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Planning for Your Future

Attend Musgrove-Merriott-Smith’s free educational seminar on September 13 to ensure peace of mind.

By: Sarah Mitschke | Category: Special Interest | Issue: September 2007

The Musgrove-Merriott-Smith team has been offering personalized service since 1924. Pictured are Paul Merriott and June Medlock (front) and Frank Friedemann, Cindy and Jim Smith, Ryan Payne, Denise Cooper and Charlie Bray (back).

Informed people make better decisions. That is the idea behind Musgrove-Merriott-Smith Funeral Service and Crematory’s free educational seminar. Held September 13, the seminar’s goal is to provide the community with access to leading experts who can answer questions about wills, trusts, probate, health directives, estate planning, identity theft, making sure life insurance is in order, as well as funeral pre-planning. The “Life’s Big Decisions” seminar is in its fourth year of informing people about how to plan for the future.

According to Jim Smith, Musgrove-Merriott-Smith’s owner and funeral director, 81 decisions have to be made when planning a funeral. After losing a loved one, the last things families want to think about are pallbearers, what flowers to display at the funeral and who to choose as the pastor. By pre-planning and having all matters in order, families can save themselves from making last-minute, uninformed decisions, as well as additional grief. Matters need to be kept current.

Clint Russell, an attorney at the Stratton Taylor Law Firm in Claremore, will be leading the “Life’s Big Decisions” seminar. While the open-ended, question-and-answer session is aimed more towards those preparing for retirement, Smith encourages people who have not even thought about retirement to attend. “Funerals are not just for old people,” he mentions. “We bury just as many people under 50 as over.” Russell will provide free, legal advice and will give attendees information about all matters that need to be taken care of before a person’s death. Such questions will be answered as:

  • What are the elements of a will?
  • Who can access a bank account after death?
  • Will life insurance pay for a funeral?
  • What is the difference between a living trust and a living will?
  • Who do I contact after a death?

In addition to coordinating the seminar, Frank Friedemann, director of family services, runs an aftercare program at Musgrove-Merriott-Smith. With the goal of helping people get on with their lives after the funerals of loved ones, the aftercare program is free of charge. A checklist of the many details to take care of after the funeral is provided for the surviving spouse or family members. Friedemann works with clients to help them file for insurance, take care of pension plans, death certificates, wills and trusts, as well as give assistance in any way needed. Support groups and grief counseling are also provided to assist in the healing process.

Musgrove-Merriott-Smith is a unique funeral home that treats clients like family. According to Smith, a previous client’s husband had always put gas in her car. After he died, the widow had no idea how to pump her own gas. Smith personally took her to a gas station and taught her how to fill her own tank. “We just want to help people,” he says. “We’re a good resource for helping people get on with their lives.”

The “Life’s Big Decisions” seminar will be held September 13 at the Claremore Community Center located at 2301 N. Sioux. To accommodate people’s varying schedules, two sessions have been planned. It is recommended that attendees make reservations for either the 2 p.m. or 7 p.m. session by calling (918) 341-2487 or e-mailing eat1@eau1eav1eaw1t. Each session will last one hour. Seating is limited, so reserve your spot today!For more information about Musgrove-Merriott-Smith Funeral Service, call (918) 341-2487. The family-owned business can make all your funeral arrangements to memorialize and celebrate a life that has been lived. To better serve clients with personal and thoughtful service, Musgrove-Merriott-Smith has additional locations in Inola and Chelsea.For more information, contactMusgrove-Merriott-SmithFuneral Service and Crematory102 W. 5th St., Claremore, OK 74017(918)

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