Just What if

A loved one of yours died away from home? Whether on a vacation across the Atlantic or visiting family in the United States…would you know what to do? Who to call first? Do you have an understanding of the necessary steps, processes and costs involved in having your loved one returned home? Fortunately, my family does not have to worry about this with respect to my mom…and here is why.

Today I said good-bye to my mom and wished her another outstanding journey as she left for a cruise in Europe. I admire her…an adventurist for sure…guided by her bucket list…she is blessed.

My father passed away almost 20 years ago and a couple of years later…my mom began routinely traveling to places near and far, in addition to spending a couple months each winter in Florida.

A year after my father died, I remember my mom asking me to get her funeral planned and paid for…”just like dad’s” she said…”I don’t want you kids (4) to have to worry about this”. All was taken care of immediately…a plan in place.

It was not long after that I truly understood her passion to travel that I suggested to her that she should have a Guaranteed Travel Assurance Plan. Mom had no idea what I was talking about so I explained; “if you are going to be away on planes, trains, boats and cars and God forbid…something should happen…we need to have a plan to get you home in the most efficient and cost effective manner”. Kind of like homeowners insurance in that you pray you will never need it…but are grateful beyond words should you ever have to rely on it. So I purchased this layer of protection on her behalf…I remember vividly as it was right around Mother’s Day that year and as us kids offered our acknowledgement for her being such a great mother…I showed her the travel protection and said; “and this gift if for us kids with hopes that we never happen to open it”.

The point of this story is the need for planning for all phases in life. Throughout our life, we routinely plan for the events that may never happen (from elementary school fire drills to retirement…and many things in between) because it is the responsible thing to do as it provides us peace of mind. But it is paramount to think beyond our life and plan for the one thing that is certain to happen and not assume that our loved ones “will figure it out” or “they will know what to do”. That is wishful thinking and avoidance…not planning.

Consider my family for example; my mom has since married a wonderful man; which now means, he has decision-making authority over us children with respect to her funeral. However, because of my mom’s responsible actions toward having her own funeral planned…it is certain her plans will be followed. We are fortunate as this is not always the case…especially with the merging of families due to second marriages.

And just what if we receive an unfortunate call from a port in the Baltic Sea that my mom passed during her latest excursion? There will be unified sadness that cannot be described. But what there won’t be is confusion nor complication. We will make one phone call to initiate her respectful return. The coordination of her transfer home via countries involved, regulations within, airline scheduling, consulates and a far away funeral home will be managed as a result of her travel protection plan with no expense to us. Our family can peacefully begin our grief and a celebration of her life…all for a few hundred dollars and thoughtful planning that was done years ago. We are blessed with all the peace of mind our mother has bestowed upon us. PlanB4

If you would like more information regarding funeral planning or the Guaranteed Travel Assurance Plan…contact PlanB4 at 734-855-5432

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