David’s Cemetery has been helping families deal with the loss of a loved one for many generations. To help families David’s provides a pre-planning guide for you to plan ahead and spare the family members left behind with emotional and financial decisions. The guide takes a few minutes to fill out and begins the process of making sure your needs are met. Being well informed will help the decision making process and be best for your family so at the time of loss, those left behind will be better able to transition from grief to remembrance.
When you plan in advance, you are making choices based on your wishes as to how your final arrangements will be carried out. It is a process by which you can eliminate confusion, uncertainty, and unnecessary expense on the part of your family making your burial and funeral arrangements. Fortunately you will have already made all the needed decisions.
Things to Consider
A funeral service usually includes professional services, transportation services, embalming and other preparation, facilities for visitation, the funeral service, and a funeral coach. Funeral merchandise includes a casket and other associated items.
Cemetery decisions include property, vaults, committal service, and memorialization. There are more than 50 decisions that must be made when there is a death in the family.
Advantages of advanced planning
There are many advantages when you take care of your final arrangements in advance. The most obvious benefit is financial, but the most important is the emotional benefit. When making burial arrangements at the time of need, you tend to make hasty decisions. When you make arrangements in advance you have a better opportunity to make informed choices. One of the most difficult situations your loved one will ever face is to have to walk into a casket selection room and decide which casket would be best. Another difficult decision is what cemetery and what location within the cemetery would be most preferred.
One of the most serious misconceptions is that “the money will be there for final burial.” While that is often the case, circumstances can either reduce or limit access to funds needed at the time of passing. A major threat to these funds is often high health care costs leading up to death. Another concern is that savings could be tied up in probate or be invested in areas that are not readily accessible.
A major financial benefit when making arrangements in advance of need, is that you guarantee today’s prices and your choices can be paid over a 90 day period, instead of immediate payment, which is required at the time of need.
In summary the three main reasons to pre-pay final expenses are:
- It gives you peace of mind
- It spares your family potential financial and emotional burdens
- It can lock in today’s prices
Way to proceed
The best way to prearrange is to have one of our staff advisors explain your options. Knowing that this subject is not always comfortable, our advisors are trained to “walk you through” the process in a very comfortable, sensitive setting. Our intention is to provide you with all of your options, assess what your specific needs are, and help you put them on paper.
Cemeteries provide a permanent place to memorialize the deceased. Cemeteries are well-kept places of respect, peace and beauty. They hold a repository of accumulated deeds and history of a given area.
A primary responsibility of the cemetery is to provide for the perpetual care of the gravesites. Cemeteries are required to build endowment funds, which provide the funds for maintaining the grounds into perpetuity.
In selecting a cemetery, you will be offered a variety of types of spaces from single gravesites to family gravesites. The type of memorialization can also vary by cemetery—monuments and markers often vary by sections of the cemetery. Cemetery charges include price of the property, a vault which protects the casket, a marker/monument and a charge for opening and closing the gravesite. The vault is required as an outer burial receptacle that is designed to encase the casket and is capable of withstanding the weight and pressures of the earth above and around the casket. It also protects against moisture and elements of the subsoil placement of the casket.
Many cemeteries offer chapel and gravesite services, and a place to hold after-the-service gathering. Cemeteries typically have in-ground and mausoleum-crypts and niches burial spaces, which could be either indoor or outdoor.
Most cemeteries are divided into large sections. Each section has rules that govern the type of memorial that can be placed on the burial property.
Monuments Traditionally families will choose an upright memorial for their lot which bears the family name. Individual names and dates can also be inscribed on the monument or head/foot markers can memorialize the individual burial spaces.
Flat Markers (lawn-level) Some cemeteries have sections that allow flat markers only. This is generally the most economical form of memorialization.
The funeral home is responsible for preparing the body for disposition and arranging memorial services. The funeral home transfers the body from place of death to the funeral home, prepares the body (embalming, dressings, and cosmetics), prepares obituaries and submits them to newspapers, arranges for the type of service desired, recommends merchandise, prepares and presides over services, transports body from funeral home to burial location, and presides over committal.
In selecting a funeral home factors such as location, costs, facilities, parking, type of services offered and reputation should be considered. By selecting a funeral home before death occurs you have the opportunity to determine appropriateness of the services offered or of the funeral home.
The funeral home provides the required death certificates. A death certificate is the official legal record of death. It includes information concerning the person who died and the cause of death. A certified copy of the death certificate is issued by city or town Registrar’s office. During the funeral conference you will be asked how many certified copies of the death certificate you will need. Financial situations are different for each person therefore the number of certified copies that will be needed will vary by individual. Listed below are examples of institutions that may require a copy of the death certificate:
- Life insurance companies
- Pension, IRA, and other benefits
- Accounts at Banks and Credit Unions
- Stocks and Bonds
- Union Benefits
- Titles and Deeds to Property
- Department of Motor Vehicles
- Living Trusts
- Home mortgages
- Veteran’s Administration
A visitation is a gathering held before the funeral service. In a traditional visitation, the deceased’ remains are present and the casket can be open or closed for viewing. Many believe this is a time to say goodbye and provides family and friends a chance to accept the loss and gain a sense of closure. For others, it is an opportunity to express condolences to the family of the deceased.
A funeral service is a service where the remains are present. The funeral service is held shortly after the death occurs. The service can be held in a church, funeral home or in a cemetery chapel. Some services include a message, most services focus on the life of the deceased. Friends and/or family members may choose to memorialize their loved ones by commemorating a special remembered moment or something the person has done in their life. Memory tables, picture boards, tribute videos, special music can also be used to share the unique life of the loved one. It allows the attendees to remember the important times and special memories connected with their loved one.
A memorial service is a service where there are no remains of the deceased. Memorial services can be held in churches, funeral homes and in cemetery chapels. The service can also be held in a location meaningful to the deceased family. The memorial service can be held at any time and is not required to be held shortly after the death. Much like a funeral, the memorial service provides the family with an opportunity to commemorate the life of their loved one again through the use of memory tables, picture boards, tribute videos, and/or special music.
A gravesite service is a service held at the site of the burial. Usually it is a short service where family and friends say their final goodbyes. In most cases, the casket or urn is present. Often a eulogy is delivered concluded with a committal and a prayer. The term committal refers to the body of the deceased being committed to the ground or placed in a crypt or niche. Gravesite services can be held instead of a formal funeral service.