This is one family decision you should be around for.

Those who plan ahead find arranging their own funeral, memorial service or cremation service, before need, is one of the most thoughtful acts they could do for their family.

The type of service chosen varies with each person, but one thing is constant: a service provides a focal point for remembering your life. It also provides emotional value for your family and loved ones into the future.

Step 1: Arrange a conference with our Family Service Director. At this time you can express your choices regarding a meaningful funeral service. They will explain the full range of funeral options available to you and completely answer your questions. There is no charge for this service.

Step 2: Free recording your wishes. You may complete the Estate Record Guide to assure your wishes will be followed as you direct. You should keep this form with other valuable papers, review it periodically and update it when you feel it is necessary. We will also keep a copy on file for further assurance.

Step 3: Choose your pre-financing option. You may choose to fund through the Missouri Funeral Trust Program. It allows you to arrange the specified kind of service you desire based on today’s prices and be assured of adequate funds for the payment of future services.

Step 4: Share with your family. Offer your thoughts and listen carefully. Give their ideas special attention since your funeral will most directly affect your family. It is important to include their suggestions in your plans.

Please call us at 816-770-3331 to set up your free consultantion with our Services Director to discuss options and answer all your questions.

What to do when death occurs.

In our experience, families are often unaware of what needs to be done and the time frame in which things generally occur. We hope that this gives families a guideline that will help you to proceed with the funeral arrangement details.

After a death has occurred, Gowing Funeral Home should be notified right away at 816-770-3331. We are available 24 hours a day.

• When a death occurs at a nursing facility, the nursing home will usually notify the funeral home. It is important that you also make contact with us.
• When death occurs at a hospital, the hospital will ask the family what funeral home will be handling the arrangements. This is not for the hospital to call the funeral home, it is only for the hospital to know to whom they may release the deceased. It is very important that you call the funeral home.
• When a death occurs at a residence, the medical examiner’s office must be notified. When a person is under the care of a hospice provider, the contact to the medical examiner is done by the hospice personnel. It is important to know that the funeral home must wait for permission from the medical examiner’s office before the removal of the remains from the residence.
• When death occurs out-of-town, please call us. Our staff is experienced in taking care of the intricate details involved.

When placing a call to Gowing Funeral Home, you will be asked for:
• The full name of the deceased
• The location of the deceased (hospital, nursing facility or residence)
• Your name, address and phone number of the next-of-kin
• Permission for embalming
• Is there a pre-arranged funeral plan? If there is a pre-arrangement on file with us, it would be helpful to have the plan name or number.
• We will establish an appointment time for you to come to the funeral home to complete funeral arrangement details. This is necessary even if there is a pre-arranged funeral plan.
• We will ask you to bring in certain items necessary for the completion of funeral arrangements.

Social Security Benefits

When applying for a deceased ones Social Security benefits, you may apply at any Social Security office or, if you wish, you may apply by telephone. Just dial the toll-free number 1-800-772-1213 between the hours of 7 a.m. and 7 p.m. on regular business days and the operator will schedule an appointment for you or arrange for the local Social Security office to take your claim by telephone. At other times and on weekends and holidays, you may leave a message and they will call you back, in most cases, the next business day.

You may also visit the Social Security Administration website to check eligibility for benefits and payment information.

Veteran’s Benefits

A VA burial allowance is a partial reimbursement of an eligible veteran’s burial and funeral costs. When the cause of death is not service-related, the reimbursement is generally described as two payments: (1) a burial and funeral expense allowance, and (2) a plot interment allowance.

To learn more about who is eligible and how to apply for benefits, visit the Department of Veteran’s Affairs website.