Frequently Asked Questions
What is a funeral?
A funeral is a ceremony for a deceased person prior to burial or cremation. A funeral gives the opportunity for family and friends of the deceased to gather and mourn the passing of their loved one, to share cherished memories and celebrate their life. A funeral is a vital first step to help the bereaved heal after the loss of someone special.
What type of service should I have?
If no pre-arrangements have been made, the type of service is entirely up to you. Services are usually held at a funeral home or a place of worship. There is a wealth of different services, ranging from a traditional religious or military service to something non-traditional. Our funeral directors are more than happy to work with you to figure out what would be the most appropriate.
Can I personalize a funeral?
More and more people are opting for a non-traditional, personalized service. There is no right or wrong way to celebrate someone's life. There are many unique ways to celebrate life. Let the funeral director know exactly what your desires are and they will honor your wishes.
Do we need to have an obituary notice and what is included in one?
It is highly recommended to have an obituary notice that’s either placed in a local newspaper or placed online on the funeral home's website. An obituary lets the public know that the death has occurred, and gives them information about the service. Obituaries generally include the deceased’s full name, age, city and date of birth and the city they were living in when they died. It also includes the names of anyone significant in their lives, such as a spouse, parents, children, grandchildren, siblings, and even close friends. Space may be limited in a newspaper obituary, but you may include a little blurb on the life and legacy of the deceased. An online obituary or memorial website offers you the chance to add a lot more about the deceased.
Who are funeral directors and what do they do?
Funeral directors are in charge of all the logistics following a death. They complete all the necessary paperwork, make arrangements for the transportation of the body, and put into action the choices made by the family in regards to the funeral service and the final resting place of the body. Beyond the logistics, funeral directors are there to provide moral support and guidance for someone coping with death.
What happens if the death occurs in the middle of the night or on the weekend?
Funeral directors are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year.
What if a death occurs away from my home town?
We can arrange to have the remains transported home from anywhere in the world. We will assume responsibility and make the proper arrangements to have the remains return to the community. First, contact the funeral home where the funeral will take place (not a funeral home near where the death occurs) to get advice on how to best handle the arrangements.
What is embalming and what purpose does it serve?
Embalming sanitizes and preserves the body; it also slows down the decomposition process and enhances the appearance of a body damaged by traumatic death or illness. Embalming gives time to the family of the deceased to arrange a service, and allows the family the option of having an open-casket viewing.
Do I need to have an embalming?
No. In fact, some religions forbid embalming. However, some countries require embalming by law in order for remains to leave or enter the country. In New Jersey, embalming is required only if the body is not kept in refrigeration and burial/cremation is planned more than 48 hours after the death has occured.
How much does a funeral cost?
The cost of the funeral varies depending on the wishes you have. The average cost of a funeral is between $8,000-15,000. However, the most basic of services (a direct cremation) can cost as little as about $3500. The total cost of a funeral includes all professional services including transportation, embalming and other preparations, the use of a facility for the ceremony, the purchase of a casket or urn, and the fees paid to the cemetery/crematory, newspapers for obituaries, clergy, florists, etc.
Why are funerals so expensive?
Funerals are labor intensive and require a lot of work from a lot of people. The cost of a funeral goes beyond merchandise such as caskets. It includes the services of a funeral director in making the necessary arrangements, filling out forms, and dealing with all the other people involved in the death (doctors, lawyers, insurance companies, etc.). Funeral directors work an average of 40 hours per funeral. The cost of operating a funeral home is factored into the cost as well. Funeral homes are a 24 hour operation, with extensive facilities that need to be maintained and secured, and must employ a staff able to respond to a family's needs on a moment's notice.
What do I do if I am not satisfied with the way a funeral was handled?
Funeral Services in the United States is regulated by the Federal Trade Commission, they can be reached by telephone at 1-877-FTC-HELP (382-4357) or you can fill out a form online at www.ftc.gov.