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Planningafuneral.com
PO Box 2055 Elmhurst IL 60126
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Frequently Asked Questions

FAQ
What is the Basic Service Fee?
What is a Direct Burial?
What is a Direct Cremation?
What is a Visitation?
What does the term Traditional Funeral mean?
What is embalming?
Does a body have to be embalmed?
Why are there so many different types of caskets?
Do I need a casket for cremation or burial?
Can I have a visitation and not a service?
Can Life Insurance pay for the funeral?
What is a Life Settlement or Viatical?
Do I have to buy a grave liner or vault?
What is the Funeral Rule?
Can you get funeral information over the phone?
FAQ
Q: What is the Basic Service Fee?
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.

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Q: What is a Direct Burial?
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.

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Q: What is a Direct Cremation?
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 some time in the future after the cremation.

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Q: What is a Visitation?
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.

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Q: What does the term Traditional Funeral mean?
A: The term “Traditional Funeral” is a funeral director’s term referring to a service that will include a visitation, possibly a vigil, 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.

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Q: What is embalming?
A: Embalming is the preservation of the body through the use of embalming fluid.

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Q: Does a body have to be embalmed?
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.

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Q: Why are there so many different types of caskets?
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.

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Q: Do I need a casket for cremation or burial?
A: Having a casket is not required by law but usually at least an alternative biodegradable container should be considered in order to make the transportation and burial or cremation more manageable and to handle the body respectfully.

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Q: Can I have a visitation and not a service?
A: Yes, you can choose any type of arrangement you want. There are no rules on what you have to do.

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Q: Can Life Insurance pay for the funeral?
A: Life insurance can pay for the funeral, you sign the check over to the funeral home after checking with your attorney and then the funeral home returns the balance to you. Word of caution, do not ever sign it over and just tell the funeral director to make the arrangements; you will more than likely be sold the most expensive products and services. You must be in control of the decisions.

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Q: What is a Life Settlement or Viatical?
A: Life Settlements and Viaticals have to do with the sale of your Life Insurance policy while you are alive in order to have money that may be needed now.  Many terminally ill patients use this as a resource to help pay the bills while they cannot work.  This should not be entered into lightly, please read more info at Viatical.  Click here link to Viaticals.

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Q: Do I have to buy a grave liner or vault?
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.

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Q: What is the Funeral Rule?
A: The funeral rule was put in place to give consumers certain rights and protection in regards to what they do and do not have to pay for as well as the right to purchase their own casket from an outside source and have the funeral home handle it without a charge or penalty. Click here to learn your rights. (FTC Funeral Rule)

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Q: Can you get funeral information over the phone?
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 telephone number. We have an inexpensive form with questions to ask if you wish to use it. Click here.

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