Because purchasing a home, wedding or car are considered happy moments and we are less critical of them. We have typically pre-planned these types of events years or months in advance. It makes it less stressful on the pocket book. As a culture we need to change your attitude and thinking about death and confront it like we do with any other major purchases we deal with during your life time. We have to educate people the same way we do when planning and saving for retirement. We need to plan and prepay your funeral and cemetery expenses early in your lives and give ourselves and family the peace of mind we all deserve.
What are the duties performed by a funeral director and costs involved in operating a typical family funeral home?
The typical family owned funeral home is a labor intensive business offering facilities, automobile equipment and is staffed 365 days a year, 24 hours a day with licensed funeral directors that have many hours of continuing education and specialized training and education in place to ensure a competent and understanding funeral director is available to respond to your family’s needs when called upon.
The professional services performed by licensed funeral directors are meeting with families to secure vital statistics information for the death certificate, permit and any other pertinent documentation and completes itemized services and merchandise cost agreements.
He oversees all the necessary service details and coordinates times with the following services as needed clergy, organist, soloist, cemetery/crematory, automobile equipment, civic organizations, and fraternal associations and veterans groups.
The funeral director completes the death certificate with the vital statistics information obtain during the funeral arrangement conference. Follows up and obtains all the necessary signatures from attending physician, medical examiner or coroner. Files the completed paperwork with the register of vital statistics and receives the burial permit and certified copies of the death certificates. The funeral director completes all the following forms as necessary veterans, social security and insurance paperwork. The funeral director answers all incoming telephone calls regarding funeral service information.
The fixed overhead expenses such as city, county and school taxes, office supplies, inventory, advertising, funeral home cleaning supplies, building maintenance, grounds maintenance, promotional, surgical instruments and preparation room supplies, utilities, telephone, heat and air conditioning malpractice and health insurance, workman’s compensation, unemployment and funeral service continuing education requirements just to name a few. All these expenses must be factored into the cost of a funeral service. The profit made after a funeral service is completed and monthly bills paid is around $250.00 per funeral.
If I desire to have my body cremated can I still have a traditional funeral service?
The funeral consumer that would like cremation can still have a traditional funeral service with an evening of calling/visitation hours. The funeral service will be held the following morning at church synagogue, mosque or funeral home. After the funeral services are completed the remains are transported to the crematory. Once the cremation process has been completed and the cremains are returned back to the funeral home.
The family has many options available to them and they may want to purchase alternative items such as an urn, urn vault, keepsake, cremation jewelry and other non traditional items are available to honor their loved one in a meaningful way they desire. There is no New York State law that requires you to purchase an urn, urn vault, keepsake, cremation jewelry or any other funeral merchandise.
The funeral director will explain and provide written documentation on the itemization of funeral service and merchandise selected contract under the explanation of charges section for embalming and for any items that are not required by law, but may be necessary because of cemetery or crematory requirements.