Q. I don’t like to think of my own funeral. Why should I plan my own funeral?
A. Many choose to pre-plan so that their family does not have the stress of trying to determine what your wishes are – especially while they are grieving. You can pre-plan your funeral service, monument, funeral home services, organ donation, and estate plan well in advance of your death. You may also save your family expenses by preplanning.
Q. Why should I have a will?
A. You need to ensure your wishes are carried out – how to distribute your property, who will care for your minor children. Visit your attorney to either write a will or update it. Your attorney may also have suggestions on ways to decrease your heirs’ inheritance taxes (which are very high). We ask you to consider remembering St. Mary’s in your will or estate plan!
Q. I have a living will. Why would I need to update it?
A. The laws have changed since 1991. You should revisit this document with your attorney if you haven’t discussed a living will since then. The Iowa Bar Association has information at www.iowabar.org.
Q. Why should I include charities such as St. Mary’s in my will?
A. If you cared enough about a charity during your lifetime to contribute financially, you can think about how you can provide for those charities after you have gone. Donors have contributed through bequests, life insurance policies, charitable trusts, real estate and even retirement plans. Contact the Development Office at 712/732-3110 or firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions.
Q. Can I prepay for a funeral?
A. Yes, you can work through a bank trust – although the inflation rate may result in not enough money saved to cover the entire cost of your funeral. Funeral homes may have access to a type of insurance policy designed to cover your final costs.
Q. Can Catholics be cremated?
A. Yes, although the church prefers that the faithful not be cremated because of our belief in the resurrection of the body. If cremation is to occur, it is suggested that the funeral mass be celebrated first, then the body cremated. Cremated remains must always be interred in a cemetery and never scattered.
Q. Can I have secular music at my funeral?
A. No, the church requires sacred music, preferably with texts referring to the paschal mystery of Christ. The parish has a list of suggested songs, including some to be used during funerals in the Easter and Christmas seasons.
Q. Can Catholics be organ and tissue donors?
A. Yes, the Church considers organ and tissue donation an act of charity.
Q. Why should I donate my organs and tissues? I’m too old and I’ve been ill – there’s not much that can be donated.
A. As long as you have not been diagnosed as HIV positive, there are many ways you can donate - from tendons and ligaments to corneas and tissues – as well as organs. Go to www.Iowadonornetwork.org for more information.
Q. I’ve heard that I can’t have an open casket if I donate organs and/or tissues.
A. The funeral home director and the medical professionals will ensure that your body is prepared for a viewing in the event of most organ donations. You can even choose which organs and tissues you are willing to donate.
Q. Does it cost my family money to be an organ/tissue donor?
A. It does not cost any money to be an organ/tissue donor. The cost is covered by the recipient’s family.
Q. How much is a plot in St. Mary’s Cemetery? Can I purchase pre-need?
A. A burial or cremation plot in the main cemetery is $450 per plot. Plots in the cremation area are $300 per plot. Yes, you can contact one of the cemetery board members to choose and purchase a plot. Call the parish office at 732-3110 for contact information.
(Please note there will be opening and closing fees for burial sites.)
Q. Do I have to have a monument?
A. There are no laws or regulations requiring a family to purchase a monument. A temporary marker from the funeral home will be placed instead.
Q. Do I have to purchase a monument now if I choose one?
A. No, you do not have to purchase a monument, but you can visit with a monument firm and choose one that fits your budget and your preferences.