Q?Why should I plan a funeral for my loved one?

A funeral or memorial is a customary way to recognize death and its finality. Funerals are held for the living to show respect for the departed and to help survivors begin the grief process. They also give mourners a chance to share stories, create memories, fulfill religious beliefs and customs, participate in a support system and gather a peaceful place during a time of confusion and uncertainty.

What tasks are involved in arranging a funeral?

There can be as many as 200 tasks when planning a funeral. Our funeral director will coordinate most of these for you after meeting with you in a private consultation. Some of the tasks are listed below.

  • Obtain the signature of the attending physician, coroner or medical examiner on the required certificate; file the certificate with the registrar of vital statistics where the death occurred
  • Ensure compliance with government regulators
  • Transfer the deceased from the place of death to the funeral home (local or out of town)
  • Obtain family history
  • Make decisions regarding the remains of the deceased
  • Determine the budget (if the funeral has not been pre-arranged
  • Determine the funeral or memorial service location(s),such as church, chapel or gravesite
  • Plan for a viewing/visitation and determine open or closed casket
  • Choose the final resting place (cemetery, mausoleum, or private property)
  • Make necessary arrangements with clergy, church and cemetery officials
  • Obtain certified copies of the death certificate, as necessary
  • Obtain the burial permit and file with the cemetery
  • Select and purchase the casket, outer burial container or urn
  • Select a monument/marker
  • Order and schedule the delivery of all products/merchandise
  • Compose and submit newspaper and other media notices
  • Choose clothing and jewelry
  • Select poems, scripture, and readings
  • Select music
  • Choose pallbearers and floral bearers
  • Arrange for the transportation of the deceased
  • Secure flowers and equipment as necessary
  • Purchase acknowledgement cards, register book and memorial folders
  • Purchase flowers
  • Arrange for family transportation
  • Complete necessary paperwork for social security, veteran, and insurance benefits
  • Complete accounting, clerical and filing work
  • Provide telephone callers with information
  • Notify organizations, in which the deceased participated, of the death

What do funeral directors do?

Funeral directors are caregivers, advisors, and administrators. They make the arrangements for the transportation of the deceased, complete all necessary paperwork and carry out the wishes of the family regarding the funeral and final disposition of the deceased. They have the total responsibility for the services provided.

Some people cannot afford basic funeral services. What other financial resources are available?

Other than the family, there are veteran, union, and other organizational benefits that might pay for funerals. In most stated, some form of public aid allowances is available from the state, county, city or a combination of some or all of them. Most funeral directors are aware of the various benefits and know how to obtain them.