Funeral homes are responsible for the care and transportation of deceased individuals from the place of death to the place of final disposition. Cemeteries, including crematories, are places of final disposition. Funeral homes arrange funeral and memorial services; prepare bodies for burial, entombment, or cremation; and post death certificates and obituary notices. Cemeteries do not transport or prepare bodies. Cemeteries receive bodies in caskets or cremation containers from funeral homes and effect the final disposition as authorized by the next of kin. When caskets are purchased from the cemetery, the cemetery delivers the casket to the funeral home of the purchaser’s choice. (The funeral director is required by law to use whichever casket the family purchases, without applying a fee for a third-party casket)
Cemetery property and services, such as lots or crypts, vaults, caskets, memorials, cremation processes and opening/closing fees can be purchased in advance of need from the cemetery, locking in the price paid. For-profit cemeteries are required by the Maryland Office of Cemetery Oversight to deposit into a perpetual care escrow fund (the principal of this fund cannot be accessed). The interest from this fund provides for the future care of the cemetery. When the cemetery sells merchandise pre-need, such as caskets, memorials, or vaults, it is required to escrow a large percentage of those funds to ensure future delivery of the merchandise. For-profit cemeteries in Maryland are also required by the Office of Cemetery Oversight to have the merchandising trust and perpetual care accounts certified biannually by a CPA. Church cemeteries and non-profit cemeteries in Maryland are exempt from the Office of Cemetery Oversight’s jurisdiction.
Funeral homes in Maryland are regulated by the Morticians Board, a State entity that does not regulate cemeteries. Funeral homes, unlike cemeteries, are not permitted to accept payment for services they have not yet provided. In order to arrange funeral services in advance, a funding vehicle, such as an insurance policy or annuity must be used. A specific funeral is pre-arranged and pre-funded by this method, when a licensed mortician signs the pre-need funeral contract on behalf of a licensed funeral establishment.
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.
Burial in a casket is the most common method of disposing of remains in the United States, although entombment also occurs. Cremation is increasingly selected because it can be less expensive and allows for the memorial service to be held at a more convenient time in the future when relatives and friends can 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 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.
Primarily they care and safeguard the deceased person until final disposition, including embalming and restorative work. The funeral director should contact whichever cemetery the family has chosen. The funeral director arranges funeral or memorial services at the funeral home, place of worship, or cemetery. It is also the responsibility of the funeral director to transport and prepare the deceased for burial, entombment, or cremation, and post death certificates and obituary notices.
A growing number of funeral directors are trained as grief counselors to help families through the bereavement process. They also arrange and provide an orderly series of events that finalize the funeral, the final disposition, and legal paperwork so the family can proceed forward. They also provide the physical establishment in which all of this can be accomplished.
The funeral and the ceremony that accompanies it are indeed very important. For those who are left behind, a funeral provides a place for family and friends to gather for support and to reminisce; an opportunity to celebrate the life and accomplishments of a loved one; a chance to say goodbye; and the focal point from which the healing process can begin. The funeral identifies that a person's life has been lived, not that a death has occurred. It is also important to notify the community that this person has died. There are people beyond the immediate family who have the right to grieve a death. For instance, what would have happened in the United States if there had not been a funeral for President John F. Kennedy?
A Gathering of Friends is a less formal event. It allows family and friends to share their loss and share treasured memories of the deceased. A Gathering of Friends may include light refreshments and can be held at any appropriate location, including an accommodating funeral home, a park, a restaurant or the home of a family member or friend.
The Federal Trade Commission Funeral Rule requires that all funeral homes itemize their charges for professional services, facilities and motor equipment and that they provide a General Price List to all clients. You have the right to select and pay for only those services you choose to utilize.
Talking with friends who have used the services of a funeral home or your personal experience from attending funeral services of friends or relatives at a variety of funeral homes are excellent methods of comparison. You might also consider just stopping by a funeral home unannounced to experience how you are treated. To a lesser degree, you can also gain some experience from randomly contacting various firms by telephone. You can call your local Better Business Bureau to see if complaints have been filed against a local funeral director, and whether they were satisfactorily resolved. Also, you can call one of the national funeral trade associations, which have standards of ethics, to see whether your local funeral homes are members.
Quality service firms will not only assist with securing these death benefits, they will most likely complete all the paperwork for you.
The publication of an obituary notice is a matter of your personal choice. While most newspapers control the editorial format, you have the right to limit the amount of information, if any, provided to them.
A funeral, like any other service, can have a range of prices depending on the provider. It is similar to asking "How much does a wedding cost?" Funeral costs are divided into two categories: services, as provided by the funeral director and funeral home staff; and merchandise, such as caskets, vaults, urns, etc. The average regular adult funeral in the U.S. in 1996 cost $4,287, according to the Federated Funeral Directors of America. This price generally includes funeral home staff services, professional care, use of the funeral home and equipment, automotive equipment, visitors register, acknowledgment cards, and casket. However, the price will vary greatly depending on your location, the company that is serving you and the type of funeral you choose. It is a Federal Trade Commission regulation that all funeral-related charges be itemized, printed on a general price list and made available to the public by phone, mail or in person. Therefore it is easy to comparison shop and prearrange your own funeral, taking advantage of competitive pricing by providers. To find out how much the funeral you want costs, you can simply contact your local funeral service provider.
There is a great range in prices for services and merchandise from your local funeral directors, depending on the type of funeral you purchase and each company's price structure. The perception that funerals are too expensive usually can be attributed to a lack of familiarity with the normal price range. If you find that the price for certain services and merchandise seems to high, you should check into different types of funerals and different companies until you find the price that fits your budget. Obviously, it is difficult to comparison shop in an at-death situation. Therefore, it is important speak with your local funeral director ahead of time. By pre-planning, you can find a provider whose services and merchandise fit your budget.
Yes, as a convenient method of payment, most quality funeral homes will allow for an insurance assignment. This assignment transaction is processed by the funeral home, releasing only the funeral expenses to the funeral service provider, and with any remaining balance going directly to the beneficiary. The insurance assignment is an effective, convenient means in which to cover funeral expenses. Keep in mind that it's very important to speak with your local funeral provider, to ensure that your insurance policy is applied to the type of funeral service you want. Simply having life insurance will not make the important decisions that must be made in regard to your funeral -- which funeral home will take care of the service, what type of service will be held, how much will be spent on the funeral service, etc.
It really depends entirely on how you wish to commemorate a life. One of the advantages of cremation is that it provides you with increased flexibility when you make your funeral and cemetery arrangements. You might, for example, choose to have a funeral service before the cremation; a memorial service at the time of cremation or after the cremation with the urn present; or a committal service at the final disposition of cremated remains. Funeral or memorial services can be held in a place of worship, a funeral home or in a crematory chapel.
With cremation, your options are numerous. The cremains can be interred in a cemetery plot, i.e., earth burial, retained by a family member, usually in an urn, scattered on private property, or at a place that was significant to the deceased. (It would always be advisable to check for local regulations regarding scattering in a public place-your funeral director can help you with this.)
Today, there are many different types of memorial options from which to choose. Memorialization is a time-honored tradition that has been practiced for centuries. A memorial serves as 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.
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 scattering gardens. This area of a cemetery offers the peacefulness of a serene garden where family and friends can come and reflect.
If you wish to have your ashes 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 do the cremation ashes scattering ceremony, as they might want to let your funeral professional assist in the scattering ceremony. Funeral directors can also be very helpful in creating a meaningful and personal ash 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.
Yes — Depending upon the cemetery's policy, you may be able to save a grave space by having the cremains buried on top of the casketed remains of your spouse, or utilize the space provided next to him/her. Many cemeteries allow for multiple cremated remains to be interred in a single grave space.
When you plan ahead, you will be able to compare the many options available. You will be able to compare the services, the products and the prices among different companies. You will have the opportunity to make an informed decision about your funeral and cemetery arrangements, and the form of memorial you prefer. You will be able to make choices that are meaningful to both you and your family, and you will gain peace of mind knowing your family and friends will be relieved of the emotional and financial burden often associated with making arrangements when a death occurs. In addition, by pre-funding your funeral and cemetery services, a guaranteed price contract will allow you to purchase at today's prices, free from inflationary pressures in the future. Resthaven can help you pre-plan, and help you make sure all prices are guaranteed, no matter which funeral home, or which cemetery you are considering.
Is there a pre-payment penalty for paying off these arrangements in advance? It's not uncommon to have a small processing fee associated with an early payment, but it should not be construed as a "penalty." In the long run, there is usually a good amount of money to be saved by paying off early. Of course, funding agreements vary. Please be sure to check the terms of your (or your proposed) funding agreement for details.
Can social services take my pre-arrangements away from me? Take away? No. Challenge the amount being set aside to pay for an expensive funeral? Yes. Funds set aside to pay for a reasonable funeral arrangement are not counted as assets as one qualifies for social services. Your local funeral director can provide counsel regarding the amount local social services agencies consider reasonable and customary to spend on a funeral.
Yes, usually all arrangements may be made in advance. When you plan ahead, you will be able to consider the many options available. You will have the opportunity to make an informed decision about your funeral and cemetery arrangements, and the form of memorial you prefer. You will be able to make choices that are meaningful to both you and your family, and you will gain peace of mind knowing your family and friends will be relieved of the emotional and financial burden often associated with making arrangements when a death occurs. By pre-arranging your funeral and cemetery services, you benefit by purchasing at today's prices, free from inflationary pressures in the future.
Yes. Cemetery property and services, such as lots, vaults, caskets, memorials, date scrolls, and opening/closing fees can be purchased in advance of need from the cemetery, locking in the price paid.
Funeral home services can also be pre-arranged and the cost frozen. Funeral homes are not permitted to accept payment for services they have not yet provided, so to arrange funeral services in advance, a funding vehicle such as an annuity or insurance policy is used. Pre-need funeral contracts funded by insurance policies have an insurance benefit that pays for the funeral in full if the purchaser dies while still making payments; annuities earn interest but do not have an insurance benefit if not fully funded.
A specific funeral can be pre-arranged and pre-funded by this method, when a licensed mortician signs the pre-need funeral contract on behalf of a licensed funeral establishment. Resthaven Funeral Home is conveniently located at Resthaven Memorial Gardens, and can help you make arrangements according to your specific needs.
The funeral home will help coordinate arrangements with the cemetery.
When you plan ahead, you will be able to compare the many options available. You will be able to compare the services, the products and the prices among different companies. You will have the opportunity to make an informed decision about your funeral and cemetery arrangements, and the form of memorial you prefer. You will be able to make choices that are meaningful to both you and your family, and you will gain peace of mind knowing your family and friends will be relieved of the emotional and financial burden often associated with making arrangements when a death occurs. In addition, by pre-funding your funeral and cemetery services, a guaranteed price contract will allow you to purchase at today's prices, free from inflationary pressures in the future. Resthaven can help you pre-plan, and help you make sure all prices are guaranteed, no matter which funeral home you are considering.
If you decide to prepay your funeral or burial prearrangements, there are generally two methods to assure the funeral home's and/or cemetery's performance. Your money is either used toward a premium to purchase life insurance whereby the policy proceeds will pay for your arrangements, or your funds -- either the entire amount or a portion of them -- will be deposited into a trust fund account to defray the provider's costs. Either method should be disclosed to you and the contract should state whether or not the purchase price is guaranteed; that is, whether you or your family will have to pay additional amounts on the items you have selected in the contract. A guaranteed price contract means that no further payment will ever be required beyond the price stated in the contract for the items you are purchasing.
If you have a prearranged funeral or burial agreement that is comprised of items that are guaranteed to be performed by the funeral home or cemetery at no additional cost to you, the interest (or growth if a life insurance policy) is retained by the funeral home/cemetery to offset the rising costs of those specified goods and services over time. That's the value of prearranging and pre-funding at today's costs! Can I change any of these prepaid funeral services later? Changes are generally possible, but be careful. When changes are made, they oftentimes affect the terms of guarantees that were created under the original agreement. In the event funds paid toward a funeral plan are excludable resources for purposes of receiving social services (SSI or Medicaid), changing the terms of that agreement could jeopardize one's qualification for assistance. It is not recommended that irrevocably assigned funeral plans be changed in any way.
Prior contractual agreements are not voided simply because a change of ownership occurs. Funeral planning agreements made with any prior ownership, as well as any and all cemetery agreements, deeds and certificates are carried forward with successor owners as part of any purchase agreement.
All funeral homes and cemeteries are required by the Federal Trade Commission to have casket price lists available to the public at all times. We, as well as most any funeral home, will gladly discuss prices on the phone, send you a copy of the price list, or arrange an appointment to see available caskets.
Most caskets are made of either wood or metal. Metal caskets are made of either bronze, copper, steel or stainless steel. Wood caskets are available in a variety of types of wood. Interiors of caskets are usually made with velvet or crepe; however, other materials may be available.
It depends upon the materials with which the casket is made. Obviously, a casket made of bronze would be priced higher than one made of steel. A casket made of solid mahogany would be more costly to manufacture than one of soft pine wood. A casket with a crepe interior materials would be priced less than an interior of velvet because of the cost of the material. It depends upon what materials the casket shell is made of, the interior materials and any 'protective' features included in that particular model.
Yes , It is certainly a financially sound decision to purchase anything at today's prices which can then be used as a later time; however, you need to consider several things. Who will store the casket, you or the company you purchased it from? If you buy it without delivery, you need to know how your purchase will be protected. Also, you may want to know if the product has any warranties or guarantees attached to it. When and if you select to purchase a casket (or vault) from a third-party vendor, be certain that the seller will guarantee the specific product you purchase be available at the ultimate time of need and will include delivery to wherever it is needed. All caskets and burial vaults, as well as urns and memorials purchased from Resthaven Memorial Gardens, include all such guarantees.
Can I build my own casket? As a matter of fact, you can, although as a matter or practicality, it may present some storage challenges for you. You might consult a funeral home for correct measurements as the casket will ultimately need to be placed into a burial vault, grave liner or mausoleum crypt.
These are the outside containers into which the casket is placed. Burial vaults are designed to protect the casket, and may be made of a variety or combination of materials including concrete, stainless steel, galvanized steel, copper, bronze, plastic or fiberglass. A grave liner is a lightweight version of a vault which simply keeps the grave surface from sinking in.
In most areas of the country, state or local law does not require that you buy a container to surround the casket in the grave. However, many cemeteries require that you have such a container so that the ground will not sink. Any burial vault, or a grave liner will satisfy these requirements.
Yes, if that is the wish of the family, the funeral director will arrange designated times for calling hours, have the times published in the newspaper and simply add to the obituary that services will be private or at the convenience of the family. This information will make it clear to the public as to arrangements, and fulfill the wishes of the family.
While most services are held in the morning or afternoon, some families are now choosing to have services held in the evening hours for the convenience of family and friends. This enables more people to attend the service who otherwise might be unable to be excused from their place of employment during the day.
Children grieve just as adults do. Any child old enough to form a relationship will experience some form of grief when a relationship is severed. As adults we may not view a child's behavior as grief, as it often is demonstrated in ways which we misunderstand as; "moody", "cranky", "withdrawn" or other behavioral patterns which do not appear to us to be grief.
When a death occurs children need to be surrounded by feelings of warmth, acceptance and understanding. This may be a tall order to expect of the adults who are experiencing their own grief and upset. Caring adults can guide children through this time when the child is experiencing feelings for which they have no words and thus can not identify.
In a very real way, this time can be a growth experience for the child, teaching about love and relationships. The first task is to create an atmosphere in which the child's thoughts, fears and wishes are recognized. This means that they should be allowed to participate in any of the arrangements, ceremonies and gatherings which are comfortable for them. First, explain what will be happening and why it is happening at a level the child can understand. A child may not be able to speak at a grandparent's funeral but would benefit greatly from the opportunity to draw a picture to be placed in the casket or displayed at the service. Be aware that children will probably have short attention spans and may need to leave a service or gathering before the adults are ready. Many families provide a non-family attendant to care for the children in this event. The key is to allow the participation, not to force it. Forced participation can be harmful. Children instinctively have a good sense of how involved they wish to be. They should be listened to carefully.
While a hearse or casket coach is most commonly used for this purpose, other options are often appropriate. Families might consider more personalized and meaningful options; for example, a fire fighter may be transported on a fire truck.
One way is to bring personal items into the funeral home to be displayed in or near the casket. Example: An avid golfer might have a favorite putter placed in the casket. An avid hunter or fisherman might have some of their personal effects or trophies displayed on a memory table. A person who quilted could have the casket draped with a quilt they made. An artist could have their art work displayed. A person s favorite rocking chair could be brought to the funeral home and placed next to the casket.
At the funeral home, a memory table may be used to display personal items of the deceased. A memory board would have a collection of family photographs attached and can be displayed on an easel at the funeral home for visitors to reminisce about their life experiences with the deceased.
In conjunction with or sometimes in place of a clergy person, family or friends may share personal thoughts, memories and feelings about the deceased as part of the service.
In addition to coordinating the donation, your funeral service provider can arrange for either a Memorial Service or a Gathering of Friends to be held at a time and place convenient for the family.
The traditional format regarding the number of pallbearers is 6, primarily due to the length of the standard casket, so that 3 people on either side can conveniently carry the casket. Most caskets have additional handles at each end which will accommodate 2 more bearers.
Most states require that a deceased person either be embalmed or placed in refrigeration after a period of 24 hours from the time of death. Funeral services can be held at any time after that. In some areas of the country that time frame could be as long as three weeks.
In many cemeteries today, there is a funeral home on the grounds. If not, then arrangements would have to be made with the cemetery or a local funeral home to pick up the body and transfer it to the cemetery.
The complaint should first be given to the funeral director that served the family. If the situation is not resolved to your satisfaction, then a complaint should be filed with your state's board of funeral service, or with the consumer complaint department of the state attorney general's office. In most instances, the complaint will be resolved by the local funeral director.
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.
Embalming sanitizes and preserves the body. 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.
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."
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:
In most states, no. But each state does have different regulations. You should call the local department of health to find out exactly what your state does require.
The most important quality that enables the funeral director to provide services in the community is his or her reputation for honesty and good will. In fact, a good reputation is the key factor in being able to stay in business. If a particular funeral director took advantage of the bereaved, it would not be long before the community responded to those actions by going to a different funeral director.
A service can usually be held at any location that family and friends feel would be comfortable and appropriate. Your funeral director can assist with arranging a meaningful service.
This may vary by state so check with your local funeral director. Considerations include the need to secure all permits and authorizations, notification of family and friends, preparation of cemetery site and religious considerations. For example, Orthodox Judaism requires that the body be interred within 24 hours of death. Some states have limitations on the maximum length of time allowed to pass prior to final disposition. Consult your local funeral provider for any applicable regulations.
The Funeral Director is responsible for explaining all the charges that specifically pertain to the funeral home's services offered and merchandise sold stated on its general price list. Any additional charges may fall under the category of cash advances. These additional charges might be for opening and closing the grave, clergy honorarium, newspaper notices, flowers, organist, church sexton.
Certified copies are used as proof of death for the transfer of stocks and bonds, banking transactions and life insurance. You funeral provider can help you determine how many you may need to settle an estate and also secure them for you.
After the death has occurred, the most prudent decision would be to call your funeral service provider in your home town. Your funeral director will be able to make the necessary arrangements to transfer the deceased, relieving the family of the burden of dealing with unfamiliar people, places and related issues.
Although the Veterans Administration does not pay for complete funerals, it does provide certain merchandise, services and reimbursements. Your local VA office or funeral home can provide you with the variety of benefits available. In general, any veteran with a discharge other than dishonorable is entitled to be buried in an accepting national cemetery. He or she may also receive a free grave liner, bronze marker and a flag holder appropriately marked with the veteran's rank, war served and religious icon. Other specific circumstances, better explained by your VA benefits counselor, may avail additional burial-related benefits.
Yes. Death because of AIDS is no different than death from any other cause.