Monthly Archives: December 2019

cremation services offered in Burtonsville, MD

The Most Common Family Heirlooms

After cremations as part of the cremation services offered in Burtonsville, MD, one of the things that the surviving family members will do is go through the family heirlooms and distribute them according to the deceased’s wishes or, if they did not specify who they should go to, to the family members who want them.

Family heirlooms are anything the family has considered to be valuable and has been passed down through the family for several generations. These can be items of monetary value, such as antiques or rare collections, or they can be items with sentimental value. And, while some family heirlooms are very old, some may be newer, but become family heirlooms because they had so much value in the life of the family who has lost a loved one.

However, in almost family, there are some common heirlooms that the family keeps and passes on to future generations.

Jewelry is one common family heirloom. It may be a set of pearls, a wedding band set, or a set of cufflinks that has been in the family for a very long time. Often, in the case of wedding rings, grandmothers and mothers will specify that they want a specific granddaughter or daughter to have their wedding rings when they die.

Timepieces are another common family heirloom. Whether it’s a pocket watch (that may or may not run) or a grandfather clock, these often make their way through successive generations of a family.

It might surprise you to learn that furniture is a very common family heirloom. The furniture may have been built by a grandfather or great-grandfather, making it special and valuable, or the furniture may be an exquisite china cabinet or piano that has been in the family for generations.

Recipes, especially the handwritten recipe cards, are also a very common family heirloom. Having Grandma’s recipe for apple pie or Mom’s recipe for perfect biscuits is something that each generation will cherish. And when they cook the recipes of those who have gone before them, they are reminded of how much they were loved and cherished.

Bibles and other kinds of books are also included in common family heirlooms. Some families have Bibles that belonged to great-great grandparents, and they often contain, not only family history, but also treasures such as notes or old newspaper clippings that give insights into life at that time.

If you’ve had family members who were in the military at any point in American history, then the odds are good that your family has some of these common heirlooms. These can include uniforms, dog tags, medals, and boots.

Handmade quilts are also a common family heirloom. Most quilts that have been made in the last 50 years or so were sewn using regular cloth and sewing machines. Handmade quilts, on the other hand, were hand-sewn, using scraps of cloth from other sewing projects. Some of them were made to help keep the family warm in wintertime, so they have a nice, thick layer of insulating material between the patches of cloth, making them both beautiful and practical.

Collections of things are also common family heirlooms. These could include sports card collections, stamp collections, coin collections, and car collections. While some may have a lot of value, families don’t generally want to sell them.

If you want more information about cremation services offered in Burtonsville, MD, you can talk with our expert staff at Donald V. Borgwardt Funeral Home, P.A. You can drop by our funeral home at 4400 Powder Mill Rd., Beltsville, MD, 20705, or you can contact us today at (301) 937-1707.

funeral homes in Burtonsville, MD

Do I Look All Right?

When attending funerals at funeral homes in Burtonsville, MD, you should remember that it is classified as a special occasion that is designed to pay respects to and honor the memory of someone who has died. Because of that, you should follow some general guidelines about what to wear and what not to wear.

The key thing to remember in dressing to attend a funeral service is that you do not want to draw attention away from the deceased person or the grieving family because of what you’re wearing.

Dressing conservatively is always a good choice when you are dressing for a funeral service. Although you don’t have to wear black (although that is the general color choice for funeral services), you should dress in more muted colors, such as dark brown, gray, or navy. You’ll want to avoid bright colors and printed fabrics, since they will stand out and draw unnecessary attention to you at the funeral service.

Women should avoid tight-fighting clothing, such as mini-skirts or leggings, and they should also avoid clothing that shows a lot of skin, such as low-cut necklines or sleeveless dresses (if you wear a sleeveless dress, be sure to wear a sweater or jacket with it so that your arms are covered). Acceptable attire for women includes skirts and blouses, modest dresses, and professional pantsuits.

Women should keep their accessories low-key. As far as jewelry goes, a watch and wedding ring are acceptable, but dangling earrings and lots of bracelets and necklaces should be avoided. Do not wear sandals, flip-flops, or high heels. Instead, wear a comfortable pair of flat dress shoes that you can walk easily – and noiselessly – in. In addition, avoid wearing hats to funerals unless that is the custom. If you do wear a dress hat, make sure that it is a small hat that fits well and won’t obscure the view of other mourners.

Men should not wear jeans, t-shirts, shorts, tennis shoes, or sandals to a funeral service. They should also not wear a hat into the service itself (hats should be removed and carried inside or not worn at all).

Instead men should wear business casual or business attire to a funeral service. This can include a white dress shirt, black, brown, or gray pants, and a matching sports coat, or a suit and tie. If you wear a tie, choose one that is very simple (no loud colors or wild designs). Men should wear matching dress shoes as well.

However, there are some exceptions to these general guidelines on what to wear to a funeral service, but they are very specific.

For example, if you are a member or a veteran of the military and you are attending a military funeral, then it is acceptable to wear your dress uniform to the military service. The same is true for funerals for law enforcement officers and firefighters, where current members of law enforcement or current firefighters may wear their dress uniforms to the funeral service of a fellow officer or firefighter.

The other exception is when the religion or culture of the deceased requires a different type of attire. You should check with the family of the deceased to find out what is appropriate for you to wear to their loved one’s funeral.

If you’d like to know more about funeral dress at funeral homes in Burtonsville, MD, you can talk with our knowledgeable team at Donald V. Borgwardt Funeral Home, P.A. You can visit our funeral home at 4400 Powder Mill Rd., Beltsville, MD, 20705, or you can call us today at (301) 937-1707.

cremation services offered in Greenbelt, MD

Executor 101: Selling Real Estate

After cremations as part of the cremation services offered in Greenbelt, MD, the executor of the deceased person’s estate is responsible for handling all the matters of the estate, which may include selling the deceased’s house and distributing the proceeds among the beneficiaries of the estate.

Your loved one may have already specified what they want done with any real estate they own, include their personal home. They may have decided to leave it to one of the beneficiaries of their estate. Or they may have specified that it be sold and the proceeds distributed equally among the beneficiaries or to go to a specific beneficiary.

Much of what will be done with your loved one’s house will depend on whether it is paid for, has a mortgage, or a reverse mortgage. These scenarios may override your loved one’s stated wishes.

If the house was owned outright by your loved one, and they wanted it to go to a specific beneficiary, then this is perhaps your simplest scenario. The beneficiary gets the house, and then they can keep it or sell it as their personal property.

However, if the house has a mortgage on it, then the beneficiary will need to get a new mortgage in their name to take ownership of the house. If the beneficiary is unable or unwilling to do this, then the house can be sold to pay the mortgage off. Any money remaining after the mortgage is paid off will go to the designated beneficiary.

If the house has a reverse mortgage on it, then it belongs to the bank after your loved one dies, and the beneficiary (or beneficiaries) get nothing.

Your loved one may have also specified that their house be sold and the money split between the beneficiaries. If the house is paid for, this will be a simple matter of selling the house and splitting the money.

However, if the house has a mortgage, then the mortgage must be paid off before any of the sales proceeds can be distributed to the beneficiaries.

If you will be selling your loved one’s house as part of your role of the executor of the estate, you should contact a real estate professional as soon as possible. A real estate professional can give you insights about comparable home prices in the area and they can make suggestions about repairs or upgrades that will make the home more marketable.

It’s not a bad idea, if your selling a home as the executor of an estate, to get the house appraised by a professional appraiser. The appraisal value listed on tax documents is not necessarily truly what the house and property are worth. A professional appraiser can give you the house and property’s true value so that you can share that with beneficiaries and you can have an idea of what the price it should be listed for.

If the proceeds of the house are to be split among beneficiaries, and one beneficiary wants to buy the house, you cannot let that beneficiary buy the house at a price that’s lower than its market value, because that’s unfair to the rest of the beneficiaries. Use the appraiser’s price as a starting point to talk with all the beneficiaries about what price they’d be willing to have one beneficiary buy the house for.

If you want more information about cremation services offered in Greenbelt, MD, you can talk with our expert staff at Donald V. Borgwardt Funeral Home, P.A. You can drop by our funeral home at 4400 Powder Mill Rd., Beltsville, MD, 20705, or you can contact us today at (301) 937-1707.

funeral homes in Greenbelt, MD

What is a Graveside Service?

Funeral homes in Greenbelt, MD can help you plan and choose to have both funeral service and a graveside service, or just a graveside service for your loved one. But since more people attend funeral services than attend graveside services, people may not know exactly what to expect at a graveside service.

A graveside service takes place at the plot where the deceased will be buried. This service is often religious in tone, but is much shorter than a funeral service or memorial service, because it is essentially a service to commit the deceased person’s remains to the ground.

A graveside service is almost always a much more intimate service than the funeral service, simply because fewer people attend graveside services. It can also be a much more emotional service than the funeral service as well.

While some families opt for private graveside services, many graveside services are public in the sense that anyone who would like to attend can attend.

Graveside services begin at the funeral home. After the funeral service, drivers who will be going to the graveside service get their vehicles in line for the funeral procession that makes its way from the funeral home to the cemetery.

With the hearse in the lead, the funeral procession will slowly take the deceased to its place of final rest. If the cemetery is located next to the funeral chapel, then mourners will simply follow the family out to the burial plot.

A graveside service can be held for either the burial of a casket or for the interment of cremated remains (whether in a columbarium niche, a mausoleum, or in a cemetery plot). A clergy member will usually offer a prayer for the deceased and a prayer for the family before the deceased is interred (some cemeteries wait until the family is gone before they lowered the casket into the burial plot, since this can be very difficult to watch).

At a graveside service, the family of the deceased always sits right in front of the casket. The funeral home will have chairs set up under a canopy, so that once the family is seated, other people can sit in the chairs behind them until they are all occupied. It’s good form to leave these chairs for extended family and close friends. The general rule of thumb in this situation is that the more distant your relationship to the family, the farther away you are from the casket and the burial plot.

Knowing what to say after a graveside service can be difficult. Sometimes the family is allowed to leave first, especially if there’s no reception planned, so you may not even have an opportunity to speak with them at the graveside service.

But if there’s a reception afterward, be sure to express your condolences to the family and then you can leave, unless everyone who attends the graveside service is invited to the reception and you decide you want to attend.

Be sure to leave in a way that honors the deceased. Do not arrive at the graveside service nor leave it with music blaring and bass thumping. If you listen to the radio on the way to the cemetery, be sure to turn it off before you get to the cemetery.

If you’d like to know more about graveside services at funeral homes in Greenbelt, MD, you can talk with our knowledgeable team at Donald V. Borgwardt Funeral Home, P.A. You can visit our funeral home at 4400 Powder Mill Rd., Beltsville, MD, 20705, or you can call us today at (301) 937-1707.