Frequently Asked Questions
Do you have to have a Funeral Director to bury the deceased?
In most states, family members may bury a member of their family– although regulations vary. A Funeral Director is commonly trusted because most people find it too difficult on their own to handle the responsibilities for the details and legal matters surrounding a death.
How do Funeral Directors work with a family when they are caring for someone in a hospice?
Most hospice programs recognize the value of funerals and have established communication and working relationships with Funeral Directors. The National Hospice Organization and its standards document recognizes the significant role of the Funeral Director in collaborating with the hospice team at the time of death. Funeral Directors have become an integral part of hospice care. When you consider the philosophy of hospice and funeral service, it is clear why funeral service is a "natural extension" of hospice care.
In fact, our Funeral Directors and hospice caregivers typically work closely in order to meet the total needs of families. Our goal is to make certain that at no time will family members be without support.
What is the purpose of embalming?
Embalming sanitizes and preserves the body, slows the decomposition process, and enhances the appearance of a body disfigured by traumatic death or illness. Embalming makes it possible to lengthen the time between death and the final disposition, thus allowing family members sufficient time to arrange and participate in the type of service most comforting to them.
Does a dead body have to be embalmed, according to law?
No. Most regions, however, require embalming if the death is caused by a reportable contagious disease, when remains are to be transported from one state to another by common carrier or if final disposition is not to be made within a prescribed number of hours.
Why have a public viewing?
Many grief specialists believe that viewing helps begin the healing process, as it allows the bereaved to recognize the reality of death. Viewing is encouraged for children, as long as the process is explained and the activity is voluntary.
What is a memorial service?
Much like a funeral, a memorial service celebrates the life of the deceased. The only difference is that there is no body present at a memorial service. In recent years, more and more people choose memorials, especially those whose loved ones have been cremated and remains have already been disposed. Often, in lieu of a body, there is a display of photos showing moments from the deceases life.
Has the cost of funerals increased significantly?
Funeral costs have increased no faster than the consumer price index for other consumer items. On a national average the cost of a funeral raises approximately 200-300 dollars a year. Today the national average of a funeral costs approximately $6,000 - 7,000.00
What determines and contributes to the cost of a funeral?
Funerals are no more expensive than other major life events such as weddings and births. However, happy life events typically do not raise much sensitivity about cost. Funeral homes operate 24-hours a day, seven days a week. It is a labor-intensive business with extensive costs for facilities and real estate (viewing rooms, chapels, limousines, hearses, etc.). These expenses are factored into the cost of a funeral.
Funeral costs include more than just caskets. They include the services of a Funeral Director who handles legal documents and makes many detailed arrangements on your behalf. Your Funeral Director will assist you in dealing with doctors, ministers, florists, and newspapers, with death certificates and legal items, and seeing to all other necessary details.
A funeral can be as extravagant or as simple as you desire. Preplanning your funeral can help control costs. By making decisions ahead of time, you avoid making choices at a time when your emotions are heightened. It also provides an opportunity to set aside funds that can be used to pay for part or all of the future service. Your funeral director can work with you to design a personalized tribute that meets your financial needs.
What should I do if the death occurs in the middle of the night or on the weekend?
Our Funeral Directors are available 24-hours a day, seven days a week. You are encouraged to call as soon as you are ready after the death occurs.
If a loved one dies out of state/province , can your Funeral Directors still help?
Yes, we can assist you with out-of-state/province arrangements, either to transfer the remains from our location to another state or from another state back to our location.
In addition to method of burial or cremation and the funeral services, what other pre-planning issues should I consider?
When considering and expressing your personal wishes concerning the end of life and death care, you should also understand Advance Directives. We have information available for you over Advance Directives available in the Library section of our web page.
What is a living will?
A living will is a type of advance directive in which you put in writing your wishes about medical treatment should you be unable to communicate at the end of life. Your right to accept or refuse treatment is protected by constitutional and common law. On the library link of our web page you will find a link with a draft of a will you may use.
What is the purpose of a funeral?
Funerals are an important step in the grieving process, as well as an opportunity to honor a life lived. They offer surviving family members and friends a caring, supportive environment in which to share thoughts and feelings about the death. Often funerals are the first step in the healing process.
What role does the funeral director fill?
Funeral directors are there to help you through a very difficult time in your life. They are listeners and counselors, tribute planners and crisis managers. Through discussions with you, based on information you share about your wishes and details about your loved one, they are able to offer guidance and help you coordinate a very personal tribute that honors the life of your loved one. Your funeral director can guide you through planning the service; complete necessary paperwork; and coordinate doctors, ministers, florists, newspapers and other vendors to make your funeral experience as seamless as possible. But they also listen to your stories about your loved one, answer your questions on grief, link you to support groups and recommend sources of professional help. By acting as an experienced source for support and guidance, a professional, ethical funeral director can provide you with relief during one of your greatest times of need.
Can I still have a funeral service if I choose cremation?
Yes. Cremation opens the doors to a number of different funeral options. From traditional services to contemporary celebrations, cremation gives you the flexibility to personalize the services for yourself or a loved one.