Funeral FAQ (Frequently Asked Questions)
Funeral and Memorial Service Questions
What purpose does a funeral serve?
The funeral allows family and friends to remember and honor their loved one in a special way. It serves as a central gathering place for family and friends to give emotional support to one another and encourages mourners to face the pain of their loss and express their thoughts and feelings. The funeral also celebrates the deceased’s life, and not their passing. The funeral service allows a time of remembrance and celebration, and allows the healing process to begin.
Is a funeral or memorial service always held in a funeral home or place of worship?
No. As long as local laws permit it, a funeral service can be held anywhere- from a local park to a boat at sea! A service can usually be held at any location that family and friends feel would be comfortable and appropriate. Your funeral director will be able to advise you on regulations and help you plan the funeral.
Can a function less formal than a funeral or memorial service be arranged?
A funeral or memorial service can be as simple as you would like it to be. There is a type of gathering commonly referred to as a ‘Gathering of Friends’ which is a less formal event, and still allows for friends and family to share their loss and celebrate the life of their beloved. These ‘Gathering of Friends’ receptions may include light refreshments and can be held at a variety of locations, including funeral homes, private residences, or public spaces.
How can I personalize a funeral service?
Your Funeral Director can review a myriad of ways to personalize your loved ones funeral. One way is to bring personal items into the funeral home to be displayed in or near the casket. For example: an avid quilter might have a favorite quilt placed in the casket. An athlete may have some of their personal effects or trophies displayed on a memory table. There are numerous ways to incorporate your loved ones passions and hobbies into the service.
Do clergy always officiate at a funeral service?
Depending on religious beliefs, thee type of ceremony would vary. It is not uncommon for family or friends to share personal thoughts, memories and feelings about the deceased as part of the service.
How soon after or long after a death must an individual be buried?
Laws regarding internment or burial issues vary from state to state. Your local Health Department or Funeral Home can advise you on basic timelines.
What are the options concerning the time of a service?
Traditionally, services have been typically held in the mornings or afternoons. It is becoming more common, however, for these services to take place in late afternoon or evening, to accommodate work schedules. This enables more people to attend the service who otherwise might be unable to be excused from their place of employment during the day.
What if I do not wish to use all the services a funeral home has to offer?
Federal laws dictate that all funeral homes itemize their charges for professional services, facilities and equipment and that they provide a General Price List (GPL) to all clients. You have the right to select and pay for only those services you choose.
Should a child attend a funeral?
May I make the necessary arrangements in advance?
All of your funeral and burial arrangements
can be made years before you need them. This is commonly referred to
as ‘Pre-Need’. Your local Funeral Director can assist you in your
more about Pre Need Funeral Plans
Cremation is simply a form of disposition. The crematable casket is
placed in a cremation chamber where, through a process of heat and evaporation,
the body is reduced to its original elements- bone fragments, not ashes.
Can you have cremation with an open casket visitation?
Yes, many families select an appropriate service to take place before the cremation or after. You may still have a traditional funeral with visitation, with the cremation disposition taking place after the service.
Where does the cremation take place?
As specialized equipment and training is required for cremations, they typically occur at designated locations. Some funeral homes do have onsite cremation facilities. If you are planning on a cremation, ask where they actual cremation process will take place.
Isn't direct cremation easier?
Direct cremation usually means cremation with no visitation or services. Some people choose direct cremation believing that the quickest, simple option is best.
What do you do with cremated remains?
Most families select a form of memorialization with their cemetery of choice. Others keep the remains and the urn with them in their home, or the home of a loved one.
Can cremated remains be scattered?
A family may, if they wish, scatter the cremated remains of their loved one on privately owned property with the consent of the property owner. If you select scattering, always be sure to check you local, state and federal laws concerning scattering of remains.
Do Catholics allow cremation?
The Vatican now permits funeral Masses with cremated remains present in the United States. It will be the decision of each bishop to determine if this is pastorally appropriate in his diocese. The Bishop can also instruct you on Vatican regulations.
Does cremation require preplanning?
Cremation does require the same degree of preplanning as does traditional burial. After the death of a loved one, families and friends are grieving. Preplanning for your cremation removes the burden from friends and family.
Does the process of cremation transform human remains into ashes?
The encased body is placed in the cremation chamber where, through heat and evaporation, the body is reduced to its basic elements. These elements are referred to as cremated remains. Ashes are not the final result since cremated remains have neither the appearance nor the chemical properties of ashes. Cremated remains are, in fact, bone fragments. Following preparation, these remains are either placed in a permanent urn or in a temporary container.
Do families who choose cremation need to purchase a traditional casket?
Generally speaking, no. Most crematories have regulations regarding the container in which human remains intended for cremation be presented. There are containers specifically designed for the cremation process.
Is memorialization necessary when a loved one is cremated?
Mental Professionals agree that memorialization of a loved one aids friends and family with the grieving process. Memorialization allows family members to publicly acknowledge a loved one's life and death.
Is embalming required for cremation?
Embalming is required in some States if the remains are not cremated or buried within 48 hours of death, or if the deceased had certain communicable diseases.
May I make the necessary arrangements in advance?
By Pre-Planning your funeral, you can
make all the necessary arrangements (and even pay for them) in advance.
You will also gain peace of mind knowing your family and friends will
be relieved of the emotional and financial burden often associated with
making arrangements when a death occurs. By prearranging your funeral
and cemetery arrangements, you benefit by purchasing at today’s prices,
free from inflationary pressures in the future.
Are the services of a funeral director
necessary to bury the dead?
Technically speaking, no. But each state does have different regulations. You should call the local department of health to find out exactly what your state requires. Having a funeral director is a good idea, however, as during your time of need, there are numerous forms to fill out, agencies to notify and piles of paperwork! Not to mention the planning of the actual memorial service and funeral! A funeral director can be as involved as you want them to be- whether its doing everything for you, or simply taking care of all the necessary paperwork and insurance forms.
What do funeral directors do?
One of the main functions of a funeral director has to do with preparing the body for disposition. In larger funeral homes, the funeral director may oversee the activities of several morticians and undertakers. While the actual definition of the mortician, undertaker, and funeral director are all different, the reality is that in family owned funeral homes it is not unusual for one person to provide all three services. Funeral Directors are also listeners, advisors, and supporters. They often support your personal needs, answer questions about grief, recognize when there appears to be difficulty coping, and recommend sources of additional assistance.
How can I best shop and compare funeral
Referrals from friends and family members are usually a good method to start researching funeral homes by. Don’t forget to contact your local Better Business Bureau to see if complaints have been filed against a local funeral director, and whether they were satisfactorily resolved. Also, you can call one of the national funeral trade associations, which have standards of ethics, to see whether your local funeral homes are members.
Do funeral directors have the opportunity
to take advantage of the bereaved?
Funeral Directors and Homes depend on their reputation to maintain their business. If the community begins to feel they or their deceased are being taken advantage of, they will go to another Funeral Home. The ability to trust your Funeral Director with your loved one is a necessity. This is why most funeral homes have been in business in their communities for decades, and in many cases, for several generations.
Will the funeral home help with Social
Security and Veterans death benefits?
Most Funeral Homes will not only assist with securing these death benefits, but will most likely complete all the paperwork for you.
Must an obituary be published in a newspaper?
The publication of an obituary notice is a matter of your personal choice. You are able to control what information is published, if you wish to have an obituary published, although the editorial staff will determine the format (this is done for consistency).
What recourse does a consumer have for
poor service or overcharging?
If you have a complaint, you should first take it to the Funeral Home Director. If they are unable or unwilling to resolve the situation to your expectations, you can then file your complaint with your state's board of funeral service, or with a consumer complaint department of the state attorney general's office. In most instances, the complaint will be resolved by the funeral director.
Does the price I receive from the funeral home include everything?
By law, the Funeral Director is responsible
for explaining all the charges that specifically pertain to the funeral
home's services and merchandise sold stated on its general price list.
Any additional charges must be disclosed and on a Price List. Your Funeral
Director will be able to explain, in detail all the charges you will
Why are funerals so expensive?/ How much does a funeral cost?
Compared to ‘happy’ events- funerals are not expensive. Consider the fact many people willingly spend upwards of $20,000 for a wedding (for a marriage that may or may not last), and you can see that. Funeral Homes have a wide range of products and services, and try to accommodate most budgets. If you believe the price is too high, you should check into different types of funerals and different Funeral Homes until you find the price that fits your budget.
Will life insurance pay for funerals?
Most funeral homes will allow for an insurance assignment. This assignment transaction is processed by the funeral home, and releases only the funeral expenses to the funeral service provider, with any remaining balance going directly to the beneficiary. Be sure to check with your Funeral Home to make sure that they will accept the insurance assignment.
Caskets, Burial Vaults and Grave Liners
How can I get an idea about the costs
Federal laws dictate that all funeral homes itemize their charges for professional services, facilities and equipment and that they provide a General Price List (GPL) to all clients.
What are the different types of burial caskets?
Typically, caskets are made of either wood or metal. Metal caskets are made of either bronze, copper, steel or stainless steel. Wood caskets are available in a variety of types of wood. Interiors of caskets are usually made with velvet or crepe; however, other materials may be available.
Why are some casket prices more than others?
Just as with many items, the cost of a casket is generally relevant to the materials it was made with. A casket made of bronze would be priced higher than one made of steel. A casket made of solid mahogany would be more expensive than one of soft pine wood. It depends on the materials the casket shell is made of, the interior materials and any protective features included in that particular model.
What about these independent discount casket companies? Can’t I buy my casket there and use it when needed?
Of course you may purchases your casket at any time, from any company. By law, Funeral Homes are required to allow you to use your own casket, and not just ones purchased through them. Make sure you know who will store your casket- you or the company, and if the company is storing it- where and how they are storing it so that it is protected.
Can I build by own casket?
You certainly can, if the ‘creepy’ factor doesn’t bother you and not to mention the issue of storage! You might consult a funeral home for correct measurements as the casket will ultimately need to be placed into a burial vault, graveliner or mausoleum crypt.
What are burial vaults and graveliners?
These are the outside containers into which the casket is placed. Burial vaults are typically made of materials including concrete, stainless steel, galvanized steel, cooper, bronze, plastic or fiberglass. A graveliner is a lightweight version of a vault which simply keeps the grave surface from sinking in.
Must I purchase a burial vault?
In most areas, local laws do not require that you buy a container to surround the casket in the grave. However, many cemeteries do require that you have such a container so that the ground will not sink.
What are the principal types of cemeteries
and how do they differ?
Cemeteries usually are divided into two broad categories: traditional cemeteries and memorial parks or gardens.
A traditional cemetery has upright monuments, usually made of stone. Many traditional cemeteries also have private mausoleums for aboveground interment. Because many have functioned in their communities for over 100 years, traditional cemeteries often contain a great deal of history, such as architecture and statuary.
Memorial parks and gardens were introduced about 75 years ago. They are cemeteries without tombstones: they more closely resemble a park or a garden than a traditional cemetery. Typically, bronze memorials are placed level with the ground to blend with the beauty of the landscape.
What are my choices in ground burial?
The most common type of ground burial is a single or double grave, although family plots are often available. Not all types of graves are available at all cemeteries. Please check with the cemetery of your choice for availability of specific graves.
How do I choose the right type of grave?
This is dependent upon your personal preferences. Just as with choosing any personal item, you need to consider which appeals most to you – a marker set flat on the ground or an upright monument. Do you prefer to be cremated? You also need to consider whether the grave is for yourself only, or for a family. Having a Pre-Need discussion with your local Funeral Director can help you make the best decision for your situation.
What options are available besides ground burial?
Besides ground burial, many cemeteries offer interment in lawn crypts, or entombment in mausoleums. In addition, some cemeteries provide a columbarium or interment in an urn space for those that have been cremated.
Why is having a place to visit so important?
A memorial, of some sort, provides a focal point for memorializing the deceased. Psychologists say that remembrance practices, from the funeral or memorial service to permanent memorialization, serve an important emotional function for survivors by helping to bring closure and allowing the healing process to begin.
What is Opening and Closing a grave and why is it so expensive?
"Opening and Closing" fees can include 50 or more separate services provided by the cemetery. Typically, the opening and closing fee includes administration and permanent record keeping (determining ownership, obtaining permission and completion of other documentation which may be required, entering the interment particulars in the interment register, maintaining all legal files); opening and closing the grave (locating the grave and laying out the boundaries, excavating and filling the interment space); installation and removal of the lowering device; placement and removal of artificial grass dressing and coco-matting at the grave site, leveling, tamping, re-grading and sodding the grave site, leveling and re-sodding the grave if the earth settles.
Can we dig our own grave to avoid the charge for opening and closing?
No. At least, not if the burial is taking place in an established cemetery or memorial park. The actual opening of the grave and closing of the grave is just one component of the opening and closing fee. Because of safety issues which arise around the use of machinery on cemetery property and the protection of property of adjacent interment rights holders, the actual opening and closing of the grave is conducted by cemetery grounds personnel.
What happens when a cemetery runs out
When a cemetery runs out of land, it continues to operate and serve the community. Since more and more individuals and families are purchasing their graves in advance, graves which have been sold will be opened when a death occurs, markers will be placed and other services will be provided. Most states have laws that require funds to be set aside from each sale for the long-term care and maintenance of the cemetery.
What is double depth?
Many cemeteries either allow for the burial of two caskets in a grave or have specific sections where this type of grave is available. Double depth just means that one casket is placed in the grave at an approximate depth of seven feet. When a second interment is required, the second casket is placed on top of the first casket at standard depth.
How much do grave spaces cost, and why aren't they priced the same all over?
Grave prices can vary significantly. Grave prices are normally set based on their location. Normally, graves in urban centers are more expensive than in rural centers because of the replacement value of land. In addition, within the cemetery, grave prices can vary by the section in which the grave is located. For example, graves in a "feature" section -- where there is a central feature, such as a sculpture for the benefit of lot owners in that section -- may be more expensive than in non-feature sections. The number of interments permitted in a grave may also affect the price, as may the size of the grave.
What is entombment?
Entombment is the interment of human remains in a tomb or mausoleum. It involves placing a casket or cremation urn in a crypt or niche (individual compartment within a mausoleum or columbarium) which is then sealed.
What is a mausoleum?
A mausoleum is a large building designed to provide above ground entombment for a large number of people. Sharing the costs of the mausoleum with other individuals makes it more affordable than a private mausoleum. Crypts are designed to hold caskets; after the casket is placed, the crypt is sealed, and a granite or marble front is attached. Niches accommodate urns containing cremated remains. After the urn is placed, a niche front of granite, marble, bronze, wood or glass is attached.
What are the advantages of a mausoleum burial?
Many people have an aversion to being placed in the ground. Since mausoleum crypts are clean and dry, the offer a viable alternative for those who do not wish to be placed in the ground. Mausoleums also allow a maximum number of entombments in a minimum amount of space, which is critical in areas where land space is at a premium.
Isn't a mausoleum only for rich people?
No, although in centuries past they were considered for the wealthy only. Today, the cost of mausoleum entombment is comparable to the costs of interment in a lot with an upright monument.
Are there different types of crypts?
Single or private crypts are designed for one entombment only. For communal Mausoleums, there are three different kinds of double crypts
Tandem crypts which permit two entombments lengthwise in a crypt
Companion crypts permit two entombments side-by-side
Westminister crypts permit two entombments; the first below floor level, and the second above it.
Most mausoleums are built five, six and
seven crypts high. The price of the crypt will depend on its location
and the type of crypt. For example: upper level crypts are usually less
expensive than those located at eye level.
What is a columbarium?
A columbarium, often located within a mausoleum, chapel or in a garden type setting, is constructed on numerous small compartments (niches) designed to hold urns containing cremated remains. Once the urn has been placed, the niche is sealed with a marker.
What happens to a mausoleum if there is an earthquake?
Modern mausoleums are steel-reinforced concrete structures, covered with granite or marble. They typically are built to meet all local building specifications, including those regarding earthquakes. In areas prone to earthquakes, special earthquake resistant steel reinforcement joints are used to deflect the motion of the earthquake.
How does a mausoleum protect the body?
Since the casket is placed in a clean, dry, above ground crypt, the remains are protected from water and the elements of the earth which may affect the casket if it were placed in the ground.
Can you actually see the bodies in a mausoleum?
No. When you visit a mausoleum, you see the front of the crypt, which typically is made of granite or marble. The name of the person who has died, along with their years of birth and death, appears on the crypt front. The casket rests behind a solid, sealed panel which is placed behind the granite or marble crypt front.
How many people will a crypt hold?
Crypts come in several sizes. Although "singles" and "doubles" are the most common, some crypts can accommodate up to four caskets.
What is a tandem?
A tandem is a mausoleum space designed to accommodate two caskets lengthwise.
How can a mausoleum help eliminate expenses?
When you select a mausoleum, you eliminate the need for expensive vaults and monuments or memorials which almost always are purchased with ordinary earth burial. You also avoid any damage to the grave marker or headstone, which naturally occurs over time.
What are lawn crypts?
Lawn crypts are essentially underground tombs, constructed of reinforced concrete, steel and waterproof materials.
What is the difference between lawn crypts and double depth burial spaces?
Lawn crypts are preset. Double depth burial lots are set at the time of need.
What happens if I buy cemetery property
here in advance and later want move to another area of the cemetery?
Many cemeteries allow for a dollar-for-dollar transfer of property between locations within the cemetery. This is very useful if families are trying to be placed in the same area years down the road. When prearranging, be sure to ask about future exchange privileges offered.
When I buy a grave space do I receive a deed just like when I purchase other types of real estate?
When you purchase a grave space you are in fact purchasing THE RIGHT TO DESIGNATE WHO MAY BE INTERRED IN THE SPACE, rather than purchasing the grave space itself. What does this mean? It means you have the right to say WHO is buried in that specific spot, NOT that you own the spot. You also have a right to place a memorial where permitted.
What is Endowment Care?
A portion of the purchase price of the grave is contributed to an endowment care fund. Income from the endowment care fund is used to provide regular care and maintenance at the cemetery. Regular care and maintenance activities can include cutting grass, re-grading of graves, planting and caring for trees, maintenance of water supply systems, roads, drainage, etc. The minimum amount to be contributed to the endowment care fund is normally governed by law.
What guarantee do I have that Endowment Care will take care of the cemetery?
While not guaranteed, endowment care funds are very conservatively managed. Income from the fund can only be spent on care and maintenance of the cemetery -- the capital is not touched. Endowment care funds are governed by laws in most states for consumer protection.
Can I re-sell my grave?
It really depends on the rules and regulations of the cemetery and the laws of the state or province in which the cemetery is located. While some cemeteries will re-purchase graves, others have policies regarding sales to a third party.
Is cemetery property tax deductible?
No, the purchase of a grave is not tax-deductible, although the charitable donation of unwanted grave spaces may be deductible as an "in kind" charitable contribution. Check with a knowledgeable tax advisor for details. One benefit of purchasing your grave, however, is the fact that you are paying a lower price than if it was purchased years down the road.
Will a cemetery ever be used for something else? Can the bodies be moved and building built?
Strict rules govern the use of cemetery lands. Graves are normally considered to be sold in perpetuity which restricts possible re-development.
In a hundred years will this cemetery still be here?
We think of cemetery lands as being in perpetuity (eternal). There are cemeteries throughout the world that have been in existence for hundreds of years.
What is a disinterment? What is the process and why does it happen?
Disinterment is the removal of the casket containing human remains from a grave. Laws governing disinterment vary by state or province. Disinterment may be ordered by certain public officials without the consent of the grave owner or the next of kin, for example, as part of police investigation. Disinterment requires the grave to be opened. The casket containing the human remains is removed. Depending on the length of time the casket has been buried, a new casket may be required.
What does the government give a veteran
in regards to a marker?
The United States Government provides headstones and markers for the graves of veterans and eligible dependents anywhere in the world which are not already marked. Flat bronze, flat granite, flat marble, and upright marble types are available to mark the grave of a veteran or dependent in the style consistent with existing monuments at the place of burial. Bronze niche markers are also available to mark columbariums in national cemeteries used for internment of cremated remains.
If I am a veteran and plan to be buried in a national cemetery, is my spouse eligible to be buried next to me?
A space for your spouse or any other minor children can be authorized at the time of your death
Does the Veterans Administration pay
for veteran's funerals?
Although the Veterans Administration does not pay for complete funerals, it does provide certain merchandise, services and reimbursements. Your local VA office can provide you with a variety of benefits available. Generally speaking, any veteran with a discharge other than dishonorable is entitled to be buried in an accepting national cemetery. They also may receive a free grave space, with a bronze, granite, or marble memorial marked with veteran's rank, war served and religious icon.
Read More about Veteran's Death Benefits
How long do I have to wait before ordering
If you have not preplanned your memorial ahead of time with your spouse, wait until you are comfortable talking about the memorial. Most people wait about 3 months until they know their financial position and when most of the emotional shock has passed. Preplanning and discussing the memorial design with your spouse before hand takes away much of the financial and emotional burdens.
Will the foundation that goes under the upright memorial interfere with the burial?
No...All cemeteries have adequate space built into the graves to allow for the burial and a memorial foundation.
Why does the cemetery require a concrete foundation under the memorial?
If the concrete foundation is dug and poured below frost level it will ensure that the memorial will continue to stand up nice and straight for many decades to come. Without a foundation, ground freeze can literally destroy the monument.
Can I have an upright memorial on my lot or grave space?
Check with rules and regulations of the cemetery regarding designated areas for upright memorials and size requirements.
Can my memorial be as big as I want it to be?
Different cemeteries have different rules regarding sizes of memorials. Some have very tight rules others have very relaxed rules. Check with your cemetery of choice regarding size restrictions.
My cemetery will only allow me to have a flat granite or flat bronze marker. Why is this?
Cemeteries will only allow flat markers are almost always a Memorial Gardens type cemetery. Different cemeteries allow for different markers. If the type of marker you prefer is not allowed at a particular cemetery, check other local cemeteries.
Can I have any shape or color of memorial that I want?
The size, shape and even color is regulated by the particular cemetery you are at. Some cemeteries have a rule that the base stone must be the same material as the die stone. Ask the cemetery owner or manager, or look around the site, to get an idea of what is allowed.
Why can't I letter the back or ends of my memorial?
Some cemeteries have rules, which state that lettering on memorials must only face the grave space, and not face other people's cemetery property.
Will my memorial fade in time/How long will my monument or marker last?
Most memorials today are made from granite. High quality granite will not fade or discolor in time. But as with any natural stone - it will not last forever. The writing may last hundred years or more- but not forever. The monument itself could quite possibly last thousands of years.
Why aren't all granites the same price?
When a block of granite is removed from the ground there is a certain amount that is normal waste. With some granites the waste factor is much larger and obtaining good clear pieces becomes a problem- inflating the cost. Sometimes granites that are imported from other countries are more expensive because of high freight costs and dollar fluctuations.
- Availability of the granite
- Time it takes to have drawings done and approved
- Foundation construction. Some cemeteries install their own foundations and sometimes only twice a year. Once installed it will be there forever, a few extra days or weeks, or even months, should not even be a consideration.
Why can’t cemeteries pour foundations in the winter?
In many locations across the country, ground freeze delays the building of foundations- not only for grave markers but also for construction in general. Concrete does not set well if the temperatures are below freezing, and setting concrete in place in freezing temperatures will cause the monument to fall, break or crack.
Will moss grow on the top of my memorial if it is not polished?
Moss growing on memorials seems to be a problem in some areas more than others. It has a lot to do with the climate and ground moisture and as well the proximity to certain trees and shrubs. Having the top polished simply makes the memorial easier to clean and the slippery surface hinders moss growth. In most cases moss or most stains can be removed by pressure washing and professional cleaning.
Why should you add the wife's maiden name to the memorial, nobody around here knew her by that name anyway?
Consider your memorial to be the only permanent piece of history that there is. Family bibles and journals can get lost or destroyed as can other family records
Funeral Pre-Arrangments, Preplanningand Pre-Funding
Why should I prearrange my funeral or
Pre-Arranging is a very wise economic decision. Prearranging can yield greater savings because the costs are based on today's prices not the costs at the time of death which could be higher many years from now. By Prearranging your funeral couples can share the decisions together saving their loved ones the emotional decisions of planning a funeral service or selecting a grave site. As the topic is broad, we suggest you read more about Funeral Pre-Planning and Pre-Funding
What happens if someone close to me dies
away from home?
After the death has occurred, the most prudent decision would be to call your funeral service. Your funeral director will be able to make the necessary arrangements to transfer the deceased, relieving the family of the burden of dealing with unfamiliar people, places and related issues.
After my death, how can my funeral home
send me to my cemetery which is out of state?
In many cemeteries today, there is a funeral home on the grounds. If not, then arrangements would have to be made with the cemetery or a local funeral home to pick up the body and transfer it to the cemetery.
How long can you wait to have a funeral without embalming?
Most states require that a deceased person either be embalmed or placed in refrigeration after a period of 24 hours from the time of death. Funeral Services can be held at any time after that. In some areas of the country that time frame can be as long as three weeks.
Does a body have to be embalmed before
it is buried?
Embalming is not required for burial. It is your choice. It may depend on such factors as whether the family selected a service with a public viewing of the body with an open casket; or to enhance the deceased's appearance for a private family viewing; or if the body is going to be transported by air or rail, or because of the length of time prior to the burial. In most cases, if the body is going to be transported across state lines, embalming is required.
Does a casket have to be transported to the cemetery in a hearse?
While a hearse or casket coach is most commonly used for this purpose, other options are often appropriate. Families might consider more personalized and meaningful options.
Why would I need to purchase Certified Copies of a death certificate?
Certified copies are used as proof of death for the transfer of stocks and bonds, banking transactions and life insurance. Your funeral provider can help you determine how many you may need to settle an estate and can also secure them for you.
If I donate my remains to medical science, can there still be a service?
Yes, in addition to coordinating the donation of your remains, your funeral home can arrange for either a Memorial Service or a Gathering of Friends to be held at a time and place convenient for the family.
Is it possible to have a traditional funeral if someone with AIDS dies?
Yes. Death due to AIDS is no different than any other cause of death. They are entitled to the same care and services as any other deceased person.