Do I have to be embalmed if I’m cremated?

No, that is not necessary. The law states you must be refrigerated or embalmed within 48 hours of death.

Do you take insurance policies?

Most funeral homes will take an assignment on a Life Insurance Policy. Some charge an extra fee because they have to wait, sometimes for several months, depending on a situation: example (autopsy), for their money. You need to take your policy to the funeral home to see if they will take an assignment.

For Veterans, what does my family get when I die?

You will receive a free plot (in a veterans cemetery or designated area in a cemetery) — a free headstone, a flag, and a Military service. There are burial benefits available if not burial in a veterans cemetery and a family has paid that cost. There is also a transportation benefit paid (removal of the deceased from place of death to funeral home). There is paper work available through your local Veteran’s office that needs to be filled out and sent in to VA to collect these benefits. They don’t pay for a cremation or casket, just burial ground.

How soon can we plan for services?

Planning for a funeral — once the deceased has been removed from wherever they have died, I will meet with the family when it is convenient for them. I will need to get general information about the deceased to be able to generate the death certificate. This death certificate has to be signed with the cause of death by the Dr. or Coroner then it must go to the registrars office to be signed, it will take several days for this to happen, cremation or burial cannot be done until this procedure has taken place. Please do not make any flight plans for family or set any times for services with your church or organization, as sometimes it does not work out.

What does Social Security pay me?

If you are the spouse of a deceased person and that person has been drawing SS benefits, you will receive a SS one time death benefit $255.00 and then SS will adjust your spouses benefits for you. If you are a person under 60 years old, you can’t draw any benefit until you reach 60. The death benefit is sent to the spouse not the funeral home. It is a one time benefit, paid to a spouse, underage child or a handicapped child.

What is the difference in the cost between burial and cremation?

Both burial and cremation have many options as follows:

Burial: With burial you have the cost of embalming, a casket, a burial vault (most all cemeteries require this) a plot and a headstone (veterans get a free plot and headstone). Embalming is an option — if you have a direct burial it is not necessary to embalm — if you have a public service with a viewing then the need to be embalmed is evident. You would have basic service fee plus fees for a funeral service whether it be at The Gardens or a church, a removal charge, a dressing, casketing charge, coach charge to move casket to cemetery, memorial folders and register books are extra as well.

Cremation: You can do a direct cremation, which is no viewing, no service. You can do a service where there would be embalming, viewing service, then do cremation. You can do a Memorial or Celebration of Life Service, be at the church of choice or The Gardens.

The difference of course, is a choice most funerals will cost you between $4,000.00 and up — cremation will be $1,100.00 and up. These are just approximate costs as each family is different in what they choose. Example: casket-cemetery-flowers.

You will have charges that are on every death — removal fee — death certificates.