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FAQs


Click on the questions below to reveal each respective answer.

Yes! We will be offering our Annual Holiday Memorial Program, for the 18th year, to commemorate those who have died in the past year. This year’s service is 1 pm Saturday, December 6, at our funeral home. Revs. Tim Kummerer and Jeff Lanzer will offer brief messages of “Hope for the Holidays.” We will also again have our Tree of Remembrance ceremony. Engraved ornaments are available to those who make reservations to attend. The service is free and open to the public. Call us for more information or to make a reservations.

A preneed funeral contract is an agreement, between the purchaser and the funeral home, whereby the funeral home agrees to provide services and merchandise, as described in the contract, at some future time, for an agreed upon payment amount. A guaranteed price contract will lock in prices at today's amounts. A non-guaranteed contract may be subject to additional charges. Some contracts have guaranteed parts and non-guaranteed parts. You may prepay for as much or as little as you care to do.

Yes, under certain circumstances. Ohio law does allow two simultaneous cremations, as long as the proper authorizations have been obtained for each deceased. For example, if a married couple died together, their children could authorize a simultaneous cremation. Or, parents could authorize the cremation of two of their children together. One limiting factor could be the capability of the cremation chamber, by size and performance. And, it should be obvious that simultaneous cremation will result in the commingling of the cremated remains, with no ability to separate them as individuals. This is rare, but it can be done.

A columbarium, often located within a mausoleum, chapel or in a garden setting, is shelving that is constructed with numerous small compartments (niches) that are designed to hold urns containing cremated remains. Some have glass walls so that the urn may be seen while others are enclosed with a name plate on the outside.

This is a good question in light of recent weather. The decision to reschedule is always at the discretion of the family. Considerations include whether the church and cemetery are accessible, whether the vault personnel can get to the cemetery, whether the clergy can get there, and the wishes of the family members. Consultation with law enforcement safety officials may be necessary. Cold temperatures alone usually do not warrant postponement. Road conditions usually are the reason. Announcements of schedule changes can be made quickly on our website and Facebook page.

Absolutely. Anyone can be a casket, or pall, bearer. It is an honor to serve as one. And you don’t have to limit the number to six. Any number of people can help, especially when there are several opportunities to carry the casket, such as entering and exiting church, and then again at the cemetery. Do not leave out anyone who really wants to help. Conversely, you should never force someone, especially a younger person, to help if they do not want to. Honorary pallbearers are those who escort the casket without actually carrying it. This honor is usually reserved for those who want to help but are physically unable to carry. 

The most important fact to realize and remember is that the process cannot be undone, so make absolutely certain that scattering is indeed what is desired. Scattering is legal over private property only with permission of the landowner. Scattering over public property may be allowed, depending on the jurisdiction. Scattering on inland lakes is prohibited, but scattering on international waters, including Lake Erie, is permitted. Most cemeteries prohibit scattering, unless over a designated scattering garden.

Yes, out of respect for the person who has died and also for their family, pull over. It means a lot to them to know that the community cares enough to stop their busy worlds just for a moment as the procession passes. A driver trying to pass a funeral procession should only do this on a four lane highway and should never break through a procession.

It really comes down to what the family desires. The scheduling of visiting hours and funeral services are made in collaboration with the family, the clergy or church, and the funeral home. Some families expect a very large attendance and will want one or two days, with hours perhaps from 2 to 8 pm. Other families want a break in between and will schedule 2 to 4 and 6 to 8 pm. Still others want just one shorter period, such as 5 to 8 pm. Still others sometimes want visitation only one hour prior to the funeral service. Funeral days and times are always confirmed with the clergy, so that everyone’s needs are met.

It is rare to postpone a funeral service due to inclement weather. Usually that decision is made after consultation with the deceased’s family. The funeral service may be held, but burial could be delayed if the cemetery is rural and access to it may be hampered. In rare circumstances the ground could be too frozen to dig the grave. Government agencies can issue emergencies which prohibit travel on roads. Our experience is that most families elect not to postpone services, since everything is already in place and the family is already here. We will honor the wishes of the family members in charge.

Families have gravitated to visitations that are more of a one day event, but we do offer  two day visitations. Typically, we see an afternoon and evening visitation with the family, but there are other time options that might work better for families.  Some choose to have just an evening time, or have visitation just in the afternoon.  We have had shortened visitations that they cross mid-afternoon into early evening.  What ever time works the best for our families we will do our best to accommodate their needs.

Be very careful about a funeral home which advertises free or complimentary services and merchandise.  Nothing is free; everyone pays for it, whether you desire that item or not.  At Traunero Funeral Home, we offer a wide variety of services and merchandise, including webcasting and tribute videos, at reasonable prices.  Not everyone desires these services, however, and those who do not want them should not have to pay for them in the form of hidden service charges.  You should only pay for items that you want as part of the funeral service.

Yes and no.  If the contract is irrevocable, then money cannot be refunded. Prearrangement changes may be made at any time. However, a cash credit for those services and merchandise not being used at the time of the funeral can not be refunded. The credit may be used for other expenses, or can be refunded to the estate at the time of the funeral.  The amount paid into the contract for each item changed will be credited.  Changes which do not result in any financial change,  such as obituary information, music selections, etc., may be done at  any time.

There is not much governmental assistance with regards to funeral costs.  The VA will provide a small amount, or free burial in a national cemetery, but requirements vary.  Social Security pays $255, but only to a surviving spouse.  Some financial institutions will provide funeral financing for qualified customers.  We accept Visa,MasterCard, and Discover for those who wish to extend payments.  The best way to pay for a funeral is to pre-pay, either all at once, orover a period of time.

A hearse is a specialized motor vehicle that is designed to transport the casket safely and with dignity.  Although a hearse (or funeral coach) is the generally accepted means of transportation of a casket, it is by no means the only option.  We have used fire engines to transport deceased firefighters and a military flatbed jeep for a member of the armed services.  Horse-drawn hearses are sometimes available, and there are even motorcycle-driven hearses for those with interests in motorcycling.  Costs for the use of various vehicles will vary, and more information is available by calling us.

Depending on differing religious/non-religious beliefs, the type of ceremony performed will vary.  Clergy do not have to be a part of a service for the deceased. Local military funeral detail may perform services if the deceased was a veteran. Family or friends may share personal thoughts, memories and feelings about the deceased at the service also.

It depends on the form.  Irrevocable means that it can’t be rescinded or changed, so you need to be sure that whatever the form represents is something you really want to implement.  In the funeral profession, irrevocable usually deals with a prepaid funeral contract.  Medicaid eligibility requirements will allow a prepaid funeral contract, as long as it is irrevocable.  Most prepaid funeral contracts are irrevocable, although it is not required outside of Medicaid eligibility.  Call us for more information.

Yes, Traunero Funeral Home will take an insurance assignment after policy verification. The monies are released for the funeral expenses to the funeral home, and any remaining balance sent directly to the beneficiary. The insurance assignment is a stress-free way to pay funeral expenses at the time of death.

 In almost every case, it won’t reduce expenses.  In fact, using a mausoleum may increase expenses.  While use of a mausoleum eliminates the purchase of a cemetery lot and burial vault, the initial purchase price of the mausoleum may exceed the costs of those other items necessary for earth burial.  Furthermore, some cemetery mausoleums require certain types of caskets, which may not be the most economically priced.  Finally, there have been cases of mausoleums deteriorating over the years to the point of having to remove the caskets and bury them in a cemetery.  Consult us and consider all the facts before making any decisions.

Losing a pet is losing a member of your family.  Many of the same emotions are experienced.  While we are not a “pet funeral home,” we do offer some services to assist pet owners upon the death of their pet.   We can arrange for the cremation and return of your pet’s remains, in a plain container or in an urn of your choice.  We can even produce a memorial video of your pet, if desired.

When you arrive, find the family members and extend condolences. If you were an acquaintance to the deceased immediately introduce yourself to the family. Conversations about how you knew the deceased is natural.   It is customary, to show your respects by viewing the deceased and spending a few moments in meditation.  Sign the guest book using your full name and if you were a business associate of the deceased, note your company affiliation so that the family may have a record of all that attended.

Generally speaking, no.  There are some VA benefits available to qualified veterans, but they will by no means pay for everything.  There is a small plot allowance, and a US flag is provided for services.  If the veteran died in a VA facility, there are more benefits.  Burial in a National Cemetery is always an option for a qualified veteran.  The grave, burial, marker, and grave liner are all provided at no charge.  Veterans who die as a result of active duty are eligible for more benefits, and their families will receive benefits as well.  More information can be obtained on our website, or at www.va.gov

You should check if the deceased had a pre-paid funeral plan. If they did, bring that to the arrangements conference. The following is a general list of information you will need for planning a funeral. Birth and wedding dates, deceased's relatives (deceased and living),  deceased's employment history, insurance companies, doctor, cemetery location, any organizations, clubs, or unions which the deceased may have belonged. Time of service, type of service (i.e. religious, military, etc.). Specify burial or cremation, choose a casket or urn, vault, flowers, and music. Choose clothing, pallbearers,  readings for the funeral,  relevant information (i.e. surviving family members, location of services, etc.) for the obituary.  Specify a charity for donations, number of copies of the Death Certificates needed for insurance claims, arrangements for a caterer. Call us and we will send you a Guidelines booklet to store all of this information.

There are no two families that have the same needs; so, no two funerals should be exactly the same.  Generally speaking, planning most funerals takes approximately two hours.  Planning can be done at the funeral home, or at the family’s residence, whichever is more convenient.  Additional time may be spent with the clergy, planning specific aspects of the funeral service.  Many decisions may be made ahead of time by pre-planning with us, when emotions are at rest, and when wishes can be made known.

Simply call us, and we can advise you accordingly.  Sympathy cards can always be sent to the funeral home to the family’s attention.  We will then forward them to the appropriate family member.  Flowers can always be ordered from a florist, just like any other time.  The florist will coordinate with us as to where to deliver the bouquet.  It may be desired at the funeral home or church for a private service, or it may be delivered directly to a family member’s residence.  Private services are arranged for various reasons, and expressions of sympathy are always welcome.

Flowers help people to say what is often difficult to express, and they are always appropriate and in good taste. Many people want to express sympathy and show respect for the deceased in a variety of ways, including charitable contributions, food donations, a helping hand, or cards and flowers. Flowers also play a functional role, adding warmth to the service and providing the visible, emotional support that the bereaved need during a difficult time. Leftover flowers may be donated to area nursing homes and churches, if desired.  It is appropriate to list desired memorial contributions in the obituary, but it is unreasonable to expect that no flowers at all be sent. 

A preneed funeral contract is an agreement, between the purchaser and the funeral home, whereby the funeral home agrees to provide services and merchandise, as described in the contract, at some future time, for an agreed upon payment amount.  A guaranteed price contract will lock in prices at today's amounts.  A non-guaranteed contract may be subject to additional charges.  Some contracts have guaranteed parts and non-guaranteed parts.  You may prepay for as much or as little as you care to do.

You would not have a baptism without the baby present.  You do not celebrate a birthday without the birthday honoree present.  You would not hold a graduation ceremony without the graduating students present.  You would not have a wedding ceremony without the bride and groom present.  You would not hold a retirement party without the retiree present.  A funeral is for the living, but it is all about the deceased.  It makes sense to have the deceased present at the ceremony.  Seeing is believing, and experts agree that viewing the deceased allows the opportunity to begin the experience of life without that special person.

Certified copies of a death certificate are legal proof of death.  They may be needed for the transfer of stocks, bonds, banking transactions, retirement funds, life insurance claims and other death benefits. The death certificate is always filed in the county where the death occurred.  We can help you determine how many you may need to settle an estate and also secure them for you. The Seneca County Health Department currently charges $20 per copy plus $3 for a burial/cremation permit. Costs vary from county to county.

No, not necessarily.  Although most services are held here in our chapel or in a church, it is possible to have a service elsewhere.  At the graveside, in one’s home, in a park, or some other public or private location are all options.  It should be mentioned, however, that our chapel or a church remain the best-equipped facilities in which to conduct a service.  Other locations require additional steps, such as permission from the owner, parking, seating, sound systems, etc.  We will help arrange whatever service is most meaningful for the family.

It is easier to select everything desired ahead of time and make them a part of the preneed contract.  It is not necessary, however, and payments may be made, either in full or part, on a preneed contract without specifying merchandise.  There are flexible payment plans which allow you to pay as you can, when you can.  Of course, if you can pay in one lump sum, you are better off.  But, for those who cannot, payments are available.  Our website has more information on prepayment options.

Federal regulations prohibit funeral homes from requiring that families purchase merchandise from the funeral home.  There are other sources for purchasing caskets.  However, one should be very careful when considering purchasing outside the funeral home.  There may very well be a problem with obtaining delivery in the time necessary.  Quality of the casket, and the reputation of the manufacturer, may also come into question.  Caskets may very well cost less, and be in immediate stock, from the funeral home.  Always check with us about prices and availability of caskets BEFORE making a final decision.

Standard caskets are 6’6” in length inside and will accommodate the majority of our population.  Larger caskets, in both width and length, are available when needed.  These larger caskets sometimes require a larger burial vault and larger cemetery space.  Smaller caskets are available for children and infants, in many different sizes and colors.  We strive to meet the needs of any challenge with regards to casket size, style, and color.

On October 9, 2006, there was a new law that went into effect stating that a person during his or her lifetime may appoint a representative who will have the top priority when it comes to fulfilling a prearranged funeral.  This may be anyone the person chooses who may uphold the deceased’s final wishes. This will be valid only if it is made in a written document that meets the requirements of the law.  If the document is not completed before the time of death, the standard hierarchy will be enforced...Spouse, children, parents, siblings, grandparents, lineal descendants of the deceased grandparents, the deceased personal guardian at the time of death, or any person willing to assume the right. 

It need not be different at all.  Every aspect of a “traditional” service can also be a part of a service involving cremation.  Viewing, visitation, a church funeral service, tribute video, flowers, etc., are all services available to all families.  The only difference is the means of final disposition, that of cremation versus earth burial.  Too often, the word cremation is associated with a direct disposition with no service.  This is also an option, of course, with either cremation or burial.  Our award-winning website explains all the options in great detail, or give us a call.

People who have lost a loved one find comfort with music.  A specific song can remind us of a certain event during the time that was lived.  Sometimes, words to a specific song can make us feel better than anything that anyone can say.  For other people, music is a soothing form of dealing with their grief.  Any way that people can heal during the grieving process is important and using music can be just as instrumental.  We ask that families bring in music that was important to the deceased to be played, or we have religious and meditative music to listen to.

We ask families to bring information that will be helpful in compiling the obituary, including photos, not only for the obituary, but for a tribute video, if desired.  Clothing for the deceased may be brought to the initial meeting, although it is usually not required at that time.  Some families want us to assist them in filing life insurance claims, so they bring in policies and other information.  Veteran discharge papers help us in our job of assisting the family in obtaining VA benefits.  Cemetery deeds explain exactly where the deceased is to be buried.  Generally, you should bring anything that you feel may be helpful. 

 Our funeral home staff is available 24 hours a day, seven days a week, to assist families.  If the death is attended (in a hospital/nursing home/under Hospice care), the appropriate nursing staff will assist you in contacting the funeral home.  If the death is unattended or sudden, the appropriate authorities must be contacted (police/coroner).  We know the laws and regulations and can help at any hour.  Our staff will be dispatched right away to the place of death to begin assisting you in the desired manner.

First, you should discuss the matter with the owner of the funeral home, as a misunderstanding has probably occurred, and it will likely be remedied.  All concerns should be addressed immediately so something can be done about them.  (It is hard to make changes to the appearance of the deceased if burial has already taken place).  All charges should be discussed before the funeral.  Most funeral directors want you to be satisfied and will take steps to achieve that satisfaction.  If an agreement cannot be reached, you may wish to contact the Better Business Bureau, the Federal Trade Commission, or the Ohio Board of Embalmers and Funeral Directors.

By prepaying your funeral expenses now, you can protect against future inflationary price increases.  The beginning of the year is when we typically experience price increases from manufacturers of caskets, vaults, as well as our costs of doing business.  By prepaying now, before prices increase, you can freeze these costs at today’s levels.  Other outside expenses, such as cemetery/crematory, flowers, newspapers, clergy, music, and other cash advance items can also be prepaid.  However, they cannot be guaranteed, because those costs are dictated by outside sources and are beyond our control.

There is no “best” time, it is really up to the family, with occasionally some restrictions due to other funeral schedules.  Most people desire visitation during both afternoon and evening hours, such as 2-4 and 6-8 pm, although others run visitation all day, such as 2-8 pm.  Some family’s desire hours only in the evening, or only in the afternoon.  Still others want visitation open for an hour or two prior to the funeral service.  We still occasionally have visitation for two full days prior to the funeral, although this is less common than it used to be.  We will tailor the visitation hours to the family’s needs, whatever those needs are. 

An active pallbearer is one who actually assists in the physical act of carrying the deceased’s casket. Active pallbearers may carry as many as four different times during the course of a funeral.  (Out of the funeral home, into church, out of church, and to the grave at the cemetery.)  Carrying the casket does require some degree of physical strength as some caskets can weigh 500 pounds or more.  An Honorary pallbearer is one who, for various reasons, is not asked to physically carry the casket, but rather walk ahead of the casket in the procession, in honor of the deceased. Active pallbearers usually number from 6-8 people, but there is no limit as to the number of honorary pallbearers which may be used.

Burial at sea is available to any active duty or honorably discharged veteran of the U.S. Armed Forces.  It is performed by the U.S. Navy from selected ports.  Burial at sea will take place at a day and time of the Navy’s choosing, depending on various ships schedules. A full military service will be conducted at sea, then the American flag will be returned to the family. The service is performed privately by the Navy; the family is not present.  However, the next of kin will be notified when the burial at sea has taken place. There is no charge for the actual Navy services, however the family is responsible for expenses incurred in transporting the remains to the nearest Navy port.

Embalming is the temporary disinfection, preservation, and restoration of the dead human body, usually performed so that a formal public viewing of the remains can be held.  It is never a means of permanent preservation, although it allows a family to take time to make important decisions, without the hurried disposition of the remains.  Restoration can be performed to return the remains to an acceptable condition for viewing, especially after a traumatic death.  Embalming is not required by law, but may be necessary if certain arrangements are desired.  Embalming may only be performed by a person holding a State of Ohio Embalmer’s license, earned only after years of training and education.

An Eternal Reef is an option available for the disposition of cremated remains. The cremains are added into a concrete mixture, a process in which the family may participate, if they desire; the concrete is cast into a dome shaped mold with various holes for sea creatures. Family members may add hand prints, take rubbings of the name plate on the Eternal Reef, and also participate in the lowering ceremony of the reef into the ocean. This becomes a permanent home for sea life and is just one of the many different and unique ways for the final disposition of cremated remains. 

There is no “best” time, it is really up to the family, with occasionally some restrictions due to other funeral schedules.  Most people desire visitation during both afternoon and evening hours, such as 2-4 and 6-8 pm, although others run visitation all day, such as 2-8 pm.  Some families desire hours only in the evening, or only in the afternoon.  Still others want visitation open for an hour or two prior to the funeral service.  We still occasionally have visitation for two full days prior to the funeral, although this is less common than it used to be.  We will tailor the visitation hours to the family’s needs, whatever those needs are. 

The playing of  Taps is extended to the family of the deceased veteran as part of the military honors. It is a way of saying good-bye to those that have faithfully served our country. Taps were first played during the Civil War.  Taps were sounded at the time during a cease fire so that each side could remove their dead from the battlefield.  Taps today are played at the cemetery just after the 21 gun salute, while the flag is held over the casket.  Whether is was during the Civil War or today, Taps reminds us that we are caring for our dead.

Professional Services comprises those responsibilities and duties performed by the funeral home on behalf of your family.  Some duties require a license issued by the State of Ohio.  These duties include, but are not limited to, arranging, coordinating, and supervising the funeral details, embalming and preparation of the deceased, making available the funeral home building and grounds for viewing, directing the funeral service, either on- or off-premises, and making available the various means of transportation, both for the deceased and the family.  Many services are performed “behind the scenes,” and may not be obvious to the casual observer, but their absence would certainly be noticed if not performed properly.

Yes, we do!  A video memory production is a professionally-produced montage of photos, set to music, which beautifully commemorate the life of a loved one.  Here's how it works:  You provide up to 35 photos, which will create a video about 10-15 minutes in length.  You may select music from our fully-licensed and extensive music library.  This is not simply a "slide show," but a professional video and audio experience.  Keep in mind that funerals aren't the only occasions to produce a memorial video.  Anniversaries, birthdays, and other occasions are also suitable times to remember.  Our videos are available for any occasion.

No!  It is not a good idea to have funeral and burial wishes recorded in a will.  Here’s why:  A will is ordinarily not opened or read until several days after the funeral.  It is possible that the funeral and burial will already have been completed, only to discover that entirely different arrangements would have been preferred by the deceased.  By then it will be too late to make changes.  Any wishes regarding funeral preferences should first be discussed with your family and funeral director, written down, recorded, and kept in a safe place.  We will retain copies of all arrangements, and you should keep copies at home, and also with your financial advisor or attorney, if possible. 

As a full-service funeral home, we can assist families with all aspects of their funeral arrangements.  We are not affiliated with any one cemetery, but we have contacts with all the area cemeteries, and we can put families in touch with cemetery personnel so that they can make their cemetery decisions.  Cemetery costs are treated like any other outside expense, such as flowers, newspaper notices, clergy and musicians, in that the expense can be added to the expenses when prepaying a funeral.  At the time of actual burial, however, most cemeteries will require any amounts owed to be paid at the time of the burial.

The State of Ohio no longer offers any funds to help bury persons deemed to be indigent (without family or funds).  The City of Tiffin does have an Indigent Burial Program for those residents of the City.  It is available only to those deemed to be truly indigent, and the amount offered will not exceed $750.00.  For county residents, each Township is responsible for providing grave space and some burial funds for their respective indigent residents (this is according to State Law).  Indigent Veterans will be offered assistance by the local Veterans Service Commission.  Services and merchandise offered in exchange for the indigent payments will vary among funeral homes, but will likely be dignified, minimum services.

A Family-Owned Funeral Home can better serve you, because you are dealing directly with the people who own the funeral home.  Some funeral homes are owned by large out-of-town corporations, which may not have your best interest in mind.  They have to answer to Wall Street investors, who are only interested in financial return. Decisions which affect our family-owned funeral home, such as service policies and pricing, are made right here, by us, the owners, who have the community's interest in mind, since we live and raise our families right here.  We answer to you, not Wall Street.

Listening to grieving people is the most important thing you can do. Listen in a non-judging way, and allow them to tell the stories over and over if they need to.  Share your memories of the loved one, too. Reflect on the feelings they are experiencing, but don't say, “I know exactly how you feel.” It's usually much more helpful to say something along the lines of “I can't imagine what you must be feeling right now.”  because, most grieving people feel like no one else could know what they're experiencing. Each person recovers from grief at his or her own pace. Some can recover quickly, while others can take a full year or more (this will also depend on the severity of the loss )  Celebrate. It may sound strange to talk about celebrating, but it can help grieving  people heal. Help them celebrate the life of the loved one they've lost. Help them develop rituals they need to get through the difficult early stages of the grieving process.  Adapted from the article Helping Others Experience Grief.

Each funeral home, as an independent business, will have its own payment policy which will vary.  We offer several different methods in which to make payments. Cash or personal check, Visa, Discover or MasterCard are always accepted.  We also can take an assignment on a verified life insurance policy, with the beneficiary assigning the benefits to the funeral home.  We also offer a monthly payment program, which requires an approved credit application.  We do offer an administrative discount for those who pay in full by the day of the funeral. We encourage communication of special circumstances between the family and the funeral director, as we will work to accommodate any special needs.

It depends on the contract is written.  Whenever you elect to pay over time, certain health questions are asked.  If you are in reasonably good health, then, if you die before all payments are made, you are covered for the entire funeral cost.  If you fail to answer the health questions positively, then you are still covered, however you may be subject to limited death benefits for a certain period, usually one or tow years.  After that you are fully covered.  If payment is made in one single payment at the time of the contract, then full coverage is immediate and permanent, regardless of health.  

YES! Learning to accept death is natural experience in life.  It is most important that children not be excluded from participating in the funeral service.  Children, who sometimes are "protected" from the experience, know when they are being deceived.  They should not be told that "Grandma is sleeping.", or "Grandpa went on a trip." Instead, honesty is vital.  Explanations should be simple, and in an environment that will stimulate questions and comfort.  Above, all love and reassurance should be paramount so that the child will feel secure.  Different levels of involvement are called upon depending upon the age of the child.  We have a children's room in our funeral home, with toys, television/VCR, and games, to help children of all ages feel comfortable in the funeral home environment.  We also have literature, free for the asking which helps parents to explain and children to understand, the concepts surrounding death.

Viewing is part of many cultural and ethnic traditions. Many grief counselors believe that viewing aids the grieving process by helping the bereaved understand the reality of death. Viewing is encouraged for children, as long as the process is explained and the children come willingly.

Funeral directors are caregivers and managers. They make all of the arrangements for transportation of the body, complete all necessary paperwork, and put into action the choices made by the family regarding the funeral and final disposition of the body. 

Funeral directors are listeners, advisors and supporters. They have experience assisting the bereaved in coping with death. Funeral directors are trained to answer questions about grief, and lead the bereaved to sources of professional help. Funeral directors also link survivors with support groups in the community.

When compared to other major life cycle events, like births and weddings, funerals are not expensive. A wedding will cost at least three times as much as that of a funeral; but because a wedding is a happy event, those costs are rarely criticized.

A funeral home is a 24-hour, labor-intensive business, with extensive facilities (viewing rooms, chapels, limousines, hearses, etc.), and those expenses must be figured into the cost of a funeral.

 The cost of a funeral includes not only merchandise, like caskets, but the services of a funeral director in making arrangements; filing appropriate forms; making arrangements with doctors, ministers, florists, newspapers and others; and seeing to all of the other necessary details.

Funeral homes are largely family-owned with a modest profit margin. The statistics below may be helpful in assessing the true economic picture of a funeral home:

  • Family-owned 85%
  • Firm in business for 63 years
  • Average calls/year 167
  • BEFORE tax profit 11.3%

(Source: 1995 NFDA Survey of Funeral Home Operations)

In 1998 the charge for an adult, full-service funeral, was $5,020. This includes a professional service charge, transfer-of remains, embalming, other preparation, the use of viewing facilities, use of facilities for ceremony, hearse, limousine, and casket. The casket included in that price was an 18-gauge steel casket with velvet interior, that may or may not be the most common casket chosen. Vault, cemetery and monument charges are additional. (Source: 1999 NFDA Survey of Funeral Home Operations)

Funerals are the traditional way to recognize death and its finality. They are recognized rituals for the living to show honor for the dead and to help survivors begin the grieving process.

Yes, it is possible to disinter a body from one cemetery and re-inter in another. In some cases, it is necessary to obtain approval from the local Health Department. The costs can be extensive, as the original cemetery must be paid to open the grave around the vault, the successor cemetery must be paid for the new grave and the opening and closing of that grave. A vault company must also be employed to raise the vault, transport the vault to the new cemetery, and inter the vault in the new

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