, a RECORD would exist that would help GUIDE them through the worst day of their life -- the passing of a loved one. The guide contains sections that help lay out the obituary, detail funeral and burial wishes, helps with finances, explain the process for veteran and social security benefits, and much more. And the best part -- all these tools are free and without obligation.

For those who wish to take their pre-planning to the next level (and who shouldn't?), your FSC can help you secure burial rights in an Archdiocesan cemetery. The Catholic Cemetery Association has cemeteries with burial space still available in Malden, Waltham, Winchester, Stoneham, Salem, Beverly, Lynn, Haverhill, Gloucester, Lowell, Tewksbury, Arlington, Andover, Watertown, Marblehead, and Marlborough. Your FSC can show you what is available, discuss payment options, including interest free payment plans and then help you secure the desired site. The process is simple, easy and best of all, they let you move at a pace that you are comfortable with. There is no "hard sell," simply a desire to help our Catholic families make a tough time a little more bearable.

Pre-planning offers several benefits -- none of which can be minimized. Pre-planning ensures that your wishes and desires are known and followed. Pre-planning offers protection from inflation and locks in today's costs as the expense of burial space continues to climb each year. But best of all, pre-planning gives you PEACE OF MIND. Knowing that you have personally taken care of these matters and that tough decisions and last-minute expenditures won't be a burden to your family and loved ones is the best benefit of all.

Catholics within the Archdiocese of Boston are blessed with not only some of the most historic cemeteries around but with a staff of cemetery professionals that care and want to help. Why not start with their free Pre-Planning Kit? Simply call 781-322-6300 and tell them you read about it here. Who doesn't want to give their family the protection and guidance they deserve?