Putnam Preplanning and Bereavement Guide

Last Wishes with Jessamyn

Following her emotional experiences with loss, Michelle has created a series of podcasts to help others by discussing ways to plan for the inevitable and help the healing. Jessamyn Putnam joins her on Episode 2, entitled, “Last Wishes with Jessamyn,” in which last wishes and end-of-life planning are discussed.

Michelle lost her parents unexpectedly in a tragic car accident and then lost her brother following his battle with cancer.  Her journey taught her things that she wished she did not have to learn the hard way.  Therefore she created this podcast to help others discover what they should do in advance.  She believes that in order to live well, we must learn how to die well.  And her sincerest wish is that she can help others prepare for, and not be scared about preparing for, the inevitable.  Her podcast contains interviews with hospice, a funeral director, a pastor, and several people and organizations who can be involved with end-of-life decisions.  These podcasts are free and available to everyone.  When asked if this was part of her grief journey and a way for her to make meaning out of her loss, Michelle responded that yes it was.

After listening to the series, one hospice nurse stated, “This series of podcasts has given me a clear focus and I want to share these podcasts with so many more people!”

Remember, that in order to live well we must learn how to die well, and by learning from Michelle’s experience, maybe some of the stress and anxiety associated with end-of-life decision making will be reduced.  Death is never easy, but creating a plan for it now will go a long well to helping you and the ones you leave behind.

Last Wishes with Jessamyn 

Medicaid Eligibility and Prepaid Funerals

Medicaid counts irrevocable prepaid funeral contracts as an exempt asset.  So as you are looking to pay down assets to become eligible for Medicaid, you can count prepaid funeral contracts as one more tool in your tool box.  Have whole life insurance or a revocable funeral contract?  We can work with you to convert those to exempt assets.  Contact one of our Putnam Funeral Homes to get started!

Important Notice about Medicaid Eligibility Rules

Please be aware that Medicaid rules vary greatly from state to state and are constantly changing. The listed examples of exempt and non-exempt assets may vary from state to state and will often depend on a variety of individual factors. Most states follow the Social Security Administration’s (SSA) Supplemental Security Income (SSI) guidelines to establish Medicaid eligibility. The following states use their own rules to establish eligibility for Medicaid which are different from SSA’s SSI rules: Connecticut, Hawaii, Illinois, Indiana, Minnesota, Missouri, New Hampshire, North Dakota, Ohio, Oklahoma, Virginia. An attorney can assist you in designing a Medicaid plan that preserves as many assets as possible under the laws and eligibility requirements of your state. Always speak to a qualified attorney who is knowledgeable in elder law before spending down or transferring assets to qualify for Medicaid. The purchase of a prepaid funeral contract is an important part of your complete Medicaid plan, so be sure to consult a licensed funeral director who can assist you in creating a properly structured prepaid funeral plan.

Putting Your House in Order

Preparing for death is not something most of us want to do.   We know it is inevitable, but sometimes we hope that it won’t happen or we just choose not to think about it.  The thing is though, that if we do not put some sort of order to our affairs before we die, then we are forcing those we love to put order to possible chaos at one of their most vulnerable and emotional moments, potentially creating an unnecessary hardship or worsening the grief they feel.

Some things to consider:

  1. Make a will and select an executor who is trustworthy and will use sound judgement in making decisions.
  2. Create a record of personal affairs that lists contacts and relevant account information for your attorney, CPA, financial advisor, realtor, executor, banks, insurance, retirement, credit cards, debt, property owned, safe deposit box, automobile registration, etc.
  3. Sign and notarize a written authorization stating whether you want to be cremated or buried and with which Funeral Home (if already selected). On another page, provide information (if applicable) on cemetery plot, disposition of ashes, service or celebration of life requested (church, synagogue, funeral home, or other), and what music, readings, photos, videos, etc. you might want utilized.
  4. Provide biographical information such as education, religious affiliation, employment history, fraternal, service, social, and/or union membership, boards served on, positions held, special recognition, family information (next of kin, children, etc) and/or your veteran’s service record, as this information will be needed for the death certificate, veteran’s benefits, and/or an obituary.

Whether you feel overwhelmed or are ready to act – call or email us at Putnam Funeral Home and Crematory in Kingsland, TX (325-388-0008, staff@putnamcares.com) or Cremation Advocates by Putnam in Marble Falls (830-798-8413, staff@cremationadvocates.net) – to schedule an appointment to discuss how you can help your loved ones tomorrow by being proactive today.