Tuesday, April 26, 2011

Post Office Locates Missing Ashes - The Importance of Planning

Last week the local news ran several stories about a man who flew to Hawaii to scatter his recently deceased mother's ashes. The ashes were shipped via the US Mail, but did not arrive in time for the planned ceremony. In fact, initial stories reported the ashes were lost. Later the postal service stated that the ashes had been shipped via a slower method; Express mail would have had them there in 2 days. Sadly, this is not what the son had been told at the post office. This story will hopefully have a happy ending and that one day the family can return and complete the desired ceremony. It also illustrates the importance of 1) letting your family know your burial wishes, and 2) anticipating a variety of snafus in planning.

Wisconsin residents have the ability to complete a free form, issued by the State of Wisconsin, called the Authorization for Final Disposition. It allows them to appoint a first and second choice person to handle burial/cremation arrangements. It is available on the Department of Health Services web site.

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