Frequently Asked Questions
Many people have questions that they may or may not feel comfortable asking their funeral director. We hope this will be of some help to you and if you think of something else you would like us to add to this list of questions, please contact us by email or telephone.
WHAT DO WE DO IF OUR FAMILY DEATH OCCURS AWAY FROM HOME?
Our funeral home staff will arrange with a licensed funeral home or mortuary in the area where the death occurred for the transportation back to our funeral home. We will also make arrangements with the shipping funeral home for the required legal documents and the necessary preparation of the deceased prior to the transportation.
WHY IS A FUNERAL IMPORTANT?
For thousands of years, funerals have allowed survivors to express their feelings about the death of someone they loved. The funeral is a sorrowful time of intense grief and the customary rituals provide comfort when things seem chaotic and out of control. For many, a visitation followed by a funeral or memorial service is the first step in the grieving process. It is a time when family and friends can come together to grieve openly and to support one another in a community environment. It is also a time to say good-bye. Viewing of the deceased can bring a sense of closure to the bereaved who may be in shock and denial.
WHAT DOES A FUNERAL DIRECTOR DO?
- Transport the deceased to the funeral home, anytime, 24 hours a day.
- Meet with the family to determine services requested.
- Prepare and file the death certificate.
- Provide certified copies of death certificates for insurance and benefit processing.
- Contact insurance companies, Social Security and Veteran's Administrations to ensure that necessary paperwork is filed for receipt of benefits.
- Prepare and submit the obituary to the newspapers of your choice.
- Coordinate with the church and clergy if a funeral or memorial service is to be held.
- Schedule the committal service and burial with the cemetery.
- Order casket sprays and other flower arrangements as the family wishes.
- Arrange for the funeral luncheon, if desired.
- Assist the family with the selection of the casket, burial vault, cremation urn or keepsakes, prayer cards/memorial folders and acknowledgement cards.
- Bathe and embalm the deceased.
- Prepare the body for viewing, including cosmetology and dressing.
- Oversee and attend the visitation, and direct the funeral services, either at the funeral home, church or cemetery.
- Provide Aftercare, or grief assistance, to the bereaved
WHAT IS EMBALMING?
Embalming is the art and science of preserving the human body to forestall decomposition. The intention is to keep the deceased presentable for viewing at a visitation and funeral. The three goals of embalming are disinfection, preservation and restoration. The time spent embalming (generally 2 to 4 hours) depends upon the condition of the body, which may be influenced by traumatic injuries or an untimely delay between the occurrence of death and the embalming procedure. Embalming has a very long and cross-cultural history, dating back many thousands of years to the time of Ancient Egypt.
IS EMBALMING REQUIRED WHEN A PERSON DIES?
No, however most states insist on embalming under certain circumstances such as when the death is caused by a contagious disease or if the final place of disposition can only be reached by common carrier or via air transportation. Embalming preserves the body, often allowing more time for arrangements and is required if there is be a visitation with an open casket. If the deceased is to be directly buried or cremated embalming is not necessary.
WHY SHOULD I BUY MY CASKET OR CREMATION URN FROM YOUR FUNERAL HOME INSTEAD OF A CASKET OR CREMATION DISCOUNT STORE?
First, don't assume casket and cremation discount stores have lower prices or offer better value for your dollar than funeral homes. As with all products in the marketplace, prices often depend on many factors, including quality of materials and workmanship. We use only reputable suppliers of manufactured caskets, burial vaults and cremation urns of the finest quality. Our reputation depends on it. The products we sell all come with a liability warranty on each unit. Secondly, casket stores are usually not staffed by licensed funeral directors who can assist the family in their selection if casket size or cemetery space requirements are an issue. Improper selection of casket size can adversely affect the final memory the family has of their loved one, and improper understanding of space restrictions at a cemetery can greatly affect the overall cost of the funeral.
IF I CHOOSE TO BE CREMATED, CAN I HAVE A VISITATION OR FUNERAL?
Yes, cremation can take place either before or after a funeral depending on what type of service you choose. You can have a viewing with cremation or burial.