Terry Family Funeral Home-Talbotton

"Excellent Service Is Our Business"

[06/04/20]   “Let’s Talk About Life Insurance” on August 16, 2020 at 2pm at 144 College Avenue Talbotton, GA. Life Insurance Agents will be present. Social Distancing will be observed.

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John R. Terry – Funeral Director & CEO
Shatara Terry – Vice President
Sherrell Terry – Funeral Director, Embalmer, & Secretary

Terry Family Funeral Home, LLC
Excellent Service is our Business
145 North College Street
Hamilton, Georgia 31811
706-628-2828 or 706-846-8088
FAX: 706-628-9292

144 College Avenue
Talbotton, Georgia 31827
706-665-1000 or 706-846-8088


Notary Services Available


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[05/03/19]   Manager's Special!
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[10/29/18]   Traditions of African-American Funerals and Burials -- Past and ...
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Mr. John R. Terry (Terry Family Funeral Home - Talbotton)presenting gift cards for teachers of CEHS to Principal Taylor for "Teacher Appreciation Week". We RESPECT AND APPRECIATE all that you do for the children of Talbot County.


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[06/08/16]   Top Ten Reasons to Have a Will

Having a will is arguably one of the most important things you can do for yourself and your family. Not only can a will legally protect your spouse, children, and assets, it can also spell out exactly how you would like things handled after you have passed on.

While each person’s situation varies, here are the top ten reasons to have a will.

1) You decide how your estate will be distributed. A will is a legally-binding document that lets you determine how you would like your estate to be handled upon your death. If you die without a will, there is no guarantee that your intended desires will be carried out. Having a will helps minimize any family fights about your estate that may arise, and also determines the “who, what, and when” of your estate.

2)You decide who will take care of your minor children. A will allows you to make an informed decision about who should take care of your minor children. Absent a will, the court will take it upon itself to choose among family members or a state-appointed guardian. Having a will allows you to appoint the person you want to raise your children or, better, make sure it is not someone you do not want to raise your children.

3) To avoid a lengthy probate process. Contrary to common belief, all estates must go through the probate process, with or without a will. Having a will, however, speeds up the probate process and informs the court how you’d like your estate divided. Probate courts serve the purpose of “administering your estate”, and when you die without a will (known as dying “intestate”), the court will decide how to divide estate without your input, which can also cause long, unnecessary delays.

4) Minimize estate taxes. Another reason to have a will is because it allows you to minimize your estate taxes. The value of what you give away to family members or charity will reduce the value of your estate when it’s time to pay estate taxes.

5) You decide who will wind up the affairs of your estate. Executors make sure all your affairs are in order, including paying off bills, canceling your credit cards, and notifying the bank and other business establishments. Because executors play the biggest role in the administration of your estate, you’ll want to be sure to appoint someone who is honest, trustworthy, and organized (which may or may not always be a family member).

6) You can disinherit individuals who would otherwise stand to inherit. Most people do not realize they can disinherit individuals out of their will. Yes, you may wish to disinherit individuals who may otherwise inherit your estate if you die without a will. Because wills specifically outline how you would like your estate distributed, absent a will your estate may end up on the wrong hands or in the hands of someone you did not intend (such as an ex-spouse with whom you had a bitter divorce).

7) Make gifts and donations. The ability to make gifts is a good reason to have a will because it allows your legacy to live on and reflect your personal values and interests. In addition, gifts up to $13,000 are excluded from estate tax, so you’re also increasing the value of your estate for your heirs and beneficiaries to enjoy.

8) Avoid greater legal challenges. If you die without a will, part or all of your estate may pass to someone you did not intend. For example, one case involved the estate of a deceased son who was awarded over $1 million from a wrongful death lawsuit. When the son died, the son’s father – who had not been a part of his son's life for over 32 years – stood to inherit the entire estate, leaving close relatives and siblings out of the picture!

9) Because you can change your mind if your life circumstances change. A good reason for having a will is that you can change it at any time while you’re still alive. Life changes, such as births, deaths, and divorce, can create situations where changing your will are necessary.

10) Because tomorrow is not promised. Procrastination and the unwillingness to accept death as part of life are common reasons for not having a will. Sometimes the realization that wills are necessary comes too late – such as when an unexpected death or disability occurs. To avoid the added stress on families during an already emotional time, it may be wise to meet with an estate planning lawyer to help you draw up a basic estate plan at the minimum, before it’s too late. Be sure to read What Not To Include When Making a Will for more wills information.

[05/23/16]   What to Do When There's No Money for a Funeral
What’s worse than dying? Maybe dying broke.
A coffin about to be lowered at a funeral service in a cemetery.
By Geoff Williams
Feb. 20, 2013, at 10:50 a.m.
+ More

If you've been struggling with money your entire life, and you're advanced in years or gravely ill, death must seem like a cosmic prank. Who wants to consider that after a lifetime of scrounging, you (or your loved ones) can't afford to pay your final bill?

It's a serious problem that seems to have grown worse over the years and one that spiked during the recession. There is no organization that tracks unclaimed bodies, but coroners throughout the country, in local news stories, have reported that the numbers are climbing. In 2011, Oregon cremated 30 percent more unclaimed corpses than the year before. In 2012, in Myrtle Beach, S.C., the coroner asked the county to create a special cemetery for unclaimed bodies due to a lack of dignified space to put the remains.

So what does one do if there is no money for a funeral? After all, death, like taxes, is a sure thing, and if you have a great aunt drawing her last breath, you can't very well ask her to hang around for a few months while you raise funds for a proper send-off. According to the National Funeral Directors Association, in 2012, the average cost for an adult funeral was $7,775, which doesn't include cemetery costs.

If you lack the funding for a funeral, here's what some experts say your options are.

If there's time, prepay the funeral expenses. This isn't an option if death occurs unexpectedly, but if you know the inevitable is coming, prepaying can help you find more time to gather the money, and get the financial stress out of the way now.

After all, "planning a funeral is not something you want to do at the spur of the moment, in your height of grief," says Lacy Robinson, senior professional development trainer at Aurora Casket Company, based out of Aurora, Ind., and one of the nation's largest casket manufacturers.

[Read: Should You Prepay Your Own Funeral Expenses?]

Consumers can usually pay in installments or all at once, but they ideally want to time it a year or two before a death rather than, say, 10 years. Despite the many honest and ethical funeral homes, there are cases where people have been billed for expenses after the funeral. Costs also rise, and not all prepayment plans keep prices locked in. Funeral homes can be bought by a company that won't honor prepaid commitments.

Also, prepaying can be advantageous for low-income individuals facing late-life health issues by reducing their assets and allowing them to become eligible for Medicaid.

When her mother's health problems landed her in a nursing home last summer, Sandra Beckwith, 58, a freelance writer and author in Fairport, N.Y., prepaid the funeral with her mother's income. "If I hadn't done that, I would have had to pass the hat among siblings when the time came to pay," Beckwith says, "and we didn't want to do that if we didn't have to."

Beckwith, whose 84-year-old mother is still fortunately among the living, prepaid $8,000 to the funeral home, most of which came from her mother's meager assets. (Medicaid will allow as much as $1,500 to be counted toward a funeral instead of as assets. The amount varies from state to state.)

For a funeral, $1,500 "is not nearly enough," says Beckwith. But it's better than what Social Security offers. A surviving spouse or child who is eligible for benefits receives $255 to go toward burial costs.

Have a budget, no-frills funeral. Many of your costs can drop with a little forethought. That can be hard if you're in the throes of grief, but you should try to remember:

Cremation is considerably cheaper than an open funeral. The average cost, according to the Cremation Association of North America, is $1,650, which includes a memorial service. Without the memorial service, an average cremation is $725.

If you're cremating, the service could be held in a place other than a funeral home to bring costs down, says Barbara Newman Mannix, president of A Dignified Life, which specializes in planning end-of-the-life issues, like estate planning and enrolling in a nursing home, for people in New York City and surrounding areas. "You could have the service at a park, a church, or another no- or low-cost venue, so you don't have to pay for a service or funeral venue," says Mannix.

[05/12/16]   What Happens to My Minor Child if I Pass Away & I Am Divorced?
by Maggie Lourdes, Demand Media

A parent may legally name a guardian in a last will and testament to care for a minor child after his or her death. After a divorce, parents frequently become concerned over the fate of a minor child if they pass prematurely. Generally, a surviving parent is considered a minor's natural guardian. Therefore, with some exceptions, a parent who outlives an ex-spouse has first rights to raise their minor children. This applies regardless of whether the surviving parent has custody and regardless of whether any wills were made.

Parental Rights
An order of custody following a divorce does not, in itself, terminate a non-custodial spouse's parental rights. However, courts can hold separate proceedings to terminate parental rights for things such as child abuse or neglect. In such cases, if a custodial parent leaves a will naming someone other than the ex-spouse as guardian, the court will likely honor the appointment.

Parental Abandonment
If a former spouse outlives a custodial parent, she may lose her rights as a minor child's caretaker if she abandons her child. A guardian appointed by the surviving parent is generally recognized in such circumstances. No formal termination of parental rights proceedings are usually required. The act of abandonment is usually enough to allow a non-parental guardianship.

Last Will Controls
Courts always consider a spouse's will for purposes of guardianship appointment. Therefore, all parents should consider making wills and name a guardian therein. For example, suppose Mary, who has custody of her three-year-old son Jake, names her sister, Jane, as guardian of Jake in her will. At the time of Mary's death, her ex-husband, Bob, can step up and provide a good home for Jake. But if Bob should also die while Jake is a minor and doesn't leave a will appointing a guardian, the court may then look back to Mary's will and give preference to Mary's sister, Jane, as guardian.

State Involvement
If an ex-spouse is unable to care for a child and no will exists appointing a guardian, the state steps in after the death of a parent. Volunteering family members are preferentially considered as guardians as long as they are fit to provide care. Otherwise, state foster care programs and court-appointed guardians or adopting parents will tend to the child's needs.

[12/08/15]   Dealing With Grief During the Holiday Season
10 things to help get you through this difficult time

by Amy Goyer, |Comments: 5

En español | Grieving the loss of a loved one is a deep and difficult challenge at any time. But the holiday season can magnify your sense of loss and mourning. Family gatherings and seasonal events can be painful reminders of the absence of a loved one. At the same time, they can also be comforting rituals where you spend time with family and friends, focusing on good memories and trying to recapture your sense of joy. If you are mourning a loss of a loved one this year, here are some important things to keep in mind.
Candle with holiday lights

Family gatherings can be painful reminders of the absence of a loved one. — Betsie Van Der Meer/Getty Images

1. Only do what feels right. It's up to you to decide which activities, traditions or events you can handle. Don't feel obligated to participate in anything that doesn't feel doable. Grieving takes time. You are very vulnerable right now, so all you need to do is get through the day or week or season — in a healthy way. Try not to think much beyond that.

2. Accept your feelings — whatever they might be. Everyone takes his or her own path in grief and mourning. Some may try to avoid sad feelings; others will be bathed in tears. Some feel bad that they aren't up for enjoying a holiday; others feel guilt because they are feeling joy. However you feel, accept it. And accept the inevitable ups and downs: You may feel peaceful one moment and gut-wrenchingly sad the next. Try to stay in tune with your own highest truth and you will know how to get through the holiday without judging yourself or others.
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3. Call on your family and friends. Talk with loved ones about your emotions. Be honest about how you'd like to do things this year — if you want to talk about those who have passed, then do so, and let others know it's OK. Take a buddy to events for support and create an "escape plan" together in case you need to bow out quickly. Read books about getting through the holidays after loss, and seek out support groups, lectures or faith-community events. Seek professional support from a therapist. Stay in touch with others who are grieving via online groups and connections with friends.

4. Focus on the kids. Many holidays place special attention on children, and it often helps to focus on their needs. Realize that your choices around getting through the holidays may affect the children in your family. If you withdraw, they may not understand why you don't want to join family festivities. Perhaps you can participate in the family rituals or gatherings that are most important to the kids, and excuse yourself when you reach your limit.

5. Plan ahead. Sometimes the anticipation is worse than the actual holiday. Create comforting activities in the weeks approaching a holiday so that you have something to look forward to rather than building up a dread of the pain the holiday could bring. New activities might be easier, but familiar traditions might be comforting as well — do what feels best for you. Surrounding yourself with positivity can be very helpful.

6. Scale back. If the thought of many holiday activities feels painful, overwhelming or inappropriate this year, cutting back may help. For example, you might opt for minimal decorations at home and take a break from sending holiday greetings, or try e-greetings instead of the more time-consuming task of mailing greeting cards. You could limit holiday parties to small gatherings with your closest friends and family. Do whatever feels safe and comfortable to you. Create realistic expectations for yourself and others, but above all be gentle with yourself.

7. Give. It's amazing how in times of grief, sometimes the biggest comfort is to give to others. We often feel paralyzed by the sheer emotion — sadness, feelings of helpless or hopelessness. In times of loss, we often want to do something that will make a difference. Consider these options:

If you've lost a loved one, gift-giving at holiday times may be a challenge. Shopping for gifts and seeing the perfect gift for someone you know you will never be able to give a gift to again can be devastating. Shopping online may be a better option for you.
You might purchase something that symbolizes the person or time before your loss and donate it to a needy family. Or make a donation in a loved one's name to a charity or cause he or she cherished.
Negative circumstances may surround the loss you have experienced, and it's so easy to fall into a focus on the sadness, horror or anger. Try channeling your energies in positive ways to create good in the world, rather than perpetuate the negative. Volunteer to help people in some way that is related to that which has caused such anguish. Give of your time and talents or make a donation to a related charity.

8. Acknowledge those who have passed on. When we are grieving a loss of someone very close to us, it can be helpful to participate in a related holiday ritual in his or her memory. Some ideas: lighting candles for them, talking about them, buying children's toys or books to donate in their name, dedicating a service to them, planting a tree, making a card or writing a letter, displaying their picture or placing an item of theirs among holiday decorations.

9. Do something different. Acknowledge that things have changed; indeed, the holiday will not be the same as it was ever again. Accepting this will help manage expectations. Plan new activities, especially the first year after the loss. Go to a new location for family celebrations, change the menu or go out to eat, volunteer, invite friends over, attend the theater, travel … create new memories. Many families return to their usual routines and rituals after the first year, but some enjoy incorporating their new experiences permanently.

10.Skip it. If you feel that it will be too much for you and you'd like to simply opt out of participation in a holiday, let family and friends know. But plan alternative comforting activities for yourself and let someone know what you will be doing. It's a good idea to make sure someone checks in with you on that day.

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