Our Thoughts

Preplanning Interview with Danny Tsitouris

Background:

Mr. Danny Gary Tsitouris has been associated with Peninsula Funeral Home since 1983. A native of Newport News, he is a Certified Pre-Planning Consultant and holds a license in Life and Health Insurance. He worked for Riverside Funeral Home in Newport News while a student at Warwick High School, and subsequently served his apprenticeship there. Danny graduated from Warwick in 1979. He then attended Gupton-Jones College of Funeral Service in Atlanta, Ga., graduating in 1982. While in Atlanta, he was employed by H.M. Patterson & Son Funeral Home. Danny is delighted to continue his career in Newport News, where it first began. “In my many years of funeral service, I have had the wonderful privilege to learn from some of the area’s finest funeral service providers. Many of them have passed on, but I try to honor them with my own professionalism and integrity.” Danny and his wife, Libby, reside in Newport News.

 

Interview:

What are some of the best practices to start the preplanning conversation with your loved ones?

You should know open conversation is key and to be ready to have this discussion.  Any person can make the decision to preplan.  One of the best things you can do is to have one on one conversations with your loved one and potentially consult your lawyers, clergy members and estate executioner to share your thoughts and get their opinions.

What are some documents you would recommend to anyone to have in place to help ensure their final wishes are heard?

A will. Everyone should have a will. DD214 which the Certificate of Release or Discharge from Active Duty will allow for you to receive military honors.  In the state of Virginia, if you wish to donate your body to science, then you contact the state anatomical program, where you can pre-register, fill out the proper paperwork and learn more the donation process. This something you need to make sure that your family is aware of.  A designee document is in place when a person doesn’t have any legal next of kin to carry out their final wishes.  It must be signed and notarized.  This document allows you to select a close friend to carry out your final wishes. Lastly, a power of attorney should be established to ensure your financial and legal affairs will be taken care of once you have left earth.

What is your definition of preplanning?

My definition of preplanning is a given peace of mind to where you know your wishes and requests are going to be taken care of.

How can anyone in any age bracket prepare to start the preplanning process?

Anyone can start the preplanning process just by starting the discussion with your loved ones and making the call to a funeral director.  Be opened minded, talk to your counsel, and have those one-on-one conversations.

What are the steps of preplanning?

The first step is to have the discussion that you are preplanning with your loved ones.  Next, meet with your funeral director to go over your wishes. Third, ensure your loved ones have access to vital information such as tour father’s first and last name, mother’s first, maiden and last name, social security number, years of education and DD214 for your honorable discharge from the military. 

Key Takeaway:

Be ready to make the necessary calls to let your family and funeral director know how you want to be remembered.  It costs you nothing to preplan in advance.  Preplanning can save you a huge amount of money.