A: The Basic Service Fee is the only non-declinable fee that funeral homes are allowed to charge customers as compensation for the time and paperwork involved in the planning and scheduling the funeral or other requested services. This fee also covers their overhead such as rent, parking, upkeep of the facilities, etc. The items included can vary from funeral home to funeral home so please ask for an outline of what is included from each home you speak with.
A: A direct burial is when the deceased is buried without a visitation. However a brief service may be conducted at the gravesite followed by a gathering or memorial service immediately after the burial or at a future date. (Although this is not necessary) This type of service does not need embalming and usually a short private viewing can be arranged prior to the burial if requested.
A: Direct cremation is when a person is cremated without a visitation and usually without a church service. There may be a brief service at the crematorium or a memorial service sometime in the future after the cremation.
A: A visitation is the hours which are set aside for the family to receive visitors at the funeral home who wish to pay their respects. The casket may be opened or closed.
A: The term “Traditional Funeral” is a funeral director’s term referring to a service that will include a visitation, possibly a viewingl, if applicable a church service followed by a procession to the cemetery for burial, usually using a hearse, limousine, and flower car. This is the most expensive funeral families can choose. Families should use just the services that they want; they should not be made to feel pressured to have an extravagant funeral.
A: Embalming is the preservation of the body through the use of embalming fluid.
A: No. Embalming is not required by law. However if you are having a lengthy funeral visitation or a time lapse between the death and the funeral it may make the appearance of the deceased more natural or in case the body is going out of state or out of the country.
A: The large selection of caskets is due to the wide variety of personal preference. All caskets are made to house the deceased body. It is the difference in the expense of different wood and metal grades as well as decorations and liners, etc. All of them serve the same purpose just as well, regardless of the cost.
A: Yes, you can choose any type of arrangement you want.
A: Legally you are not required to purchase a grave liner or vault. However many cemeteries make it a requirement to have at least a grave liner to help keep the ground from settling after interment. Both grave liners and burial vault surround the casket. The vault encases it entirely and therefore is usually much more expensive than the grave liner.
A: Yes, absolutely. One of the main purposes of this site is to encourage you to compare funeral homes, cemeteries, casket providers and crematoriums. By law funeral homes are required to give you accurate information over the phone and to answer all funeral, burial and/or cremation related questions. Furthermore the funeral home cannot require you to give your name, address, or phone number. We have a simple form to find out what you wish to use.