The Blog Formerly Known As Practical Paralegalism
Working as a paralegal in a civil litigation practice is a little like opening a giant box of assorted chocolates; whether you simply show up to work or sample a few mystery candies, you never know what you are going to get.
This week I was asked to get a quote for a prepaid burial plan (Medicare/Social Security “spend down” – you don’t want to know). A grave plot is already owned in a small rural hamlet.
All I had to do was contact the sole funeral home in the small rural hamlet – only there were a surprising dozen funeral homes in the hamlet’s Yellow Pages.
I decided to isolate a few and start with the one with the best online recommendations. Simple task, get a price quote for your basic funeral, right? Not quite…
First, the very serious funeral home representative inquires as to whether I’d like to be embalmed. Well, uh, no, but I can’t speak for the not-yet-dearly-departed. I make a note to ask.
“Graveside service?” he gently inquires. Um, I don’t know that either, but the last one I went to was really lovely.
Moving on, “a casket comes in six colors,” he gravely advised me. Six! You’re kidding! Colors! I never thought to ask.
I realize that I am completely ill-prepared to plan another person’s funeral. Ever so slightly annoyed with me, he emails me price lists – four whole pages of choices.
I advise my supervising attorney that there doesn’t seem to be any such thing as a “basic prepaid funeral plan.”
She muses that she thought this would easier, that there’d be “small, medium, and super-sized plans”.
I offer that caskets come in at least six different colors. She asks, “What colors?”
I reply that I honestly don’t know, because planning a funeral via telephone, you never know what you are going to get.