Commonly Asked Questions About Funeral Arrangements

How do we select a funeral director and mortuary?

This is a personal decision. Your primary concerns should be with the reputation of the mortuary, that total costs are within your budget, and the receptivity of the funeral director to your specific desires. If at all possible, funeral arrangements should be discussed in advance by the patient and family. Many individuals plan their own funeral and burial arrangements to insure that everything will be as they desire. Many excellent resources are available to help you and your family with this decision.

What should the family do at the time of death?

A family member should call the mortuary chosen as soon as possible. Most mortuaries answer calls 24 hours a day. Your clergy should also be notified as soon as possible.

Who writes and arranges for the placement of the obituary?

You do not have to do this yourself. It is one of the services routinely performed by funeral homes. The funeral director will obtain the information from you on a questionnaire, then contact the appropriate publications.

What does a funeral cost?

This is highly variable and should be discussed in detail with your funeral director. Important factors include the types of services requested and the type of casket or cremation receptacle chosen. All funeral homes are required by law to provide full disclosure of all costs in an itemized list.

Who presides over the funeral service?

This is a personal decision. Usually a member of the clergy presides. Fraternal or military organizations may also take part in the service, where appropriate.

Burial or cremation?

This is a personal decision and, if possible, should be discussed with the family in advance. Most people in the United States are buried, but an increasing number are selecting cremation (approximately 25%). If possible a burial site should be selected prior to death. If a site has not been selected, the funeral director will help your family through this process. When cremation is chosen you must decide the final destination of the cremated remains (cremains). Many states prohibit scattering cremains on land or in waterways. Cremains are often placed in an urn and stored in a wall niche or buried in a cemetery plot.

What funeral benefits are available to veterans?

All veterans of the U.S. military services with discharges other than dishonorable, their spouses and dependent children are eligible for burial in a Veteran's Administration National Cemetery, for government provided headstones or markers, and for Presidential Memorial Certificates. For more information call Veteran's Administration National Cemetery Systems, Office of Memorial Programs, Washington, D.C. The telephone number is 1-800-697-6947.


Funeral Net Website
Funeral Net web site provides information on funerals, cremation, Veteran's Benefits, airline bereavement policies, and a glossary of funeral terms.