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Options and Decisions

If no funeral planning instructions were left by the deceased then you will need to determine what type of funeral arrangements to make. Only choose the funeral services that you want. Do not be pressured into something that you did not want. (Some items may seem frivolous like gloves for the pallbearers, 6 pair at $20 per pair for a total of $120. One group of widowers interviewed thought the gloves had to be purchased). Use our funeral planning checklist to keep track of things that need to be done. And, use our funeral provider’s comparison form to compare packages and pricing for funerals, cremations, and burials. It is very helpful to have everything in one place while you are making the necessary funeral arrangements during a stressful time. Click here to order the forms.

  • Traditional funerals typically include a 1or 2 day viewing and a service followed by a burial in the ground, vault, mausoleum or niche. It may include a graveside ceremony. Other items usually purchased under this heading include a hearse, family limo, and flower car, etc . View cost cutting options
  • Visitation as part of the funeral arrangements, whether final interment will be burial or cremation, you will need to decide on an open or closed casket. If the deceased had not expressed prior wishes and there has been an accident or long illness some families opt for a private viewing and then a closed casket with pictures of the deceased on display.
  • Cremation you may have the option to rent a casket for the visitation at the funeral home or other location (church hall, etc.) and then purchase a simple container or cremation casket for the cremation.
  • Direct Cremation or Direct Burial without a viewing - If choosing this option the family should be aware that many times they can arrange a brief private viewing at the crematorium or funeral home.

When choosing either direct burial or direct cremation the body will not need to be embalmed. Funeral homes are not allowed to embalm the body without permission and the law does not require it. However, when choosing a visitation, embalming may be required by the funeral home for the proper presentation of the deceased.

  • Direct Burial - can include a gravesite ceremony or a memorial service at a later date. When planning a memorial service you are able to give out of town mourners more time to make travel arrangements. But don’t wait too long; some type of closure is important in the healing process for survivors.
  • Direct Cremation- can be followed up with a ceremony for the burial or placement of the ashes in a niche. Other popular choices are a scattering service or a memorial service at a later date.
 
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