If you know that a loved one wanted to be cremated, it is your job to ensure that it happens. Here is some information about the cremation process so that you know what to do once your loved one has passed away. Documentation Needed to Start the Cremation Process Although the requirements can vary from state to state, generally speaking, you are going to need to have a death certificate signed by a doctor and filed with the local health department before a body can be cremated. In some states, you will also need to obtain a burial or cremation permit from the health department as well before you can proceed with the cremation process.  Circumstances Surrounding the Death When you can start the cremation process really depends on the circumstances surrounding your loved one’s death. This can have a direct influence on the paperwork process.  Hospital or Nursing Home If your loved one passes away while they are at the hospital or in a nursing home, the facility they are at should take care of the first steps of the process. They will declare your loved one dead and issue a death certificate. Generally, they will also file the death certificate with the appropriate authorities for you.  At Home After a Long Illness If your loved one passes away at home after a long illness and their death is not a surprise, you don’t need to call emergency services. You can just call their doctor and ask them to issue a death certificate. Your doctor may need to visit your home and see the body before they will issue a certificate. An Unexpected Death If your loved one passes away unexpectedly or sustains a life-threatening injury, you should call emergency services. If you know your loved one is already dead, you can indicate so on the phone to the operator so that they send out the appropriate types of emergency response personnel. If an ambulance or the police show up, they will deal with filing for a death certificate. Autopsy  Once your loved one has been legally declared dead, you can have an autopsy performed at the local hospital if you are not sure of the cause of death or if there is any foul play that is suspected in your loved one’s death. If their death was the result of a long-term illness, you don’t have to have an autopsy performed. Transporting the Body After your loved one has passed on, you can have their body transported to the location of the crematory you will be using. Although you can transport the body yourself, most people prefer...

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You recently moved into a pre-owned home and want to change the locks in case the previous owners gave out keys. As long as you’re working with the locks, take the time to update the deadbolts and door hardware to give you the best protection from a break-in. Here are your options for making your new home more secure for you and your family. Install the Highest Quality Deadbolt A local locksmith can show you the two common variations of deadbolts. Both will keep you secure if buy the best quality and design available. Standard Deadlock – This lock attaches to the door and has a steel bolt that moves horizontally into the door frame to keep the door closed. These come in a single cylinder or double cylinder design. The single cylinder style uses a key on the outside to open the lock and a knob or lever on the inside. The double cylinder requires that a key be used on the inside as well as the outside. This prevents someone from breaking a window next to a door and reaching in to turn the knob. Local regulations may prevent the double cylinder lock from being used in a residence because of fire safety codes. If buying this deadbolt style, look for the ANSI Grade 1 hardened steel variety. This lock can’t be shattered with a hammer and the bolt can’t be cut easily with a hacksaw. Vertical Deadbolt – This lock has two components. The first contains the bolt and attaches to the door. The second piece is a series of two or three rings on a plate that attaches to the door frame. When the door is shut, the rings fit into groves in the lock assembly on the door. The deadbolt moves up into those rings when you lock the door. This keeps the bolt hidden from anyone who wants to try to saw through the bolt. Have your locksmith show you only the ANSI Grade 1 vertical deadbolts for the best protection. The Door Frame May Be Your Weakest Link Regardless of the type of deadbolt you install, if your door frame doesn’t protect you, someone could pry or force the door open. Reinforce your door frame hardware to get the best protection. When using the standard deadbolt style, have the locksmith show you enhanced strike plates with a metal box in which the bolt will slide. This makes it harder to force a door open by pushing the bolt through a flimsy door frame. Install the strike plate with longer wood screws to prevent someone from using a crowbar to force the plate...

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