Your family controls the cost of your funeral. We realize that the average person only makes funeral arrangements once or twice in their life. Please be assured that our team of funeral and cremation experts will strive to educate you regarding all of your choices so that you can select the arrangements that are most appropriate for your family and properly honor your loved one.
The cost of a funeral is determined by the services and merchandise you select. You can often choose a package, but all charges are ala carte. The cost of the service will be up to you. You will be making selections in a couple of different areas: the funeral home service charges, merchandise, cemetery or cremation options and outside expenses. After we have explained your options, you will be able to determine which items best suit your needs.
Funeral ceremonies fill an important role for those mourning the loss of a loved one. By providing surviving family and friends with an atmosphere of care and support in which to share thoughts and feelings about death, funerals are the first step in the healing process. It is a meaningful way to recognize the finality of death. Funerals are recognized rituals for the living to show their respect for the dead and to help survivors begin the grieving process.
Whether you select burial or cremation, your options for services, viewing and ceremony are the same. Planning a personalized ceremony or service will help begin the healing process. Overcoming the pain is never easy, but a meaningful funeral or tribute will help.
To help you prepare for the funeral arrangement conference, please review the following checklist:
Creating a Personal Tribute
Recent photos. These can be used for preparation and also to create a memorial tribute video. Your Funeral Director will guide you as to the appropriate number of photos to gather.
Personal items. Be giving thought as to those unique items that could be displayed for the viewing, memorial gathering and/or funeral service. These could represent special hobbies, military service, an occupation or anything that is uniquely personal.
Eulogy. Who is the person or persons that you would like to call upon to share special memories? Your funeral director can provide guidance and direction in this area.
Music. Do you have special music that will be played? Can we assist you with live musicians? The right music can truly provide the right setting for a fitting tribute.
Clergy or Celebrant. We will help you coordinate with your clergy or can also provide guidance for securing a Funeral Celebrant or Master of Ceremonies to lead the gathering, should you prefer not to have a religious service.
Important Information to bring for the Death Certificate:
Social Security Number
We will assist you in determining the number of copies of the death certificates you will be needing and can order them for you.
Additional Items to Consider
A copy of a Veteran's Discharge (DD-214) or Claim Number will be needed to obtain any veteran’s benefits.
Make a list of immediate family, close friends and employer or business colleagues to be notified.
Decide on appropriate memorial to which gifts may be made (church, hospice, library, charity or school).
Gather obituary information you want to include such as age, place of birth, cause of death, occupation, college degrees, memberships held, military service, outstanding work, list of survivors in immediate family. Include time and place of services. Arrange for members of family or close friends to take turns answering door or phone, keeping careful record of calls.
If Social Security checks are automatic deposit, notify the bank of the death.
If you request immediate assistance, yes. If the family wishes to spend a short time with the deceased to say good-bye, that’s perfectly acceptable. Your funeral director will come when your time is right.
The choice of burial or cremation is definitely a personal one. Historically, burial or entombment in a crypt was the most common method of disposition in the United States. While Cremation has been increasingly selected in recent years, you should consider your own personal feelings, religious considerations, and family history to determine which solution is best for you.
A common misunderstanding regarding cremation is that it eliminates the ability to have a public viewing or visitation or even a funeral service. Nothing could be further from the truth. Whether you select burial or cremation, your options for services and merchandise are the same.
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 is voluntary.
Embalming sanitizes, temporarily preserves the body and has cosmetic properties to aid in the physical appearance of the deceased. Embalming makes it possible to lengthen the time between death and the final disposition, allowing family members time to arrange and participate in the type of service most comforting to them.
A funeral is the place where the surviving friends and family can begin acknowledging and accepting their loss and can begin to prepare to transition to their life without their loved one.
Some persons have the misconception that all funerals have to be religious in nature. This is another motivation for not requesting funeral services. While the majority of funerals are religious based, some persons are opting for gatherings that are less formal and can include eulogies, favorite music and food. A Master of Ceremonies or Funeral Celebrant can help lead the gathering.
Our funeral and cremation experts can help you explore options for services and help plan a fitting life celebration event that can be held in our facility or we can coordinate with an outside venue.
You have many different options from which to choose when considering memorialization of your loved one. This is a time-honored tradition that has been practiced for centuries. A memorial is a tribute to a life lived and provides a focal point for remembrance, as well as a record for future generations. The type of memorial you choose is a personal decision.
With cremation, your options are numerous. Permanent placement means placing your loved one in a specially designed urn garden, interment in a cemetery plot (earth burial) or placement in a niche in a columbarium at a cemetery. This will provide for a secure place for your loved one and a permanent memorial for family and friends to visit.
Should you choose to take a loved one’s urn home, it is important to consider your long-term plans for the safe-keeping of the urn. Typically, subsequent generations of family members are not as open to having one or multiple sets of cremated remains stored in the family home. We encourage you to allow us to provide you information regarding available options for permanent placement of your loved one.
You might choose ground burial of the urn. If so, you may usually choose either a bronze memorial or monument. Cremation niches in columbariums are also available at many cemeteries. They offer the beauty of a mausoleum setting with the benefits of above ground placement of remains. Many cemeteries also offer specialized urn gardens that have memorialization options from estate inurnment to scattering. This area of a cemetery offers the peacefulness of a serene garden where family and friends can come and reflect.
Most cemeteries provide scattering gardens and other options. If you wish to have your cremated remains scattered somewhere, it is important to discuss your wishes to be scattered ahead of time with the person or persons who will actually have to perform the scattering ceremony, as they might want to let your funeral professional assist. Funeral directors can also be very helpful in creating a meaningful and personal scattering ceremony that they will customize to fit your families specific desires. The services can be as formal or informal as you like. Scattering services can also be public or private. Again, it is advisable to check for local regulations regarding scattering in a public place-your funeral director can help you with this.
Uncertainty about income tax issues can add to the stress experienced from the death of a spouse. You should meet with your family attorney and/or tax advisor as soon as possible to review your particular tax and estate circumstances. Bring a detailed list of your questions to the meeting. If you do not have an attorney or tax advisor, call the IRS toll-free at 800-829-1040 for answers to specific tax questions.
There are a number of options available, including:
Determine if the deceased person qualifies for any entitlements. Check with the Social Security Administration, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and with your State Fund. Many people are entitled to get financial assistance with their funeral costs from these agencies if they qualify.
Review all insurance policies the deceased person has, including life insurance. Some life insurance policies have coverage clauses for funeral related costs.
Find local charities providing financial help for funeral expenses. Search for non-profit organizations and for churches in your area.
Public assistance (for those who qualify) varies greatly from one community to another. Your funeral director can provide guidance as to any state, county or local programs that may be exist.