St. Michael and All Angels
We seek to be a light of Christ in the community, where all are welcome to experience God's love and blessings.

End of Life Series

We kick off our programming for the 2022 year with a three-session series on planning for the end of life. As we age, we become more aware of our own mortality, but there are things you can do while you're still alive to help those who you'll leave behind through their grief. This series will help you to consider some of those things, including:

  • Wills
  • Estate planning
  • Trusts
  • Life insurance
  • Funeral homes
  • Cemetery plots
  • Church services

The second session is on Wednesday, October 19, at 5:30 pm. We'll welcome a representative from Lombardo Funeral Home to discuss funeral pre-planning. He will discuss costs and considerations for an all-in-one service.

The final session is on Wednesday, October 26, at 5:30 pm. A representative from Mount Calvary Cemetery will discuss pre-planning a grave site or mausoleum or columbarium crypt, including costs. Our priest in charge, the Rev. Jason Miller, will discuss considerations for pre-planning a funeral or memorial service at your church. While we worship in the Episcopal tradition, advice will apply to other Christian faiths as well.

You don't need to attend all three sessions if you're only interested in one or two. No reservation is required to attend. Please also pass the word on to those who you think may be interested. Please do not attend if you are feeling unwell or have recently tested positive for COVID-19. Parking is available along the side streets, and you can enter through the door off Huntley or the Office door off Burke.

Notes from the Sessions

Session 1 - Estate Planning and Financial Planning

The first session was on Wednesday, October 5, at 5:30 pm. We welcomed Keri Callocchia and Frank Callocchia of Callocchia Law Firm and Alex Heringer of Planned Futures Financial Group LLC. Keri and Frank discussed wills, estate planning, and legal considerations for your death. Alex, a specialist in life insurance, discussed how life insurance can help to care financially for your loved ones.

About the Presenters

Keri Callocchia is a partner at the Callocchia Law Firm. Keri represents clients in all matters related to real estate. Her practice also includes business entity formations, wills, estate planning and asset protection. Mrs. Callocchia has been recognized by Super Lawyers as an expert in real estate law. She is also a member of the New York State and Women's Bar Associations and has previously served as an Administrative Law Judge for the City of Buffalo.

Frank Callocchia is also a partner at the Callocchia Law Firm. Frank represents clients in estate and litigation matters. In addition, Mr. Callocchia handles Surrogate’s Court matters, including estate probate and administration as well as estate litigation and wrongful death claims.

Alex Heringer is on the team of advisors at Planned Futures Financial Group, LLC. Alex specializes in financial and estate planning and business succession planning. He is a registered representative of MML Investors Services and is licensed to sell insurance and securities in NY. Alex’s fluency in German, Russian and English makes him a unique asset to our region.

Brief Session Notes

  • Death is not to be afraid of.
  • Wills are a set of instructions for your loved ones to do after you die.
  • Keep a list of your passwords and assets and liabilities with your will packet.
  • Update and/or review your beneficiaries regularly (whether individuals or organizations), and especially when assets change management.
  • Dying with a will is termed testate, as opposed to without a will or intestate. Intestacy laws govern distribution.
  • Estate interests are assets whose interest survives death. Some instruments (joint checking, accounts with beneficiaries or POD [payable on death], joint deeds) do not survive death and will change to a new ownership once death is proven.
  • Speak with your executor in advance about your plans.
  • Life insurance is a tax-free option that may be considered in addition to or instead of 401(k), IRA, or other retirement plans.

Session 2 - Funeral Planning

The second session was on Wednesday, October 19, at 5:30 pm. We welcomed John Biddlecom of Lombardo Funeral Home. John discussed how pre-planning a funeral is non-binding but can help to make the stress of a loved one dying less for those who are grieving.

Brief Session Notes

  • Death will happen regardless of whether you talk about it or not.
  • Funeral planning responsibilities typically happen prior to a will being read and the state of New York has a special order in which to determine who has the right and responsibility to make funeral decisions.
  • Consider burial versus cremation and whether anyone will be around who will have a desire or need to find you in a cemetery.
  • The average traditional funeral costs between $5,500 and $6,200, NOT including cemetery costs, clergy costs, beautician costs, death certificates, flowers, monuments, etc.
  • The average direct cremation (taking the body, cremating it, and returning it in an unadorned plastic box inside of cardboard) costs approximately $1,600.


Session 3 - Cemetery and Church Planning

The third session will take place on Wednesday, October 26, at 5:30 pm. We will welcome Jeffrey Reed of Mt. Calvary Cemetery Group and Pastor Jason Miller of St. Michael & All Angels. Jeff will discuss cemetery pre-planning. Pastor Jason will discuss church services and tie all of the sessions together by discussing pre-planning from a holistic view.

Brief Session Notes