Compassionate Planning

By Amber Mabe

Planning is a natural part of life. From birthdays to weddings, vacations to college funds, buying a home to setting up retirement, we plan for all of life’s happenings. However, whether it be from trepidation or oversight, many of us fail to plan for the one event that happens to every person alike. Pre-planning for funeral services and the accompanying arrangements can be a tremendous gift of compassion to the family and friends we leave behind.

According to recent studies, less than a quarter of American adults have any arrangements in place for their own passing. This leaves the burden of decision-making and, in some cases, financial responsibility to surviving loved ones. As a family-owned funeral home, Hayworth-Miller Funeral Home and Crematory believes pre-planning should be a hassle-free and comforting process for everyone involved. For Pre-Need Funeral Director, Jere Perry, experiencing the difference between planned arrangements and unplanned arrangements in his own family was a life-changing event. Jere was burdened by the importance of helping families avoid the stress and turmoil that can come from an unexpected funeral event and left his job to pursue a career in pre-need funeral planning. Now, as a licensed funeral director and embalmer, Jere is able to help clients become well prepared for the future.

“Before, I did not feel like I was accomplishing much in life,” Jere shares, “but now I come to work every day with an opportunity to help people. Every day is different and rewarding.”

He was drawn to working with Hayworth-Miller after seeing the depth of investment the company had in the lives of its clients and the surrounding community. Even as the largest family-owned and operated funeral home business in the state of North Carolina, each of Hayworth-Miller’s locations are staffed with people who care about their community, and it shows in the way they do business.

The myriad decisions that must be made surrounding the end of life can be overwhelming and are often harder to make when loved ones are in a heightened state of grief and loss. Jere and the staff at Hayworth-Miller are committed to doing everything they can to make the process as seamless and accessible as possible. Online advanced planners are available on the company’s website, which can be a great first step for those just dipping a toe in the waters of pre-planning. Using the online planners, clients can begin putting in essential information at their own pace and in the comfort of their own homes. Once the forms are submitted, Jere or the staff at the client’s chosen location will reach out with a phone call or email to follow up and continue the process as the client desires.

Through pre-planning, clients can be sure that their final wishes will be honored, as well as avoid any unexpected disagreements amongst family members. After collecting the essential information for death certificates and obituary notices, Jere spends time talking with each client about service details. Whether you desire a special song to be performed, have favorite passages of scripture you would like read, or if you choose to have no service at all, Jere and his team set everything in place so that your final arrangements are an honest expression of yourself and your wishes. Jere thoughtfully walks clients through options for every detail, including preferences for viewings, caskets, urns, or alternative containers. Although Hayworth-Miller is not directly responsible for securing burial plots or mausoleums, Jere says working with clients to make sure everything is in order with the cemetery is part of treating clients with honesty and integrity. “We can help by making contact and setting up appointments, and, if they already have a cemetery plot, I prefer to make a call to ensure that we are not addressing the same merchandise twice,” says Jere. Once all the details are finalized, clients are able to discuss payment and even financing options according to their needs and desires.

As a further outreach and service to the Kernersville community, Jere hosts advanced planning seminars that are open to anyone looking to learn more about pre-planning and what it entails. “Not only do we make sure everyone has lunch and learns about pre-planning and funerals, but we also bring in an attorney to speak on special topics,” explains Jere.
Recent seminars have covered topics such as veteran benefits and working with Medicaid. Seminars are held on a near-monthly basis, with the most up-to-date information on upcoming seminars being posted on the company’s social media or available over the phone. Advanced planning seminars are a wonderful low-pressure and accessible way for people to become better informed about their options and what the funeral planning process looks like.

“I have been able to help people get their plans in place who may never have taken the leap, had they not attended one of our seminars.”

Pre-planning is not just for the elderly or those close to death. Jere and his team have helped people of all ages set affairs in order, creating peace of mind for clients and family members alike. “Every situation is different,” Jere says. “There is no cookie-cutter way to do this job. The most important thing is that we care enough about people that they can feel it.” It is never too early to consider starting the funeral planning process. Not out of a sense of morbidity, but as a gift to yourself and to your loved ones. If you are interested in more information concerning pre-planning or upcoming seminars, visit, check out their Facebook page, or call the Kernersville office at 336.993.2136.

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