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When a death occurs, most
New Yorkers aren’t sure
who to turn to or what
to do. We recently spoke
with The Woodlawn Cemetery about how
they help individuals put their end-of-life
preferences in writing ahead of time to prevent
their loved ones from having to make
decisions on their behalf.
: How does Woodlawn help
families with making difficult end-of-life
Woodlawn: Our Family Service Associates
work with individuals and families to
address their preferences about end-of-life
arrangements. This includes offering our
complimentary Personal Planning Organizer,
to gather all the information needed
for final arrangements in one place. Then,
when the time comes for loved ones to
make decisions, the process is easier. Not
to mention you can secure today’s payment
rate with the decisions you make.
: What type of information is needed
when making arrangements?
Woodlawn: Essentially, the location of
all of your important documents. This includes
social security numbers, marriage
licenses, and military discharge papers.
Where to find bank, retirement, and investment
accounts. How to locate insurance
policies, veterans, and social security benefits,
and of course, preferences for funeral
and cemetery arrangements.
We provide families with a Personal
Planning Organizer so they can collect
all the information that the funeral
home or cemetery will need and ask for
at the time of death. When properly filled
out, this organizer can simply be handed
over to the funeral home and cemetery
so bereaved family members don’t have
to dig through documents for these details
in their time of grief. We offer booklets
for singles, married couples, and a
: How is Woodlawn handling
arrangements if a family is not able to
meet in person?
Woodlawn: During these unusual times,
our Family Service Associates are able to
meet with families either in person (with
safety precautions) or virtually. If you
choose to meet virtually, our staff can walk
you through property selection via our website.
If needed, multiple family members can
participate in a contactless appointment at
the same time. We are here to make sure
that all your questions are answered and
that you receive the highest level of service
whether you choose to meet with us in person
: What are some of the options
that Woodlawn offers for
memorializing a loved one?
Woodlawn: There are many options for
traditional burial and cremation
including private mausoleums,
community mauso-leums, traditional
burial with a headstone, cremation
benches, niches, and more. It’s important
for an individual to express their
preferences between traditional burial and
cremation, and which type of burial is preferred:
in ground, above ground, or
crema-tion. This is a great example of a
that can be addressed in the Personal Planning
Organizer. Most people have a strong
opinion on their own final disposition, and
it’s important to make sure those preferences
are in writing.
: With the rise in cremation, what
questions are you hearing from families?
Woodlawn: Most families want to know
what their opions are. After all, according to
a 2019 report by the National Funeral Directors
Association (NFDA), the cremation rate
in the U.S. is projected to be 78.7% by 2040.
That is a huge increase compared to previous
years. Families need to know there are
meaningful options for cremated remains.
We hear from so many who have the crema-
ted remains of a loved one at home and aren’t
sure what do to with them. We’ll make sure
you understand all of your options and talk
through what is best for you and your family.
: What do you say to these families?
Woodlawn: First, we explain how impor-
tant it is to have a place they can come
back to over the years to visit their loved
one who has died. This is an essential part
of the grieving process and one that is
often overlooked. Then we advise them to
come to Woodlawn to see their options for
themselves. We have something for everyone
and every budget. We also make sure
to tell families that Woodlawn is proud to
be an exclusive provider in the Bronx of the
Cremation With Confidence ™ Guarantee.
This means that we own and operate our
own crematory and follow a 10-step process
that ensures your loved one is treated
with dignity and respect throughout the
cremation process. We take our responsibilities
very seriously and want families to
: What is the next step
families should take?
Woodlawn: Call us to make an appointment
to meet with one of our Family Service
Associates in person or virtually. They
will help you know exactly what to do,
and explain your options so you can ultimately
reduce stress on your family. Call
718-920-0500 or visit www.woodlawn.org
for more information.
The Woodlawn Cemetery is located at
4199 Webster Ave., Bronx, NY.
Woodlawn helps you
plan ahead for peace of mind
in person or virtually
Brookside Cremation Garden
In-person or virtual tours available. Visit www.woodlawn.org.