Visit the Funeral Home

You are now ready to visit the funeral home of your choice to prepare for the funeral.

MEETING THE PROFESSIONALS ...

The funeral profession, as a caretaking group, has personnel and facilities available for those who need assistance prior to or at the time of death.

INFORMATION & CLOTHING THE FUNERAL DIRECTOR WILL NEED...

To facilitate the arrangements and the filing of the death certificate, it will be helpful if you bring the following (if applicable) to the arrangements conference:

  • Birth Certificate if available: information needed is father’s full name, mother’s first and maiden name and date and place of birth.
  • Ancestry (nationality).
  • Educational level.
  • U.S. Armed Forces Honorable Discharge papers.
  • Recent photograph.
  • Any information about cemetery property — Cemetery papers/deeds (if applicable and available).
  • Brief list of surviving relatives (names and places of their residences)
  • List of pallbearers (if desired).
  • Name of person(s) to officiate at the service/Mass/memorial.
  • List of persons playing music and the hymns/songs requested.
  • Clothing: the clothing should include a complete set of underclothing and whatever outer clothing the family deems appropriate.

MAKING THE ARRANGEMENTS...

Even if arrangements were preplanned by the deceased, you will be required to meet with a funeral director to confirm the arrangements and/ or plan the type of service you desire. The wishes of the deceased do not prevail over the wishes of the next-of-kin. At this time you must determine what tasks you want the funeral home to perform and what facilities are needed to meet your needs.

EVALUATING THE COST...

Although difficult, it is important to remember during this meeting that you are purchasing services and merchandise and are renting facilities. Live within your budget. Regardless of the cost of your funeral, you will receive the same professional and compassionate service from the funeral director.

IMPORTANT DISCLOSURE DOCUMENTS...

The funeral director will provide you with a price list of goods and services before discussing funeral arrangements. This is a legal requirement for your protection and information. Before entering the casket selection room, you must be provided with a casket price list for your inspection. There may also be a display of photographs or a book of casket representations. These are all required to contain price information concerning the casket cost and it must be separated from the funeral costs so you know exactly what you are paying for the casket. This also applies to the purchase of a vault or the outer burial container in which the casket is placed, which is required by almost all cemeteries.

TO AVOID MISUNDERSTANDINGS...

You will be expected to sign a contract and other documents specifying the arrangements you have made. You may also be asked to sign a statement that you have received certain documents. Do not be offended. Your signature is proof that the funeral home has met its legal commitment. The documents are important to you and you should read them carefully and refer to them as often as you like.

SELECTING THE MERCHANDISE...

When you have made some of your initial arrangements, the funeral director will lead you to a display area which contains a number of caskets and other merchandise from which you will make your selections.

PROFESSIONAL SERVICE FEES...

The contract you sign with the funeral home will contain a basic fee for professional services. This basic fee includes overhead, such as rent, utilities, administrative personnel, insurance, maintenance, etc. This is a legitimate charge. It is not negotiable and does not represent any of the goods and services you have chosen.

READ THE CONTRACT BEFORE SIGNING...

You are entitled to know what each charge is for and may change your selections before you sign the contract or you may go elsewhere. A funeral home may not refuse to release a body to another home for any reason. However, you will be financially responsible for any services which you have previously authorized, such as removal, embalming or transportation to another funeral home.