The following are answers to some of the most commonly asked questions about funerals. Keep in mind that laws and procedures vary from state to state and from provider to provider.
Q. WHY DO WE HAVE FUNERALS?
A. Ceremony has been important since the beginning of mankind. Today, the funeral provides the family an opportunity to gather together and not only recognize a life that was lived, but to share their grief with others.
Q. AREN’T ALL FUNERALS THE SAME?
A. In a word, NO. Although similar basic religious format may be followed, the unique thing about a funeral is that it can be personalized to suit the needs of the family or the desires of the deceased. All relationships on the face of this planet are unique, thus lending credence to the idea that uniqueness is an inherent trait of the funeral process. So while no two funerals are the same, they may contain common elements that are found in all funerals.
Q. HOW MUCH DO FUNERALS COST?
A. As with any purchase, cost can be an important part of the buying decision. Basically, funeral costs can be broken down as such: SERVICES, MERCHANDISE, AND CASH ADVANCED ITEMS.
- Basic services of funeral director and staff
- Embalming or Cremation
- Other preparation of remains
- Facilities for funeral or visitation (on or off site)
- Transportation to funeral home
- Necessary automotive equipment
- Transportation to cemetery
- Cremation Urn
- Burial Vault
- Cremation Urn Vault
- Register book
- Cremation Casket
- Memorial Tribute DVD
- Cremation container
- Acknowledgement cards
CASH ADVANCED ITEMS (Items the funeral home may pay on your behalf)
- Newspaper obituaries
- Minister’s honorarium
- Funeral flowers
- Out of town transportation
- Air freight charges
- Certified death certificates
- Cemetery charges
New Federal Law (Federal Trade Commission) or F.T.C. has mandated that customers are to be given a General Price List (G.P.L.) prior to any funeral selection. On the G.P.L. appears the costs for any of the SERVICES that the funeral home provides. A separate Casket Price List and Vault Price List must be given to the customer prior to any MERCHANDISE selection. By combining the costs of the SERVICES, MERCHANDISE, and CASH ADVANCED ITEMS, the majority of the total funeral cost can be realized.
Q. SHOULD YOUNG CHILDREN BE PRESENT AT THE FUNERAL?
A. We firmly believe that little kids are people too. As such, they have grief needs as well. It is very important that the death and dying process be presented to them as something that is normal and natural. Hollywood has done a lot to distort the image of what happens at death and does not accurately portray these events. A child’s natural curiosity will prompt them to ask questions and it is important to remember that answers given to them should be both truthful and age appropriate.
Q. SHOULD I PRE-PLAN MY FUNERAL?
A. Absolutely!! Pre-planning or Pre-arranging one’s funeral makes a great deal of sense. Here are just a few of the BENEFITS OF PRE-PLANNING:
- GUESSWORK CAN BE COMPLETELY ELIMINATED.
- PEACE OF MIND IS ACHIEVED.
- COST CAN BE CONTROLLED
Q. WHAT TYPES OF CASKET ARE THERE?
A. Caskets are either classified as Metal or Wood since both materials are used in their manufacture.
WOOD CASKETS can be made of either a solid hardwood specie, e.g. Mahogany, Oak, Cherry, Walnut etc. or a particleboard to which a veneer has been laminated. Due to the nature of the material used in construction, wood caskets are not generally designed to resist the elements of air or water.
METAL CASKETS are made entirely of metal. Like wood caskets, different metals are used in their manufacture. Steel is the predominant metal used, but the rust resistant metals of stainless steel, copper, and bronze are also used. Different levels of protection can be achieved by the use of different metals or the thickness thereof, and these caskets can also be designed to be resistant to the entrance of air and water - thus giving the consumer numerous choices to provide piece of mind and buyer satisfaction.
Q. WHAT HAPPENS IF A DEATH OCCURS OUT OF TOWN OR IN ANOTHER COUNTRY?
A. While we are not able to predict where or when death will occur, take comfort in the fact that the U.S. has one of the highest caliber death care industries in the world. The regulations surrounding our funeral industry are not only state mandated, but also come under Federal statutes. In the U.S. and Canada, a call to your local funeral director should be your first step toward getting a relative remains "back home" for burial. Individual countries throughout the world have their own shipping regulations because of religion or sanitation requirements, and a consulate usually needs to be contacted. Your local funeral director is familiar with these unique requirements and should be able to meet your needs whether in this country or some other.