3 min read

When Two Worlds Collide: Organ Donation and Funeral Preplanning [Podcast]

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There are 169 million people in the U.S. who are registered as organ donors.

In the event of your passing, registering as an organ donor helps your family understand what you would have wanted. This is the same idea as prearranging your own funeral—documenting your final wishes, so your surviving family members know exactly how to honor you.

Organ donation is something the caring Busch staff are committed to—this is what makes our partnership with Lifebanc work so well.

Lifebanc is an independent organ procurement organization based out of Northeast Ohio. They are a leader in the organ and tissue donation field and have been saving and healing lives since 1986.

Lifebanc invited Busch’s own Julie Graf Skinner, funeral director, embalmer, preplanning advisor and insurance agent, as a guest on their podcast series. In the episode, Julie provides an overview on how the preplanning process works, and how it relates to organ donation.

Below are a few of the questions that were discussed during Julie’s appearance on the podcast. We also invite you to listen to the full episode below.

Q: How do you feel about helping donor families and working with Lifebanc?

The longtime partnership of Busch and Lifebanc is extremely important and special because of the crossover seen with organ donation and preplanning. 

Myself and our Busch staff feel very privileged to have the opportunity to partner with Lifebanc. It really is so gratifying to see that someone can donate and help someone else move forward with their life.

During the preplanning process at Busch, questions often come up about organ eye and tissue donation. Someone who is preplanning will want to know how organ donation works and what opportunities they have for donation after they pass. 

I often share with families that one of the best actions they can take is to contact Lifebanc to receive a donor kit. I really encourage them to make sure they read through the kit, and most importantly, that they share that with their family so that they are aware of what their wishes are.

Q: Why do you recommend preplanning arrangements?

Knowing exactly what your loved one’s final wishes are gives your family the opportunity to exhale and avoid any doubt or confusion. I feel the same holds true with organ and tissue donation.

When we're in the toughest days of our lives and we're having to make decisions on behalf of someone else, knowing that we can honor and carry out those wishes is truly empowering for family members. It provides a sense of peace that we've been able to carry out their wishes and that we can remember them the way they wish to be remembered. 

The following are three of the top reasons why preplanning and registering as an organ donor are beneficial to you and your loved ones:

  1. Ensure survivor's honor. This is to make sure plans are being carried out exactly as the individual wished.
  2. Encourage family focus. Families will be able to be in one another’s presence without the worry of making the wrong decisions.
  3. Eliminate financial burden. Surviving loved ones already have enough weighing on their minds, the last thing they need is to think of how they are going to pay for everything.

Q: If someone listening would like to start the preplanning process, how do they go about that?

The most difficult part of beginning the planning process is making that initial jump to put some time on the calendar to go talk about it with someone.

A preplanning roadmap is a place for people to be guided so that they know what needs to be done when a loss takes place. Some items discussed in a preplanning roadmap include: 

  • Information needed for any legal documents.
  • Military history.
  • Person responsible when they can't speak for themselves.
  • Final disposition method: burial or cremation.
  • Final gathering preferences. 

We have a final wishes organizer that helps people create the roadmap that shows them all that needs considered when making final arrangements.

It really is helpful to have most of that information in place and organized. The next step of that process is determining the financial responsibility for it.

So once someone has decided what their final wishes are, putting a cost estimate together and ultimately discussing the different options in terms of payments is what should follow.

Q: When people come to preplan, can they also prepay?

I think many times people will be a little bit hesitant to preplan because they believe they have to come to see us and make a full payment.

More often than not, that is not really something people can do—this is what makes preplanning so great. People are actually able to make a payment that works with their budget.

 In the state of Ohio, specifically, the law is very clear: If someone's going to prearrange a funeral and pay for it in advance, the dollars they spend must go into a fund outside of the funeral home. This is to provide protection for the consumer if something were to happen to the funeral home—their funds are still safe and could be used at a different funeral home.

Our Preplanning Advisors Can Help You

If you’re thinking of registering as an organ donor or taking the leap to begin planning your own funeral, our caring advisors at Busch can walk you through each step with ease. Set up a preplanning consultation with Julie or one of our advisors today.

Schedule a Preplanning Consultation

Jim Busch
Jim Busch
Owner and president of our firm. Fourth generation funeral director and certified crematory operator, Jim is guided by his principles in faith, family and friends. He loves to hear feedback from our families. Proudly serving Busch families since 1986.

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