In this section, we have gathered information that will answer our most commonly-asked questions. You'll find answers for general questions in our FAQ, and more specifics about Social Security, veterans benefits, what to do when a death occurs, and special things to consider when a death occurs away from home. As always, please feel free to contact us directly for more detailed answers to your questions.
Funeral & Burial Questions
What purpose does a funeral serve?
The funeral expresses the life and faith of the deceased while providing comfort and support to family and friends. Funerals are arranged services designed to invoke religious rituals, honoring the deceased and fulfilling the needs of the family. The funeral provides survivors with a foundation of hope and peace for their future.
What do funeral directors do?
Funeral directors are trained, experienced professionals who assist families from the moment a death occurs until well after services are completed. Their work involves dignified care of the deceased while counseling survivors on designing services that fulfills their needs. The funeral director is responsible for organizing all aspects of funeral services and providing families with choices and options that will encapsulate who their loved one is to them. They are caring dignified people who help families organized wakes and funerals and are responsible for every aspect involved in these services. Funeral directors are caregivers and administrators. They make the arrangements for transportation of the body, complete all necessary paperwork, and implement the choices made by the family regarding the funeral and final disposition of their loved one. Funeral directors are listeners, advisors and supporters.
Why have a public viewing?
Viewing is part of many cultural and ethnic traditions. Many grief specialists believe that viewing aids the grief process by helping the bereaved recognize the reality of death. Viewing is encouraged for children, as long as the process is explained and the activity voluntary.
Is it possible to have a traditional funeral if someone dies of AIDS?
Yes, a person who dies of an AIDS - related illness is entitled to the same service options afforded to anyone else. If public viewing is consistent with local or personal customs, that option is encouraged. Touching the deceased's face or hands is perfectly safe. Because the grief experienced by survivors may include a variety of feelings, survivors may need even more support than survivors of non-AIDS-related deaths.
Isn't burial space becoming scarce?
While it is true some metropolitan areas have limited available cemetery space, in most areas of the country, there is enough space set aside for the next 50 years without creating new cemeteries. In addition, land available for new cemeteries is more than adequate, especially with the increase in entombment and multi-level grave burial.
What is the purpose of embalming?
Embalming sanitizes and preserves the body, retards 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 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 states, however, require embalming when death was caused by a reportable contagious disease or 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. However, if there is to be a public viewing most funeral homes require embalming for the general publics health and safety.
Is cremation a substitute for a funeral?
No, cremation is an alternative to earth burial or entombment for the body's final disposition and often follows a traditional funeral service. In fact, according to FTC figures for 1987, direct cremation occurred in only 3% of deaths.
So, I've decided on cremation. Can I still have a funeral or a viewing?
Yes, quite often some sort of viewing precedes the actual cremation. Your Funeral Home can assist you with the necessary information for a funeral with a cremation following or a memorial service.
Funeral Cost Questions
Who pays for funerals for the indigent?
Other than the family, there are veteran, union, and other organizational benefits to pay for funerals, including, in certain instances, a lump sum death payment from Social Security. In most states, some form of public aid allowances are available from either the state, county, or city or a combination. Most funeral directors are aware of the various benefits and know how to obtain them for the indigent. However, funeral directors often absorb costs above and beyond what is provided by agencies to insure the deceased a respectable burial.
Can the family of the deceased control the total price of a funeral?
Yes. The family has the ability to control the total price of a funeral. Funeral homes offer a wide selection of merchandise at a varied price range. The kind and amount of service the family selects is also completely their decision.
What to do if a Death Occurs
What should I do if the death occurs in the middle of the night or on the weekend?
Most Funeral Directors are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. Click here for more information.
Will someone come right away?
If you request immediate assistance, yes. If the family wishes to spend a short time with the deceased to say good bye, it's acceptable. They will come when your time is right.
If a loved one dies out of state , can the local Funeral Home still help?
Yes, they can assist you with out-of-state arrangements, either to transfer the remains to another state or from another state. Click here for more information.
Where can I find more information about what to do when a death occurs, as well as veterans and social security benefits?
We have provided all that information for you. Follow these links for more information on what to do when a death occurs and veteran and social security benefits.