Mortuary & Funeral Home Frequently Asked Questions (Common FAQs)

Mortuary & Funeral Home FAQs

What is the significance of a funeral service?

From the beginning of recorded history, societies have honored those who die with a ceremony. In the beginning, the purpose of the ritual was to send the deceased on his or her journey into the afterlife. Today, however, many experts agree that the benefits of a service are for those who remain behind. A “closure” of sorts must occur to help survivors adjust to their loss and recognize that a death has occurred. A funeral service provides the opportunity for friends and family to celebrate the life that was lived and allows the healing process to begin.

Can I make my funeral arrangements before I die?

Yes, preplanning is one of the most caring things you can do for your family or loved ones. It provides them with a clear picture of your final wishes and relieves them from having to worry about how you would really prefer to be remembered. These plans may be as simple or as elaborate as you choose - and keep in mind that making personal and meaningful plans does not have to mean added expense. You can comfortably prefund your arrangements to alleviate placing future financial burdens on your family. The preplanning process allows you to plan at your own pace, equipped with facts and ample information, so that you feel comfortable about the choices you make. Oftentimes, making arrangements in advance also guarantees a service and funeral at today’s prices, free from inflation. We can assist you with your prearrangement needs.

How many types of caskets exist, and why are some more expensive than others?

Caskets are made of either metal (bronze, copper or steel) or wood, and are available in a variety of styles and colors. Prices vary, depending on the exterior and interior materials used. Bronze, a semi-precious metal, is more expensive than steel. Mahogany, a rare hardwood, is more expensive than the readily available softwood pine. There is also the option of adding personal touches to most caskets.

What is embalming and is it necessary before services are held?

Embalming is the temporary preservation of a person’s remains using a chemical process. This procedure allows family and friends an opportunity to say their good-byes. We require embalming when a viewing is planned as part of the service.

Can a funeral home assist me with Social Security benefits and Veteran death benefits?

Yes. In fact, our staff is trained to complete all necessary paperwork to begin the benefits process and will follow through to ensure that the benefits are secured in a timely manner.

How much does a funeral cost?

Funeral costs vary depending on the funeral home and type of services and merchandise selected. There are two types of costs associated with a funeral: (1) services provided by the funeral home and (2) merchandise such as a casket or urn. Some types of services require more or less involvement of our professional staff and facilities than others and are priced accordingly. We pride ourselves on our ability to help every family create a meaningful tribute and lasting memorial for their loved one in any price range. Call or visit our funeral home to discuss your needs and to receive a general price list that will give you full details. And remember, if choosing burial or interment, you may need to purchase cemetery or mausoleum space as well as some type of memorial. Those arrangements are sometimes made separately with a cemetery.

What methods may I use to pay for the funeral?

Funeral costs may be paid by cash, check, VISA, MasterCard or an assignment of verified insurance benefits. Many families choose easy payment plans available through preplanning. This important decision can limit or eliminate the financial burden when the death of a loved one occurs.

What is involved in the cremation process?

During your first call to the funeral home to let the funeral arranger know that a death has occurred, the funeral arranger will gather information to be able to transport your loved one to the funeral home. The arranger will schedule a date and time for you to meet at the funeral home to gather necessary information and obtain required authorizations. Before cremation occurs, the death certificate must be completed and signed by the attending physician or medical examiner, and all civil and medical authorities must have issued all required permits. In addition, necessary authorizations to cremate must be obtained from the next of kin or other authorized person. Regulations in many states also require that a certain number of hours must have transpired since the death occurred (usually 24 to 48 hours). After these conditions are met, the cremation takes place and the cremated remains are placed in the designated container or urn selected for disposition. The family or those authorized to make arrangements will want to discuss with their funeral arranger specifics concerning a personal tribute to the deceased and whether this will occur before or after the cremation process, or both.

Are special cremation containers and caskets available?

We offer a wide variety of cremation containers including caskets, alternative containers and urns to meet each family’s needs. A cremation casket is a special casket constructed from materials that are environmentally friendly. It appears very similar to burial caskets and may be used for visitation and/or a funeral ceremony or gathering. It is cremated with the decedent. There are also a variety of alternative containers from which to choose.

Are the services held before or after cremation?

Services, or gatherings as they are more commonly being called, are held at the discretion of the family. The service or gathering is a place and time for family and friends to come together to celebrate special memories of the decedent and to support each other during this time of loss. Many choose to have a traditional service first, followed by the cremation. Others may have a memorial service at some point before and/or after the cremation.

What happens to the cremated remains?

There are several options to consider with a cremation. A family can choose to bury the cremated remains in a cemetery, store and display them at home in an urn, or scatter them in a place special to the deceased. Many cemeteries have created areas specifically for cremated remains. These areas may be in a mausoleum, in a columbarium, in a ground burial area or in a cremation garden offering even more choices. It is necessary to check local restrictions on scattering cremated remains on public property or private property.

How can we memorialize cremation?

There are many ways to memorialize a decedent after cremation. One option is burial of the urn, marked with a bronze memorial or sculpture. There are also memorialization options available, including keepsake urns, columbarium niches and cremation benches. We can review with you all the choices available to meet the needs of your family or the wishes of your loved one.

What has to be done when a death occurs in one city and the funeral service will be held in another city?

A death that occurs away from your loved one’s hometown may be an unusual experience for you and your family. However, funeral arrangers are trained and experienced in handling the details necessary when this happens. The local funeral arranger can assist you in selecting a funeral home in the city where the services are to be held and will help coordinate the transportation of your loved one to the care of a funeral arranger in that city.

If our loved one is being transferred to another city for a funeral service and burial, can we also gather family and friends for a local service?

Yes. The funeral arranger can work with the family to organize a time and place either before or after the transfer for family and friends to gather to celebrate special memories of the decedent and to support each other during the time of loss.

What has to be done when a family member passes away while on a trip out of town?

When a family member passes away while out of town, contact your local funeral arranger. The arranger can assist you in selecting an out-of-town funeral arranger, who will handle all the necessary details in the distant city, state or country. Working together, the two funeral arrangers will gather all the necessary information to allow for the transfer of your family member back to your local area.