Losing a loved one is a difficult and stressful time. Part of planning the funeral is arranging a post-funeral reception. The reception brings everyone together after the funeral to support one another. While still somber, it’s less formal than the funeral services. Friends and family can share stories, lend support, and celebrate the life of your departed loved one. Food is often a central part of the reception. While you don’t have to provide a full meal, it’s customary to provide at least a light food option for guests. Because you often don’t have much notice, you’ll need to piece together the details of the reception quickly to organize it. Keep reading to learn our best tips on how to plan for the post-funeral reception.

Check on Regulations

Before you decide on the reception location, check on state laws. While most states now allow food in funeral homes, the regulations can vary. In the past, states banned food in funeral homes because of the concern of having food so close to embalmed bodies. Most states have eased up on the laws, which many consider outdated.

If your state doesn’t allow food in the funeral home, you’ll need to find a different location for the reception. The funeral director is the perfect person to ask about food regulations. Even if your state allows it, the funeral home may have restrictions on what it allows. The funeral director will likely have suggestions for locations if you want a separate venue. The director can help you with all aspects of the planning process, not just the funeral services.

Pick a Post Funeral Reception Location

Now that you know the regulations in your area, you can choose the reception location. Having it at the funeral home if allowed is an easy option if everyone is already there. You don’t have to drive to a separate location if you’re holding all of the services at the funeral home.

Another popular option if it’s just a small reception is to have it at your house. It’s available on short notice, and you don’t have to worry about abiding by contracts that are often required for rented facilities. It’s also the cheapest option, but it may not work if you’re expecting a lot of people. Many services take place at a church or other worship center. Those facilities usually have reception halls where you can host people.

You can also reserve space at other reception or social venues. Examples include private rooms at restaurants or banquet halls. Consider the number of people you’ll have at the reception when choosing a location. You want enough space for everyone to fit comfortably plus have room for the food setup.

Choose the Time

Most receptions happen right after the funeral. It’s a chance for everyone to catch up after the formal funeral part of the day. It’s also convenient for people who came from out of town or already took time off of work to attend. You can wait until later in the day or even the next day if that time works better for you. Consider the timing of the funeral services and the location of the reception. The funeral may include burial services at the cemetery, so take that into account.

Estimate the driving time from the final part of the funeral to the reception site to calculate when you should schedule the reception. Having the timing right is important for food preparation.

Plan the Menu

The timing of the reception can help decide what type of food to do. Decide if you want to do a full meal, finger foods, or desserts only. Timing is often a factor. If it’s mid-afternoon or late in the evening, you don’t need to do a full meal. Your budget is also a factor. Preparing or catering an entire meal, especially if you’ll have a lot of people, gets expensive. Offering light refreshments is a common option and more affordable. Once you decide what type of food you want to provide, create a specific menu. Deli meat sandwiches are easy to do if you’re serving a meal. Pasta is another common option.

Decide Who’ll Make the Food

You’ll also need to line up someone to make the food. You can make the food yourself, but it adds stress to an already difficult time. It can also be a large undertaking if you’re hosting a large reception. This option works best for a small reception or if you’re only doing light refreshments.

Some churches or other community groups come together to organize meals for funeral receptions. The church might ask people to make desserts for the reception, or they may plan a larger meal.

Hiring a caterer for a funeral is another option. You’ll pay more for the service, but it takes all of the work out of your hands.

Caterers are experienced and can ensure everything gets taken care of in such a short amount of time. The caterer can help decide what to prepare. It’s a lower-stress option if you’re the one in charge of the funeral reception.

Get a Head Count

Knowing about how many people will be there helps you plan the reception. You don’t need people to RSVP, and you shouldn’t expect them to on such a short timeline. But having a general idea helps with the planning process. If you hire a caterer, you’ll need to have a rough head count for planning purposes. If you’re only inviting a small number of people, getting the head count is easier. If you’re inviting everyone who comes to the funeral, you’ll have to do a more general estimate.

Plan the Reception

A post-funeral reception is a common tradition, and it gives you a chance to reminisce with other mourners. Planning a reception that fits your budget and finding a suitable reception location is important.

If you’re in the midst of planning a funeral, explore our arrangement options. We’re committed to the details of funeral planning, and we’re always set on exceeding expectations.

One of the hardest jobs a family has to do is prepare the funeral ceremony of a loved one. If a death is sudden it can be a heavy burden. As we become a more progressive society, people are starting to plan and pay for their own services.

They plan everything from color schemes, burial attire, flowers, funeral home, and location for the service. Some even go so far as to purchase their own casket or urn, and their burial plot and headstone.

Not only does funeral pre-planning relieve stress caused by their passing, but it also ensures the deceased is remembered on their own terms.

Planning one’s own funeral ceremony is not the only trend. Where the service is held and the type of service is also changing.

There was a time when it was very important for a funeral to be held at a church. If the person had no church affiliation the service was held at the funeral home. Today, it can be anywhere that holds significance to the deceased.

Keep reading for places people are holding viewings and funerals.

A Funeral Ceremony Should Reflect the Life of the Person Who Has Transitioned

The eulogy is the centerpiece of the funeral ceremony. Eulogies are usually performed by a minister or layperson. The service follows a general format that also includes songs, scriptures, prayers, and reflections.

Too often, when a person passes without instructions, the family plans a service to honor their life and legacy through their own eyes. The service ends up not being a reflection of the person being remembered, which can lead to family squabbles.

It is important to have a service that is about your loved one. Select their favorite songs, poems, and scriptures. Do not have a speaker they’ve never met, and do not bury them in clothes, make-up or hairstyles, they wouldn’t choose while alive.

Last, ensure the people chosen to speak as a Christian, friend or relative, are people they liked and would have selected if given the opportunity.

Funerals Do Not Have to Take Place at a Church

Viewings and funerals are two separate occasions. A viewing is a time prior to the funeral where the body lies in state and people can come and get a final glance. They can take place an hour before the service while the guest awaits the arrival of the family.

In some cultures, funeral visitation is held the day before and lasts about four hours. There may be a brief service during the final hour of the viewing, which is attended by the immediate family. In southern traditions, this is also referred to as the wake.

When it comes to the funeral ceremony, it is not required to have it at a church. it’s important if your loved one was an active member of a religious center. If not, ask yourself, is it something they would want.

Funeral homes have chapels and services can take place there. If the body is being cremated, the family may want to forgo a traditional service altogether.

Opting to do a celebration of life or memorial service gives the family more flexibility in the service format. Keep in mind, not all locations or facilities will grant permission to have a casket present. This will make the viewing at the funeral home more significant.

Find a Location With Sentimental Significance

Once you decide against a traditional church funeral service, you’ll need to find a location. Once again, relevance to the deceased needs to be considered.

When a student-athlete passes we often hear about a memorial service at the school gymnasium or athletic field. These locations are chosen because it reflects what they loved doing.

A person who loved the beach would like for friends to gather near the water and experience the peace and tranquility.

Other options include a service at a park where a tree is planted in memory of. Loved ones that were public figures may require a larger facility for their service. In this instance, an arena or performing arts center is the preferred choice.

Destination Funerals

It may sound strange to speak about a destination funeral. People that are adventurous and travel the world view their afterlife differently. Oftentimes they will make the request to have their body cremated and ashes spread in a specific location.

They do not want a sad somber occasion or people mourning over them that they barely know. Instead, they want close family and friends to gather and celebrate their life.

Travel to their favorite vacation spot and charter a boat to spread their ashes in the ocean. Take off to the mountains or a ski lodge and spread the ashes on their favorite trail.

Keep in mind, in the U.S. you will need to notify the EPA before scattering ashes.

Gravesite Services Are All Some People Want

There are several reasons why someone would have a graveside service. This is when the family forgoes a funeral and opt for a small private burial at the cemetery. The service includes a minister saying a few words, a song, and some other symbolic gesture, like doves being released.

Graveside services are common among people with little to no next of kin. A person who was very private in life may choose this type of service as well. In cases where a baby passes away and the family wants a memorial service, this is a way to honor their life.

Have the Talk with Your Family

Discussing our final wishes is never an easy conversation but it is a necessary one. By letting your loved ones know what you desire can help avoid arguments and hard feelings. You get to make the final decisions and your family is legally obligated to abide by what you wanted.

The are many parts and options when it comes to a funeral ceremony. We are here to assist you in finalizing the arrangements.

Please don’t hesitate to contact us with any questions you may have.

In 2017, the National Funeral Directors Association found that while 62% of people expressed the importance of making their wishes known regarding their funeral, only 21% actually did so.

If you fall somewhere in these numbers, you may want to consider the benefits of funeral pre-planning.

While it may feel a little bit strange to make your own funeral arrangements, think of it the way you would any other event. How often do we plan large events in a matter of days and under a great deal of stress?

Read on for seven reasons why you should treat the final celebration of your life with respect and care by pre-planning your funeral.

1. Spend Money Wisely

In 2014, the median funeral cost was $7,181, a 28.6% increase from 2004. Funeral costs increase steadily each year, which means that you may pay less for it now than your family would around the time of your passing.

On top of that, many funeral homes offer a discounted package for pre-planned funerals while also allowing you to pay off your expenses in monthly installments.

2. Lighten Emotional Turmoil

Once a family member has passed, the remaining members have a small window of time to make final funeral arrangements. If nothing has been pre-planned, that’s a lot of responsibility to take on, especially when you’re bereaved.

Funerals are important for the loved ones we leave behind. They offer a platform for emotional expression and a chance to say goodbye, which can help the grieving process.

Funeral pre-planning will allow your loved ones to focus on what is important, which is the celebration of your life and the acceptance of your passing. The burden of last-minute funeral planning creates distractions and undue stress.

3. Find Your Perfect Location

Some families have had their plots picked out for generations, while some have never given much thought to their ideal final resting place.

Funeral pre-planning allows you to take time and decide on a location. Plus, it gives you a chance to look around in the region you wish to be laid to rest, rather than forcing a family member to make a hasty decision.

4. Ensure Your Final Wishes are Granted

Even if you have put your personal wishes regarding your funeral into writing, your family may not be obligated to follow them. The legal right to make or change decisions about someone else’s funeral varies state by state and you may not be protected by law.

Chances are, your family members would only deviate from your wishes if they were unable to afford them or execute them in time. Funeral pre-planning takes away the question of whether or not they should follow your wishes since everything is already planned out and paid for.

5. Take Time for Details

As we mentioned earlier, there may not be a lot of time for your family to plan your funeral. Under the pressure of a time limit, aesthetic details may be given less consideration.

When you take advantage of funeral pre-planning, you have the option to make decisions about your casket and dressing. Your family may have to finalize details such as floral arrangements, catering, and music. However, with the bigger details out of the way, it will be much easier for them to make the final touches as you have requested.

6. Lift Your Family’s Financial Burden

Perhaps you are concerned about placing the financial burden of your funeral on your family. If this is the case, funeral pre-planning is a great way to alleviate their potential financial stress.

Of course, you have the option of setting aside the money to cover your funeral expenses when the time comes. However, this will require you to put that money in a family member’s name so that they can both access it and ensure that it goes to the intended parties. The process of legally transferring this money into someone else’s name can take weeks or even months, leaving your family to cover the expenses in the meantime.

7. Get to Know Your Funeral Director

It can provide a great deal of peace of mind to know that your family is in good hands. Funeral pre-planning creates the opportunity for you to get to know your funeral director ahead of time over a series of phone calls and meetings.

You can choose to bring along some of your family for these meetings or simply take the time to get to know your funeral director yourself. Either way, you are giving your funeral director the opportunity to get to know you and understand what you want from your service.

Funeral directors do their best to make each funeral personal and authentic. The better they know you, the more they can make your funeral a truly unique celebration of your life.

The Pros of Funeral Pre-Planning Outweigh the Cons

It’s a fact of life that each and every one of us will require some type of arrangement after we have passed. For that reason, there really are no cons to funeral pre-planning. Take matters into your own hands and set your loved ones up for a beautiful, meaningful service.

We would love to sit down with you and discuss the ways that we can put together a funeral that will do your life justice. If you are interested in discussing our funeral pre-planning package or have any questions about our services, contact us today.

There are just over 19,000 funeral homes in the United States as of 2019.

With so many choices to choose from, it can be a daunting task for survivors to find a funeral home that will meet their needs.

What do you need to know before you get started to make the process easier?

Read on to learn what to look for in local funeral homes so you can get the service and care you need while you say farewell to a loved one. 

Examine Your Needs

When you are researching local funeral homes, one of the first things you should do is think carefully about what is most important to you.

For some people, a convenient location in close proximity to your cemetery, place of worship or home is most important.

For others, it is the most affordable funeral home possible. You might be concerned about ample parking or accessibility for wheelchairs and people with mobility issues.

Whatever your needs are, write them down on a list of highest priorities. Then, when you begin comparing funeral homes, you know exactly what you are looking for.

Choose the Type of Arrangement

There are so many options to choose from. You might choose to have no visitation or a multi-day viewing.

Green burials are affordable and eco-friendly. You might want to consider that if your loved one was focused on green alternatives.

Or, you might prefer a traditional burial with embalming, visitation and a full funeral service.

Whatever you prefer, write it down in as much detail as you can. This is probably the biggest factor to help you find the funeral home for your needs within your budget.

Contact Local Funeral Homes and Compare Prices

The next step to finding affordable funeral care is to make a list of the homes in your area.

Be aware that the same option might have a difference of several thousand dollars from one home to another. It’s wise to get pricing from the start. 

Ideally, you want to get pricing for your chosen funeral arrangement for around six local funeral homes.

If the quotes you get aren’t fitting within your budget, you may have to look further afield or choose a more affordable arrangement. Sometimes you can stretch your budget by taking out expenses such as visitation and embalming.

Meeting With the Funeral Directors

Once you’ve narrowed your list down, you should schedule an arrangement conference with the various funeral directors.

This meeting can occur in a person either in your home or at the funeral home. Or it can happen over the phone if that is more convenient.

This meeting is your chance to ask questions, learn about the services this particular funeral home offers and get a sense of the atmosphere of the funeral home.

You might forget your questions during these meetings so it’s a good idea to have them written down so you can refer to them. It’s wise to bring a friend or family member that is less emotionally invested in the funeral to balance your impressions.

You might ask the funeral director to go over the price list with you. This is a good chance to meet the staff, see the facility and review the urn and casket options.

During this meeting, you should not feel rushed or pressured into any particular choice.

Things to Look For in a Funeral Home

As with most things in life, the lowest price is not necessarily the best option. There are various factors to consider when choosing funeral care for your loved one.

Here are some of the key things to watch out for. 

Caring and Compassionate Staff

The customer service of funeral homes should be paramount. After all, all clients who visit this business are facing a very difficult time.

Compassionate and sincere staff can make this experience much better for you. When you talk to the funeral director and other staff, they should be caring and professional. If not, this funeral home is probably not a good choice for you.

Makes Good Use of Modern Technology

You might not think that technology is important for a funeral home. But in fact, there are many ways that good technology can enhance the experience for you and your guests.

For example, a good funeral home can help families create memorial videos, provide a user-friendly online memorial page where guests can sign a digital guestbook and send flowers. Some funeral homes even offer webcasting services for friends and family that can’t attend the funeral in person.

If these options are valuable to you, look for a funeral home that uses the latest technology to enhance their offerings. 

Offers Grief Resources

One thing to look for in a funeral home is one that provides additional services for the grieving survivors.

The best funeral homes offer support to you beyond the funeral itself. Look for a home that offers grief counseling, grief support groups or reading materials you can use.

Some offer additional education via newsletters. Others provide excellent after-care such as an in-home visit or phone call. You might want a holiday commemoration service to honor your beloved departed.

As you may know, grief is a journey. It doesn’t end with the funeral. A good funeral home will help you along that path towards healing and peace.

Final Words

Thanks for reading. We hope this article on finding the best local funeral homes helps you find one that can help you get through this painful time.

Show your love to your dearly departed loved one by dedicating them to a special sanctuary on top of the hill. Learn all that La Vista Memorial Park & Mortuary has to offer you.

The death of a loved one is one of the most difficult things you’ll ever go through.

After your loved one is deceased, it’s normal to feel unsure and emotional. For many, a funeral helps them accept their loved one’s death and reflect on their life.

However, many families aren’t prepared during funeral planning. Don’t worry, you don’t need to feel overwhelmed. Just follow this funeral arrangements checklist to stay organized.

Choose the Type of Service

There are many ways to honor the deceased. Here are a few of the most common funeral services and ceremonies.


The viewing is when your loved one is displayed in an open casket. Attendees can walk over and view the deceased as they rest in eternal peace. A mortician prepares the body for viewing.


A visitation is when family and friends gather to mourn the deceased.

These events are also held to support the deceased’s, immediate family. They’re commonly held at funeral homes, but can also be held at the deceased’s home and other required locations.

Graveside Service

Are you burying your loved one? Consider a graveside service.

A graveside service is a funeral service held at the spot where the deceased will be buried. It can be a standalone event or it can be held after the traditional service.

Additional Events

There are more events to honor the deceased’s life. A “wake” is a gathering of loved ones before the funeral. The wake is usually held at the deceased’s home; however, more funeral homes are now offering wakes as well.

Wakes are often confused with the celebration of life ceremony. The celebration of life is another social gathering, but usually occurs days or even weeks after the deceased passes.

A celebration of life is usually celebrated when the deceased is cremated.

Many families continue to hold a celebration of life event on each death anniversary date.

Decide on the Logistics

Before you plan anything else, always start with the basic logistics. These include:

  • Where the funeral will be held
  • Who’s in charge of organizing the service
  • The day and time of the service

You should also decide if it will be a religious service, if any family traditions will be included, and if any arrangements need to be made ahead of time.

Prepare for Your Meeting with the Funeral Home

If you’re hosting the service at a funeral home, you’ll meet with the funeral director in advance for a funeral arrangement conference. You’ll need to bring some materials with you. These include:

  • The loved one’s clothing and accessories (if you’re hosting an open casket service)
  • Death certificate
  • The deceased’s driver’s license and social security card
  • A recent photograph (if you’re hosting an open casket service)
  • Pallbearer name and contact information (if applicable)
  • Life insurance policy

You’ll also want to prepare the deceased’s essential demographic information. This includes the names of their immediate family members and their spouse, date, and place of birth, the place of death, occupation, and their highest level of education.

If your loved one was in the military, it’s useful to have their military information, such as discharge papers, especially if you’re hosting a veteran’s service.

Who to Invite

The next main question loved ones have is who to invite.

First, decide if this should be a private service, such as a family-only event, or if it should be an open visitation. You should consider what the deceased would have wanted. You’ll also have to ask the funeral home about their capacity.

Choose the Resting Place

The most common burial options include burying at a cemetery or a private property (such as your yard). Keep in mind, you must check zoning requirements if you can bury your loved one on your property.

You’ll also want to consider specific cemeteries, such as a veteran’s cemetery.

Did your loved one request to be cremated? You’ll need to decide what to do with their ashes.

You can keep the ashes at home or scatter them in a park, at sea, or in a memorial garden. Keep in mind, there are certain regulations when scattering ashes in public places.

Choose a Funeral Conductor

If you’re having a religious funeral, a religious leader will likely officiate the funeral. If this is a traditional service, you can have anyone officiate the funeral. The conductor can be the funeral director or a family member.

You may also invite loved ones to deliver eulogies throughout the service. Prayer is also common during religious services.

Add the Personal Touches

Personalization will make the biggest difference in a funeral. Display your favorite pictures of the deceased. Play their favorite music and add any mementos that reflect their life, career, and interests.

Flower arrangements also help to provide a personal touch. Great floral arrangement examples include wreaths, standing sprays, bouquets in vases, and other floral designs. If you’re hosting a visitation funeral, casket sprays are a beautiful addition that sits on top of the casket.

From here, designate someone to remove the flowers from the funeral home after the service is over.

Decide the Order of Events

The order of events is usually displayed on a pamphlet.

This details vital information about the service such as the names of the participants, the readings, and the starting and ending times. You can also include information about the celebration of life if you’re hosting one.

It’s also helpful to include other personal information, such as the obituary.

Inform Your Loved Ones

After you complete these steps, it’s time to inform your loved ones. Always include the location, date and time of the service.

While sending out funeral invitations is customary, you can also call the attendees. The digital age also makes it easy to text and email loved ones as opposed to sending invitations by mail.

Purchase a Guest Book

A guest book helps your family know who attended the funeral. Display the guest book at the entrance of the home. Come prepared with pens, and collect the guest book after the service to keep as a memento.

Your Funeral Arrangements Checklist Is Complete

Planning a funeral can be difficult. Hopefully, this funeral arrangements checklist will keep you organized during the funeral planning process so you can focus on the important things.

Are you looking for a funeral home in San Diego? Contact us today.

Nothing about life is simple or routine. Every individual creates change throughout their life and touches the lives of others. When life comes to pass, it’s comforting to know that there are many options for commemorating those lives.

Picking a funeral ceremony that honors the memory of a departed friend, family member, or loved one can be a bit daunting. The numerous choices let you custom-craft something fitting, but it’s hard to work through all the options when emotions run high.

Making a ceremony to fit a specific person doesn’t have to be overwhelming, though. Starting with a simple template based on broad types, you can arrive at a final event worthy of the departed.

Read on to learn about the types of funeral ceremonies available and the benefits of each.

Funeral Ceremony Types

The following ceremony options differ in where the deceased is ultimately laid to rest, the method of preparation and the types of officiant used. The tone, decor, and length of services all come down to preference.

This listed covers options offered in most of the Western world. If you want to learn more about interesting customs from around the world, check out this article.

Burial at Sea

A common misconception is that burial at sea is only available to Naval personnel. While the Environmental Protection Agency restricts permits for the ceremony, it is possible to request one.

Burial at sea usually involves casting the cremated ashes of the departed into the waters. It’s also possible to purchase special coffins for purposes of full-body burial. Note that burial at sea requires a sea or ocean for full-body services.

Direct Cremation

As you already noted from the previous option, cremation is a component of a variety of services. In a direct cremation, there is no committal service or visitation before the procedure.

Selecting a direct cremation fits best when the deceased lived far from the family or sometimes by medical necessity. The process of cremation is fascinating in its own right and stretches back 8000 years to early services in China.

Typically, when remains are interned in an urn or another such receptacle, a service – such as a wake or memorial – is held to provide closure for the family.

Graveside Service

Not all types of funerals have a graveside (or committal) service. Even so, graveside interment is a popular option that provides a fitting end to the funerary service but also creates a space to return to for memories and comfort.

Garvesides may be small and short events with a few words before lowering the casket. They may also have a larger amount of pomp in the case of military personnel with gun firing salutes and the presentation of a flag.

Green Service

Some would argue that the first services were all-natural services, but the resurgence owes a lot to environmentally conscious movements.

Green services seek to remove as many of the additional trappings of modern technology as possible. This starts with the preparation of the body using fewer, if not zero, embalming chemicals.

Caskets are built of biodegradable materials, and the gravesite is not vaulted with steel or concrete to further lower the carbon footprint.

Memorial Service

Memorial services are probably the thing that people picture when you mention a funeral. This is the process of viewing the body of the deceased. Speaking a eulogy or other remembrances are typical for a memorial.

A critical difference between a memorial and a funeral service, in the insider lexicon, is whether the body is present or not. A ceremony often does not need to have the deceased present in any form.

Memorials are sometimes held concurrently with a funeral service to provide a bereavement option for people that’ can’t attend the main funeral.

Memorials are about celebrating the life of the departed. That said, they can be somber or lively occasions with no wrong way to go.


The fastest-growing sector of religion currently is the nones. Surveys indicate that more of the younger generations prefer to keep faith out of their services.

Sometimes referred to as humanist ceremonies, the most significant change for those attending or arranging a non-religious service is about respect for the wishes of the departed.

It’s common for people, especially older people, to invoke a lot of faith and religion when dealing with loss and death. Non-religious services try to focus on the life that has ended, not promises of possible futures.

Traditional Service

A traditional, or sometimes just funeral, service follows a fairly strict format. Visitors arrive and view the body in the casket, which may be opened or closed. There’s a general period for conversation and sharing thoughts.

The service itself then begins and includes songs, prayers, at least one eulogy but commonly several speakers, and final words spoken by a member of a chosen clergy.

Honoring Wishes and Making Choices

Deciding which ceremonies to include and which ones to avoid comes down to the choices of the departed and budget.

Many people speak idly about what they would want their funeral to be like and who they would want to attend. These thoughts change over time with flashier options spoken by youths and, somber options chosen by adults, and often looser options selected by the elderly.

When express wishes are not listed in a will or other written document, it can be tough to make a decision based on speculation.

In the absence of specific instructions, provide a service that gives something to the loved ones that remain. Death is a final step to a life lived and deserves a moment to be considered by those affected.

Begin Your Process

Combining a few options into a custom funeral ceremony is usually the best way to proceed. The information provided here should get you started in making arrangements or give you the words to make your own wishes known.

If you have further questions about the services we provide and scheduling options, contact us.

An astonishing 6 out of 10 people feel they know very little when it comes to preparing for death.

Although it’s a grim part of life, it’s inevitable. And when it happens, you’ll probably leave behind some loved ones.

This can already be a very emotional and trying time. Don’t make your family handle the burden of your funeral on top of grieving.

It’s good to have a funeral plan in place, so when the time comes, your loved ones can properly grieve without having to worry about other things.

If you’re looking at San Diego funeral homes, here are nine key questions you need to ask them before making a final decision.

1. What Are Your Basic Services and the Cost?

In the United States, funeral homes are allowed by the FTC Funeral Rule to charge a basic service fee. Depending on the funeral home you’re speaking to, they may call it by a different name: non-declinable basic services fee.

As the name suggests, if you agree to use a particular funeral home, this fee is mandatory, and there is no way out of paying it.

By law, at minimum, the basic services must include planning of the funeral, procurement of permits and death certificates, secure storage of the remains, and coordination with other third parties to ensure the funeral goes as planned. This can include communication with a crematorium or cemetery.

2. What Are Your Additional Services and the Costs?

Next, you should ask what the funeral home charges for additional services. This can be extremely beneficial if you’re looking to compare how comprehensive the services of each funeral home are and if their prices are reasonable.

Make sure you ask each establishment to list out what additional services they have and what they charge for each one. That way, you have a clear-cut list to reference should you forget any details.

3. Are There Any Cash Advances?

Many funeral homes will need cash advances to arrange all the services they provide for your funeral. Make sure you understand which cash advances are required – if any.

Funeral homes are required by law to state what these fees are clearly. However, they don’t need to disclose how much they mark up those prices by. The good news is, if they receive any discounts or refunds, they must let you know.

4. What Are My Payment Options?

Funerals are expensive, and for many families, they aren’t able to pay for the total costs upfront. But just because you can’t afford it doesn’t mean you should give up on the services you and your loved ones deserve.

Many funeral homes will coordinate with your insurance company to see if they can get you some financial assistance. They can then work together to get you funeral services on a budget you can afford.

5. How Long Have You Been in Business?

You’ll want to choose a funeral home that has years of experience and, preferably, is family-owned as well. Funerals are a serious and delicate matter, and you need to choose someone that understands the nuances of the whole process.

While you or your family members are grieving, you shouldn’t have to deal with a funeral home that’s insensitive or even downright rude. Also, you need someone you can trust to get everything right so your family can focus on solely being there for one another.

Chain funeral homes aren’t necessarily a wrong choice, but if going local is important to you, it’s worth taking this extra step to look into if they’re family-owned or not.

6. Are You Part of Any Organizations or Associations?

In many professions, it’s vital to receive ongoing education and training; this is necessary to keep up with evolving technologies and methodologies.

For the funeral home industry, this is no different. You should look for membership in either the Academy of Professional Funeral Service Practice or the National Funeral Directors Association.

Many of these organizations offer ongoing training, education, and certification. So membership in these shows a commitment to bringing you the best services available.

7. Do I Have to Buy the Urn or Casket From You Specifically?

Depending on your personal preferences, you may want to look elsewhere for an urn or casket. Or you might want to get everything done under one roof for convenience.

You must have choices. It’s a red flag (and illegal) for a funeral home to either charge you for an outside urn or casket, refuse to use it, or force you to buy either one as part of their services.

8. Is Embalming Mandatory for Burials?

It’s not required by law that embalming is done for burials. However, there are exceptional circumstances where it must be done. These include open casket funerals, transportation of the body, and how long the body is stored before the funeral.

It’s best to discuss with the funeral home whether embalming will be needed for your circumstances.

9. Can I Reach You at All Times?

It’s vital the funeral home is reachable at all times, even if it’s 3:00 am. After all, death occurs at any time of the day.

The funeral home you choose should be available 24/7. They should also be able to clearly explain to you how they handle body retrieval and what you should expect in the process.

Make the Best Choice When It Comes to San Diego Funeral Homes

Planning for a funeral can be a tricky thing, but the burden can be lessened if you work with an experienced and compassionate funeral home.

Take a look at your choices when it comes to San Diego’s funeral homes and make sure to ask those above nine questions to ensure you make the best decision possible.

If you have any other questions or concerns or would like to speak directly to a funeral home, please don’t hesitate to contact us today.

The death of a loved one is never easy. Whether it was an anticipated loss or unexpected, losing someone hurts. To add insult to injury, there are a lot of loose ends to tie when a loved one passes. No one should have to go through it alone.

During this time, your world feels frozen while the rest of the world moves along. The shock of death makes handling the simplest tasks seem unbearable. Thus, surrounding yourself with a helpful support system is crucial, because as you will notice, putting someone to rest involves more than making funeral arrangements.

What Happens After the Death of a Loved One?

After the death of a loved one, you may feel as if you’re living a dream. So many people will reach out to you, yet all you want to do is be alone with your thoughts. When dealing with a loss it’s important to balance alone time and family time. Everyone grieves differently, but too much time alone can lead to serious depression. The benefit and burden of a loss are all the tasks you need to do.

Contacting the Life Insurance Company

One of the most important tasks to complete first is locating the life insurance policy. Many people rely on the life insurance money to cover the cost of a funeral, burial, cremation, or memorial.

The insurance company will want to speak with one of the beneficiaries named in the life insurance policy. They also need the death certificate to process the check. If there are no suspicions about the cause of death and the contestability period is over, there shouldn’t be any delays with the distribution of the money. But if there are suspicions of foul play, suicide, or the contestability period hasn’t passed, the insurance company may conduct an investigation.

Each life insurance policy provides different coverage. For more information, please contact your life insurance provider.

Planning a Funeral or Memorial

The next step is planning the funeral or memorial. When doing this, it’s important to plan by the deceased’s wishes. Many people will discuss their preference for burial or cremation. But if the death occurred unexpectedly, you may need to use your best judgment. By selecting LaVista Memorial Park & Mortuary, you’re investing in a company with over 150 years of experience serving the Greater San Diego area. Our patient staff will help you choose your service, flower arrangements, a casket, and more. Though planning and attending a service is difficult it’s the beginning of the healing process.

The Reading of the Will

Many people use wills to reduce the stress for their family. A will offers protection for your loved ones. By using a will, you’re selecting who receives your money, property, and belongings. If you have children, a will can name their legal guardian.

A will must go through probate through the county office. The estate lawyer will alert the estate executor and supply a copy of the will. The will usually name the executor or representative of the deceased estate. The representative handles giving the named beneficiaries their assets from the will. The law entitles immediate family and listed beneficiaries the right to read the will. But the will becomes public when it enters probate. The law doesn’t require a formal reading of the will. But you can schedule to have the will read before or after the funeral or memorial. If a formal will reading doesn’t happen, the estate executor must contact the beneficiaries to make them aware of what money, property, or belongings go to them. But anyone can go to the courthouse and request to view a copy of it.

If There Is No Will

If there is no will, your loved one’s money, property, and belongings get distributed according to the intestate laws of succession in your state. Most laws of succession consider the children and spouse of the deceased to be the next of kin. The next of kin is usually inherits the money and property left behind.

Handling the Estate and Closing Accounts

The estate representative can work with other family members to ensure all assets are given to the proper person or entity. An estate account can be opened to store all funds. The estate attorney can help the executor through the process.

When your loved one dies they leave behind many accounts for settling and closing. Some of the types of accounts include:

  • Banks & Retirement accounts
  • Credit cards
  • Auto insurance
  • Utilities
  • Online stores (Amazon, eBay, Etsy)
  • Social security
  • Health insurance
  • Cable, internet, phone (Cellular & Landline)

To close out these accounts most companies request a copy of the death certificate, your identification, Letter of Testamentary with the executor’s name, and records of the financial accounts. Remember settling someone’s affairs after their passing away takes time. It won’t happen overnight, but it will happen.

Seek Support

It doesn’t matter if the death was due to advanced age or happened suddenly, everyone needs a shoulder to cry on. It’s important to have support as you grieve. If you haven’t sought help, then think about grief counseling. Grief counseling occurs in individual sessions and a group setting. While it’s not a cure for how you’re feeling, it can help if you allow it.

Continue the Healing Process

The death of a loved one is life-changing. You’re never the same after losing someone. The road to healing is long and winding, but it is reachable.

Contact us today to discuss your options for a loved one’s funeral.


After the death of a loved one, it’s challenging to cope with the loss. On top of that, planning a funeral service can cause even more stress. You have to make sure you invite everyone who knew them. Then, you have to develop an agenda for the ceremony in celebration of the deceased.

Not only is there pressure to get everything right, but a funeral also costs money. All in all, the event can become an expensive ordeal. In fact, the funeral home industry throughout the United States makes a significant amount of money. Already in the year 2019, the industry has generated $17 billion in revenue.

If you’re trying to plan a more affordable funeral service, you’re in luck. Detailed below is how to arrange a respectful funeral without breaking the bank.

Start By Determining What Details You Need

It’s true that there are a lot of potential costs when it comes to a funeral service. You’ll have to consider options like flowers, invitations, and even the officiant. Still, you don’t have to stick to all of the traditional guidelines. For example, when it comes to providing food for the service, feel free to take it easy. You don’t need to offer a full meal to everyone in attendance, after all. Instead, stick to simple appetizers and beverage options that wouldn’t be as expensive.

Another idea is to limit the flowers you buy. It’s common to decorate a funeral service with as many flowers as possible. Still, that’s a cost that can really start to add up. As an alternative, ask everyone who attends to bring their own donation of flowers for the deceased loved one. You can leave a simple line on the invitation regarding the request for anyone who wants to be involved. That way, everyone will feel as though he or she helped in creating this memorial event. It’s a way to establish genuine human participation in a time when people need it the most.

At the end of the day, it’s up to you what factors of this funeral service are essential. For more detailed specifics on typical services, check out this article on your ideal funeral arrangement checklist.

Consider Cremation Over a Burial

Perhaps you’re aware that the process of cremation is significantly cheaper than a full burial. A burial requires everything from embalming to an expensive casket. Instead, cremation is a sensible solution. It’s important, though, that you consider the religious beliefs and personal desires of the deceased. If a burial is requested in a will, for example, you don’t have much of a choice.

Still, consider this statistic from the National Funeral Directors Association. It indicates that not only has cremation become more popular in recent years. It also predicts that Americans will start to choose cremation more and more often than burials in the future. Plus, you can save even more money by bringing your own urn for the ashes. The container can be pretty much anything, which is of particular convenience.

Don’t Get Carried Away By Your Emotions

It’s an unfortunate truth that no matter what, the cost of this funeral service is going to challenge your emotional stability. It’s easy to want to go above and beyond for our loved ones when they pass away. This is true, in particular, when our grief makes our buying decisions on our behalf.

That’s why it’s so essential that you establish a budget and stick to it. As mentioned above, you don’t need to invest in every possible decoration or funeral expense if you’re smart.

When you’ve made a determination about what you’re willing to spend, don’t deviate from it. If you have to, you can ask others to help cover the costs.

Don’t Be Afraid To Ask Friends and Family Members for Financial Assistance

When it comes to the financial burden of a funeral service, you shouldn’t have to bear it alone. Odds are that plenty of other loved ones share a responsibility in the matter.

If you find yourself getting in over your head with the funeral’s expenses, be willing to ask for help. You don’t have to be demanding with your friends and family members, of course. Rather, ask them for donations to cover the costs as a relief to your personal finances.

Host Part of the Ceremony in Your Own Home

The last tip to make the upcoming funeral service affordable is to host part of it yourself. It’s both convenient and sophisticated to hold the main ceremony in a funeral home, of course.

Still, you can invite everyone over for refreshments and mingling after the fact. Doing so will both maintain some genuine human connectivity as well as save you time and money renting a funeral home.

Begin Planning a Funeral Service You Can Afford Today

At this point in the article, you’re likely comfortable with planning a funeral service on a budget. There’s no need to go broke or go into debt to celebrate the life of a loved one. Instead, focus on the more genuine human components of the service – not the materialistic ones.

Still, you don’t want to cut corners that will detract from the service’s sophistication. After all, you deserve the peace of mind that comes from knowing the funeral is a respectful one. That’s why it’s crucial you make the most of every aspect of the service.

Of course, there are a lot of ins and outs to navigate when it comes to planning a funeral service. If you feel as though you’re a bit overwhelmed, that’s understandable.

On top of testing your organizational skills, you’re handling a lot of personal grief. Losing a loved one is never an easy experience in the first place, after all.

Well, that’s where we can help you. We prioritize providing professional, reliable assistance when preparing funeral services. That’s why we encourage you to check out the funeral service arrangements on our website today.

Honoring the memory of a loved one tests one’s endurance, as doing the best job possible requires channeling fortitude during a time of immense emotional fatigue.

A funeral is the traditional and perhaps obvious choice, but it only lasts for one day. An online memorial, however, lasts for as long as you wish, and is an increasingly popular choice among those responsible for arrangements. Since they are a relatively new creation, learning how to create one isn’t common knowledge. If you want to build an online memorial but don’t know how to begin, you’re in luck. We’re going to help you build one that any recently departed loved one would be proud of

Why Do an Online Memorial?

Online memorials are made to pair with a funeral, rather than to supplant one. As you make arrangements for a funeral service, you may be wondering why an online memorial is an increasingly popular choice and if it is right for you to create one, too. Overall, it’s inexpensive, simple, and lasting.

Accessibility is one benefit. Perhaps the deceased had loved ones who would like to attend the funeral, but can’t because of previous obligations or impossible logistics. But if an online memorial has been arranged, they still have an opportunity to mourn and pay their respects, absent attending the service.

Also, unlike a traditional funeral-only arrangement, an online memorial allows those who wish to pay their respects several modern ways to express themselves. With the features to share photos and publish touching stories, an online memorial works a social platform for remembering a lost one, and a choice which creates impact lasting far longer than floral arrangements.

6 Tips for Creating An Online Memorial

For those who have decided to create a moving online memorial but have no idea where to begin, in this article are 6 tips which will introduce you to and guide you through the painless process during a painful time.

One doesn’t require web design experience, nor be a funeral director to build a memorial online which will allow an ailing community to comfort and be comforted. If you’re going to create a memorial of your own, make sure you keep these 6 things in mind.

1. Buy a Domain

An online memorial is simply, at its core, a website. And like any website, one requires a domain, which is the address (or URL) of a website people can locate what is created online.

While free domains are available, buying a custom domain means one can title an online memorial anything. Some who make arrangements choose to name an online memorial the deceased’s full name, or perhaps his or her commonly referred-to nickname.

While choosing a free option has its obvious upside, you have to share the URL with the domain registrar, which makes it difficult to find the memorial. Most custom domains cost a reasonable fee, some less than $20 annually.

2. Expand on the Obituary

Online memorials offer an opportunity to publish an obituary. Traditionally published obituaries on newspapers — or more recently funeral home sites — charge fees for space and length, which restricts one who writes an obituary from expressing grief in a healthy way.

While publishing an obituary in a newspaper is still a good idea for many, one who makes arrangements with an online memorial can also publish the same obituary online, where he or she is at liberty to express themselves more fully.

Online obituaries also offer comment sections, where those in mourning may include memories of their own, or share compassionate sentiments with one another.

3. Consider Using Social Media

If your loved one has not created a social media presence, in the present day, many of whom are grieving their loss are active on social media and are searching for a profile of the recently departed to comment on. One who makes arrangements should consider accessing the departed’s social media accounts, or create one of the behalf of him or her, to more easily facilitate those who wish to grieve on common social media platforms. In addition, creating social sharing buttons to an online memorial makes it easy for the community to share the site amongst their own personal network, which can reach even more people.

4. Use a Quality Scanner for Photos

As previously mentioned, online memorials offer the opportunity to share photos of your loved one amongst his or her grieving community, and his or her survivors likely have a collection of cherished, photographed memories they would like to share.

However, it is likely that many in the collection of photos are physical copies rather than digital. Use of a scanner will digitize these physical copies, but make sure it performs high-quality scans in an effort to honor the deceased memory. Those who lack access to a suitable scanner can try using a scanning app on their phone before making an expensive purchase of a real scanner.

5. Think About What They Loved

The passing a loved one is an emotionally wrought affair. While one expects to attend a funeral to express grief, sadness, and anger; what is less often acknowledged are the more joyous moments experienced in a funeral that release the tension, such as a portrait of a loved one flashing a pearly-white smile, or a serendipitous story told to elicit a brief laugh. To supplement a similar experience digitally for an online memorial, honor the memory of a loved one by incorporating what your loved one once enjoyed. Some things to consider may be a song from their favorite musician, a plant from their beloved garden, or some art they poured the soul into. Design an online memorial that represents the joy your loved one once experienced or created.

6. Add a Comment Wall

The stories the community brings and shares when gathering together to remember a respected member who passed in a funeral can be digitally recreated as well. As mentioned further above, a comment section is a feature in an online memorial, and it is key for the community to interact with one another.

A comment section is an easy way for people to share memories. When finding a comment feature, find one with a built-in spam detector. Unfortunately, robots are on the web looking for comment sections on any kind of website to spam advertisements, and moderating a comment section while in any circumstance is draining work.

Reach Out

Building a beautiful online memorial is something anyone that wants to honor their loved one can do. If you follow the tips in this post you’ll have a memorial you can be proud of. One who makes arrangements can handle creating a digital memorial for a loved one, but anyone planning their service and final resting place should have help available.

Whether you need advice on burial methods or want help planning a beautiful service, we’re here to help. Contact us today so we can find the right way to honor your loved one.