This section contains commonly asked questions and offers satisfying answers. Click on a question to see the answer.

What is Funeral Etiquette?

In case you are wondering about possible questions that might arise concerning proper funeral customs or etiquette, the following information might be helpful:

  • Thank you cards are appropriate to mail one to two weeks after the service to the following, (if applicable):o
    • Those contributing to memorial organizations or churches
    • Those who sent flowers or Mass cards
    • Pallbearers
    • Friends and neighbors who helped in special ways
    • Those who brought food
    • Those who sent cards (optional)
    • Church group or church which assisted with food or in other ways helped
    • Those who participate in the service (music, readings, etc.)

Note: It is not necessary to send acknowledgment to people who sign the register book.

  •  You may want to send a note of appreciation to the clergy
    • Customary ways to sign thank-you cards are:
      The Family of (deceased’s name)
      (Deceased names)’s Family, or
      Your name

Additional thank-you cards are available, if needed, and can be picked up at the reception desk.

Why Consider Pre-Arrangements?

Advanced Planning
Our Pre-Arrangement Plans will help ease your emotional and financial concerns by planning ahead.

  • It is the most considerate way to make things easier for family members. Your family won’t have to worry about making the right decisions.
  • Prepayment options offered.
  • Pre-Arrangement funds paid in advance are not considered countable assets when applying for Medicaid or for nursing home care.

“Advance funeral planning gives you the peace of mind that comes with knowing your funeral arrangements are taken care of, while lessening the burden on your survivors.” (Quote from the American Association of Retired Persons.)

What happens when a family member passes away while out of town?

When a family member passes away while out of town, contact your local funeral arranger. The arranger can assist you in selecting an out-of-town funeral arranger, who will handle all the necessary details in the distant city, state or country. Working together, the two funeral arrangers will gather all the necessary information to allow for the transfer of your family member back to your local area.

What is the purpose of embalming?

Embalming sanitizes and preserves the body and retards the decomposition process. It also 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.

Do human remains have to be embalmed, according to law?

No. Most states, however, require embalming in certain circumstances:

  • when death is caused by a reportable contagious disease
  • when remains are to be transported from one state to another by common carrier
  • if final disposition will not be made within a prescribed number of hours.

I’ve decided on cremation. Can I still have a funeral or a viewing?

Yes. Quite often a traditional viewing precedes cremation. Your funeral director can provide you with all necessary information and help you arrange for a funeral followed by a cremation or a memorial service.

How many types of caskets exist and why do prices vary?

Caskets are made of either metal (bronze, copper or steel) or wood, and are available in a variety of styles and colors. Prices vary, depending on the exterior and interior materials used. Bronze, a semi-precious metal, is more expensive than steel. Mahogany, a rare hardwood, is more expensive than the readily available softwood pine. There is also the option of adding personal touches to most caskets.

What methods may I use to pay for the funeral?

Funeral costs may be paid by cash, check, VISA, MasterCard, American Express, Discover or an assignment of verified insurance benefits. Many families choose easy payment plans available through preplanning. This important decision can limit or eliminate the financial burden when the death of a loved one occurs.