End of Life Decisions - Funeral or Cremation

  • Everything people need to know about making end-of-life decisions in Washington state.  PlanBeyond's website at http://www.PlanBeyond.com includes state-specific medical documents, funeral planning and financial tips.

    Professionals have submitted articles and resources for various end-of-life fields in addition to state-specific advise, because laws vary in every state. 

    The goal of PlanBeyond is to remove the burden and industry jargon and give people one place to go for help.  The information is already available for people, but it is not in one place, and it is often time-consuming and frustrating to track down all the needed information. 

    PlanBeyond provides checklists
    and specifics on where to find information for each item.    ("New website helps with end-of-life plans," by Erica Curless, The Spokesman-Review, February 15, 2016) 

  • Cremation.  In Spokane County, cremations are more popular than burials, in spite of the reality that burying the body of loved ones confirms Christian faith in the resurrection of the body.  Washington state has one of the highest cremation rates in the country.  More and more Americans are trying to get away from the more expensive side of the cemetery.  (Barbara Kemmis, executive director of Cremation Association of North America) 
Statistics
  • 76% of people in the U.S. neglect end-of-life planning, often waiting too long.  (2012 study by the American Medical Association)

  • Cremation.  Since 2000, the percentage of cremations in Spokane County has risen steadily from about 56% to a new high of around 75% in 2014.  Meanwhile, burials in Spokane County have seen a steady decline from around 39% in 2000 to around 21% in 2014.  NOTE:  Percentages may not add up to 100, as bodies may be donated to medical research, not recovered or entombed.  (Center for Health Statistics, Washington State Department of Health; National Cremation Association of North America) 
What You Can Do
  • Many families are unable to pay for funeral or cremation services, especially when a death is sudden and unexpected.  They may consider the following options:

    • Contact local funeral and cremation services to compare prices.  Many businesses will allow you to pay for their services on a payment plan, especially if you are pre-planning services.

    • If you belong to a Church, ask your pastor if the congregation can assist with the finances.

    • Ask family and friends for help, or set up a fundraiser. 

    • For cremation services, contact Spokane Cremation at (509) 324-9375.

Local Organizations