Questions About Funeral Services

We are here to answer any of your funeral services questions. Below are some common questions we receive.

What does a funeral director do?

A funeral director performs the following activities:

  • Arranges for the deceased to be picked up and transported to the funeral home (anytime—day or night)
  • Meets with the family and assists them with completing arrangements for the funeral
  • Notifies the proper authorities (physician or coroner); prepares and files the death certificate with the appropriate health department
  • Sanitizes and embalms the deceased
  • Prepares the deceased for viewing
  • Coordinates with clergy and church personnel, schedules the preparation of the grave and burial vault, and orders necessary goods and services (e.g. casket, motorcycle escort, flowers, etc.)

When a death occurs, what should I do?

If the death occurred in a medical facility (hospital or nursing home), instruct the facility to call the funeral service of your choice. If the death occurs in a residence, notify the appropriate authority (hospice nurse, police or paramedic).

Should I choose burial or cremation?

Burial in a casket is the most common method of disposing of the remains in the United States, although entombment in a mausoleum is also an option. Cremation is increasingly selected, because it can be less expensive and allows for the memorial service to be held at a more convenient time, when relatives and friends can more easily come together.

A funeral service followed by cremation need not be any different from a funeral service followed by a burial. Usually, cremated remains are placed in an urn before being committed to a final resting place. The urn may be buried, placed in an indoor or outdoor mausoleum or columbarium, or interred in a special urn garden that many cemeteries provide for cremated remains. The remains may also be scattered, according to state law. Some church laws may follow other procedures.

When making funeral arrangements, what do I need to take to the funeral home?

When you come to the funeral home, it will be helpful to bring certain information with you. If you like, you can download and fill out the Personal Information Form [where is PDF?] ahead of time. This will allow our staff to enter your information quickly.

Why have a public viewing?

Viewing is a 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 is voluntary.

What is the purpose of embalming?

Embalming sanitizes and preserves the body, minimizing the possibility of disease transmission to those who might come into contact with the deceased. Embalming also makes it possible to lengthen the time between death and the final disposition, giving family members time to arrange and participate in the type of service most comforting to them.

Does a decedent have to be embalmed, according to law?

The Federal Trade Commission says, “Except in certain special cases, embalming is not required by law. Embalming may be necessary, however, if you select certain funeral arrangements, such as a funeral with viewing. If you do not want embalming, you usually have the right to choose an arrangement that does not require you to pay for it, such as direct cremation or immediate burial.”

Will you place an obituary in the newspaper?

Yes! We will happily place the obituary in the newspaper at the same cost it would be for you to place the obituary yourself.

Where do I get certified copies of the decedent’s death certificate?

The death certificate will be filed in the local jurisdiction where the death occurred. If you would like us to obtain certified copies of the death certificate for you, we will do so, at cost, plus any mailing or delivery fees.

Can I pre-pay for your services?

Absolutely! Pre-payment can be done as a single payment, or in monthly installments.

Do you take credit cards?

Yes! Visa, MasterCard, American Express and Discover

If you have additional funeral services questions, please contact us.