Contemplating what will happen to you after you die can be emotionally challenging, so it’s no wonder most of us avoid it at all costs. However, certain end-of-life choices have to be dealt with one way or another. 82% of people don’t pre-plan their funeral and cemetery details, which means their family members are left to make tough decisions at the last minute while grieving, as well as take on financial burdens. In fact, 37% of funeral overspending is due to a lack of pre-planning.

In this episode of A Place of Possibility, we’re ripping off the band-aid, discussing death and how to plan for it. But don’t worry, we’re keeping it light and having fun along the way!

Joining us is Molly Gleason-Kodama, a dedicated Advanced Planning Advisor for Oakmont Memorial Park & Mortuary. She has a wealth of experience and expertise in guiding individuals and families through the intricate end-of-life planning process.

“Most people don’t realize there are two sets of arrangements. There’s the funeral arrangements, and then there’s the cemetery arrangements, and there’s a big difference between the two.”

Molly worked as a Marketing Director in Assisted Living and Memory Care for ten years. The entire time she was doing so, she had a “second job” as an end-of-life support for the individuals and families she represented. Finding fulfillment in helping people with difficult decisions, she decided to make a career change, obtaining a degree in Mortuary Sciences in addition to her previous Masters in Gerontology. Molly’s journey into this meaningful profession is a testament to her compassionate nature and commitment to helping others during one of life’s most challenging phases.

Tune in as we discuss:

  • The big decisions you must make when pre-planning your funeral and cemetery arrangements.
  • Why pre-need planning is so vitally important. Hint: It ensures your wishes are met and saves your family the decision-making and costs when the time comes. Plus, there are NO cons when planning ahead.
  • What happens if you pre-plan your funeral but the mortuary later goes out of business?
  • Environmental issues may arise regarding burials and some green options that are popping up.
  • Why using Costco or 1-800-Caskets isn’t the best option for purchasing a casket.

And more!

Pre-planning your funeral is a choice that empowers you to leave a lasting legacy and provide solace to your family during a difficult time. So, please take advantage of this opportunity to gain deep insights by joining us as we discuss the critical topics every audience member needs to consider.

P.S. Looking to meet with Richard or Angela at our office in Alamo, CA? Want to discuss more of what you heard in this episode? Wondering where the heck you need to get started or what all of this means for your retirement plans? Schedule a free 30-minute session and find the peace of mind you deserve for the rest of your life. You can also reach us by calling 925.736.6410 or sending an email to

“In the first 24 hours after someone passes away, there are about 150 questions that have to be answered. And if you don't have a pre-plan, your family is dealing with the grief and having lost a loved one and also having to make all of these very difficult decisions in a very short amount of time.”

A Glance at this Episode:

0:00 Introduction

1:53 In this episode, we discuss a topic often avoided – funeral and burial planning. But by facing it head-on, you could be saving your loved ones from grief and hardship.

2:43 Breaking news: Congress is trying to limit retirement options, and new laws were set to go into effect on January 1, 2024. However, they’ve been pushed back a few years, so take advantage of the deduction while you still can!

6:16 For all those living in California affected by flooding, you have until October 16th to file your taxes.

8:45 Now, let’s welcome Molly Gleason-Kodama, Advanced Planning Advisor for Oakmont Memorial Park & Mortuary.

9:20 To start, Molly shares more information about how she got started in such a unique and specialized business.

11:45 Any career path can be fulfilling if you put it in perspective and think about who you will be helping.

12:28 You may be surprised that funeral expenses can add up quickly depending on the type of services you want done.

13:31 We bet you didn’t know that there are so many different options for what you can do with a person’s remains. Here are just a few.

15:50 It’s hard to make rational decisions when you’re grieving. Molly shares why it’s important to pre-plan your funeral, and as she states, “There are no cons!”

19:36 There’s more to planning your funeral than choosing between burial and cremation. For instance, there are two sets of arrangements: the funeral and the cemetery. Listen in as we discuss a few of the major decisions that must be made.

21:37 What happens if you change your mind about your funeral or burial plans? You can change your mind as long as you have mental capacity.

22:12 What happens if you pay to be embalmed and have an open-casket funeral but are maimed in death?

24:56 Casket prices can vary because there are so many personalization options, but it’s mainly the material that drives the price.

26:51 You can buy caskets from places like Costco and 1-800-CASKETS, but there are risks to doing this that you should know first.

29:18 What happens if you pre-plan your funeral, but the funeral home goes out of business? When you do any planning, you’re prequalified for an insurance policy, so you pay them, not your funeral home, so that you can take it to another mortuary.

31:25 Have you ever wondered who owns the cemeteries? Here’s what you need to know.

33:19 Pre-planning can be confusing because you’re technically buying an insurance policy yet working directly with the funeral home. Listen in as Molly clarifies the process.

34:01 Did you know that payment plans are an option for pre-planning a funeral? If you purchase one at need, you must pay for the whole thing up front. Yikes!

35:13 Tune in here to learn about plot brokers – who they are, how they work, and whether or not they’re a good option.

37:15 The Neptune Society offers simple cremation services for those with a tight budget. Listen in to get insights on whether they’re a sound option you may want to consider.

39:51 Have you ever wondered about the environmental impact of burial? Listen in as we discuss a few of the greener approaches.

42:42 Are unethical financial advisors something to be wary of? Molly and Richard weigh in on the issue. Plus, some candid advice on choosing the right casket liner.

47:59 Listen in as Molly shares more information about Oakmont and what makes it such a unique property and funeral home.

50:33 When it comes to pre-planning, like anything in life, it’s mainly about your personal preferences and values. This is a crucial conversation, and we hope it helps you take action to get your affairs in order.


Get in Touch with Molly Gleason-Kodama
Advanced Planning Advisor,
Oakmont Memorial Park & Mortuary
2099 Reliez Valley Road
Lafayette, CA 94549
Ins. Lic. 4288393
Cemetery Lic. 61731
Mobile:  925.549.8449


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Links/Resources Mentioned in this Episode:

“One-size-fits-all” won’t fit you here! The Del Monte Group team understands that everyone’s financial goals are unique. That’s why we always provide customized advice. No matter where you are in life, you can depend on our proven expertise to provide financial planning support for long-term success. Ready to get started? Schedule a meeting with Richard or Angela in our Alamo, CA-based office today, or we can meet via Zoom! >> You can select a date and time that works for you via our calendar, call us at 925.736.6410, or send an email to We can’t wait to help you!



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