What do funeral directors do?

Funeral directors are both caregivers and administrators.  In their administrative duties, they make the arrangements for transportation of the body, complete all necessary paperwork, and implement the choices made by the family regarding the funeral and final disposition of the body.  as caregivers, funeral directors are listeners, advisers and supporters.  They have experience assisting the bereaved in coping with death.  Funeral directors are trained to answer questions about grief, recognize when a person is having difficultly coping, and recommend sources of professional help. 

What do I do when a death occurs?

When a death occurs in your family, you will be faced with a number of important tasks and asked to make decisions during a very difficult time.  You may not know what to do or where to begin.  Bearing the responsibility can be overwhelming: remember that you are not alone: we are available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year to assist you with the details and offer our guidance.   

What should I expect when I arrive at the funeral home?

The funeral director will guide you through the arrangement process.  This will include, but not limited to, taking vital information that will be used for death certificate and obituary notice, scheduling the location of the visitation and funeral services, scheduling vehicles, selecting flowers, reception location, casket, vault, urn or other memorial items.

Why do we need an obituary notice?

It is helpful to friends and the community to have an obituary notice published announcing the death and services to be held.  A notice can be placed in a local newspaper, or on the internet.

What is the purpose of embalming?

Embalming makes it possible to lengthen the time between death and the final disposition, allowing family members the time to arrange and participate in the type of service most comforting to them.

Is embalming required by law?

The Federal Trade Commission says, "Except in certain special cases, embalming is not required by law. Embalming may be necessary, however, if you select 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."

Why have a public viewing?

Viewing is a part of many cultural and ethnic traditions. Many grief specialists believe that viewing aids the grief process by helping the family and friends of the deceased recognize the reality of death.

Why have a funeral?

Funerals fill an important role for those mourning the loss of a loved one.  They are rituals for the living to show respect for the dead and help surviving family and friends begin the healing process.  Like other rites of passage - graduations, weddings, retirement - funerals help us adjust to major life transitions.    

How do most people pay for funeral expenses?

Many families rely on life insurance to pay for funeral expenses.  A number of families use funds that were set aside in funeral pre-arrangements ahead of time.  Others pay with cash, checks or credit cards.