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.

Viewing

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.

Visitation

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.

Non-Religious

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.

Funeral planning can be very difficult for the family of the deceased. While having to face their own grief, they are being asked to make decisions about how to say goodbye to their loved one. 

Of course, they want the farewell services to be meaningful and honor their loved one. But planning a funeral at such a time of sadness can be overwhelming. There is planning the funeral and making all the decisions that go with it. 

One way to personalize a funeral service is by choosing music for the service that your loved one would have liked.

Musical choices have a special way of offering comfort, encouragement, and sometimes hope during the funeral proceedings. Consider these 11 funeral hymns which are popular choices that offer the right tone and message for the service. 

1. Ave Maria

“Ave Maria,” which is translated from Latin to mean Hail Mary, is a popular funeral choice. It was written by Franz Schubert in 1825 and has many different versions in multiple languages. There are many famous renditions of the song by well-known singers. 

For a funeral, the version that is most often used is the Latin prayer version. The familiarness and beautiful vocals are likely to offer comfort. 

2. Amazing Grace

A traditional funeral song, “Amazing Grace,” offers the message of peace and salvation after death. The song finishes in the final stanza with a strong religious message of the afterlife which is sure to offer comfort to mourners. 

It starts:

“Amazing grace! how sweet the sound! 
That saved a wretch like me! 
I once was lost, but now I’m found; 
Was blind, but now I see.”

This message of a new beginning in the afterlife makes this song, with many versions, one of the most popular funeral hymns. 

3. I Watch The Sunrise

The message is strong and comforting in “I Watch the Sunrise.” This hymn by John Glynn reminds listeners that the Lord is with us always, morning and night.

Its connection for a funeral can be quite comforting to those mourning. Like the Lord is with us, so too is your loved one still with you.

4. Abide With Me

The title is important in this popular funeral hymn. The message for Jesus to “Abide With Me” through all the hurdles of life. The challenge of death included in that plea.

In the last stanza of the hymn, there is a strong connection to death.

“Hold now your Word before my closing eyes.
Shine through the gloom and point me to the skies.
Heaven’s morning breaks and earth’s vain shadows flee;
in life, in death, O Lord, abide with me.”

The final message being if we abide in the Lord, he will show us the way even in death. 

5. In the Sweet By and By

This popular funeral hymn has its roots in American folk music. It offers up the message of hope. It lyrics cast an image of peace. The Lord offers a chance at new peace in a new land. 

Written by Sanford Fillmore Bennet in 1868, it a song filled with the message of peace and comfort. 

6. I’ll Fly Away

The gospel song’s message of peace was written by Albert E. Brumley in 1929. The song changes the viewpoint of the listener. 

Consider that life is a time of troubles and challenges. In death, you can hope for joy and comfort. “I’ll Fly Away” asks listeners to imagine life’s challenges can be set aside when reaching the restful moments of death.

7. Be Not Afraid

“Be Not Afraid” is a popular Catholic hymn. Written by Bob Dufford, S.J., during a time when he faced his own fear and anxiety about the future. He was about to be ordained as a priest and was struggling with his own future. 

It is not a verse offering comfort to those struggling with what is ahead. It has been used at everything from a presidential inauguration service to the bedside of those facing death. It also remains very popular at funeral services for its message of casting fear aside for what is coming.

8. The Old Rugged Cross

This is a song sung in many different versions including by popular country performers. It illuminates the dedication to Jesus Christ and the importance of celebrating him on the cross. 

“So I’ll cherish the old rugged cross, till my trophies at last I lay down.” It asks Christians to cling to the cross as they move through life and death.

9. How Great Thou Art

Based on a 19th-century Swedish poem, this song illuminates nature’s beauty. It has a familiar chorus that will be recognizable to worshippers and easy for them to join.

The song praises the wonders of God as he holds our hands. It offers mourners the idea of that someday you will meet with God on your path. 

10. To God Be the Glory

“To God Be the Glory” is a beloved Christian hymn for funerals. It carries the message that even though we might feel grief, despair, and sadness at death there will be a meeting with Jesus Christ. With this meeting, there will be a chance to rejoice with him, Jesus Christ. 

11. The Lord’s My Shepherd I’ll Not Want

This commonly used hymn was written by James Montgomery and is based on Psalm 23. The most well-known line of the hymn, “Yea, though I walk through the valley of the shadow of death, I will fear no evil: for thou art with me; thy rod and thy staff they comfort me.”

It speaks to the guidance of the Lord on the path through life and into death. It has a message of comfort while finding guidance through the Lord.

Best Funeral Hymns for Religious Services

While nobody wants to be in the position of planning a funeral for a loved one, it is the unavoidable part of life. The goal should be to create a service that is personal to the deceased and comforting to the living. Choosing the right funeral hymns will personalize the service in a special way.

For more advice on funeral planning or pre-planning of funeral services, contact us today.

End of life planning is never a pleasant subject and many delay this all-important aspect for what will eventually happen to all of us.

Having a pre-set arrangement eases the burden on the family during that stressful time and allows them to focus on the memories.

For years, traditional burial was the route most people chose. Now, cremation is gaining in popularity for several reasons, including the price. Another advantage is preserving land space that is quickly becoming a premium commodity.

When investigating this option, one should always consider the person’s wishes and religious or cultural beliefs when discussing the possibility of cremation.

Cremation itself does cost less than burial in a cemetery, but there are more things to consider when dealing with the loss of a loved one.

So, what does cremation cost and how does it compare to burial? In addition, what other details are involved?

Let’s explore the differences.

Burial vs Cremation

Here are the differences to understand between Burial and Cremation before you make a decision on what is best for you and your family.

Burial

Having a family burial plot was a long-valued tradition for hundreds of years. In many cases, it still is, but now more families are spread over a larger distance. It may not be as convenient to have just one piece of land as the final resting spot for the entire family.

Purchasing a burial plot can be a great symbolic honor for your family. Some people object to the thought of their loved one, or themselves, being buried, but others very much embrace it. If the plot is far from most members of the family, they are limited in the times they can go and pay respects where their loved one is buried.

Cremation

More people are starting to see the benefits of both ground burial and cremation.

Cremation is the process of reducing the physical body to a small amount of dust-like consistency. The body is put into a cremation chamber and using extreme heat; it becomes mostly pieces of bone. The process takes approximately two to three hours for an adult. This time takes into account the size and weight of the body along with the container it was placed in.

After the remains have cooled, any metal items remaining; such as bridgework, joint implants or even casket hardware are removed. The rest is turned into a fine powder and given to the family for final handling.

Cremation allows for the remains to be divided, stored and honored; however the family wishes.

While this method has increased over the years, it is important to remember that the process can obviously not be reversed. The decision needs to be thoroughly discussed and clearly documented, so there is no doubt at the appropriate time.

Direct cremation does not have the added expense of embalming, and the purchase of a casket is not required. Keep in mind, if you do want a funeral service with the casket, that cost is added and the cremation will take place afterward.

The Cremation Process

With the lower cost of cremation and the ease of storing the remains, the interest is growing; however, some people are still curious about the process.

The deceased will be picked up and taken to the funeral home. At this point, the identification process is started and strictly followed through the rest of the process.

While the paperwork is being finalized and the services are being planned, the body is placed in cold storage at a secure location. Cremation time varies but typically happens within 48 hours from the time of death.

At the time of cremation, the body is placed in the container the family has chosen. It may be constructed of cardboard, a wooden casket, or even a regular casket that is approved for cremation. You are unable to use a metal casket.

The identification paperwork is checked again before proceeding with the cremation. Upon completion, the cooling process begins, and the powder remains are provided to the family.

End of Life Planning–The Whole Cost

When pre-planning for the financial responsibility of final arrangements, it is more than just a burial versus cremation. There are other services and fees included. The total cost, with either option, depends greatly on which of those services you include.

Along with the disposition of the body, most people do want some type of memorial service. This can take place as a viewing, wake, funeral service or a combination of all three. Each option carries added fees depending on the funeral home and how they structure their packages.

You can choose a private viewing for just family and close friends. A public viewing, or wake, is open to anyone and since the funeral home has to make arrangements and announce it, the cost does increase.

The cost of just the cremation process itself is about $1,000. This does not include the urn or any of the above-mentioned services. The average cost of a burial, including the funeral, is typically over $10,000.

Based on these numbers alone, it is easy to see the savings in going with cremation.

Additional Cremation Cost

As mentioned above, the remains of your loved one will need a final resting place. Some people prefer to have their ashes spread over a certain spot that is dear to them or dropped from a plane or into a body of water. Others prefer to have them entombed in a mausoleum.

For those, however, that wish to have their remains preserved in the possession of a loved one, then an urn or some other type of vessel is needed to hold them.

There are many options for beautiful urns to house their remains. They are offered in a variety of designs for unique taste and some offer a shadow-box to hold precious mementos and others have a place for a photograph.

If there are any unique transportation requirements for either the body or the remains, this will affect the total cost. Also, any obituary services are extra. You may choose to run an obituary in a local newspaper or have an online memorial.

How to Pay for Your Final Arrangements

Pre-planning is essential, not only for securing the wishes of your loved one but also to ensure the monies are available for everything that is desired.

The caring professionals at the funeral home can design the exact package that will fit your needs. You can then start to put money away to cover the cost. The funds from insurance policies can also be allocated for this expense.

If you have been unable to do either of those, ask to see if financing is an option. This can help reduce the immediate stress and cost for whichever option you choose. However, make sure you understand all the terms and fees on the financing paperwork as it is not always the best way to go.

The Choice

We all want to do our best to honor our loved ones when they pass.

The recent trend in moving towards cremation is a way to reduce overall costs and still have a treasured part of the deceased to hold onto.

Cremation cost makes the choice easier and reduces the stress in making the final arrangements.

For more information on how we can help with your pre-planning or arrangement needs, please contact us.

More than 2.7 million people die in the U.S. every year, saying your final goodbyes and planning a funeral can be difficult.

Although not everybody has a funeral at the time of their death, the vast majority of people do have some kind of funeral service.

The funeral planning process can be very difficult on those families that have to go through it. The grief that they feel can make it almost impossible for them to focus on putting the right plans into place.

In a perfect world, everyone would pre-plan their own funeral to lift the burden off the shoulders of their family members. But unfortunately, there are still some people who aren’t taking advantage of funeral pre-planning services.

If your loved one fell into this category and didn’t pre-plan, here are 5 funeral planning tips that can help you plan out a funeral for them.

1. Create a Budget Before Funeral Planning Begins

How much can your family afford to spend on your loved one’s funeral? That’s one of the first questions you should ask when you start funeral planning.

On average, families usually pay a little more than $7,000 for funerals with a burial these days. The median cost for a funeral with a cremation, meanwhile, sits at just a shade over $6,000.

But in reality, you could spend a whole lot more than that or a whole lot less than that based on your loved one’s specific funeral arrangements. If, for example, you spend $5,000 on a casket, that is obviously going to make a funeral with a burial way more than $7,000.

Come up with a budget for your loved one’s funeral and vow to stick to it. You want to pay your respects to your loved one, but you don’t want to put your family into debt for the foreseeable future to do it.

2. Pick Out the Best Funeral Home

There are right around 20,000 funeral homes in the U.S. today. They range from large funeral homes that do a bunch of funerals every week to small funeral homes that only do a few funerals every month.

You probably have at least a half-dozen funeral homes in your city or town. It’s your job to find the best one for your loved one’s funeral services.

A great funeral home should have:

  • Plenty of experience when it comes to both burials and cremations
  • A well-maintained funeral home with more than enough space for your loved one’s family members, friends, neighbors, coworkers, and more
  • Affordable pricing on funeral services
  • A location that will be easy for people to find and get to on the day of your loved one’s funeral
  • A website filled with valuable resources for families looking to work their way through funeral planning

Many families rush through this part of the process and pay for it later. Take your time when choosing a funeral home and look for the best one for your family’s needs.

3. Find the Right Funeral Director

A funeral home might be able to deliver all of the things that we just mentioned. But if they don’t have a funeral director that you love, they won’t be your best option.

In the days leading up to your loved one’s funeral services, the funeral director at the funeral home that you choose will handle ironing out every single detail. From transporting your loved one’s body to the funeral home to helping you arrange the music for their funeral, they should leave no stone unturned.

If you don’t feel 100 percent comfortable with the funeral director at a funeral home, that funeral home isn’t a good fit for you. You’ll be making a mistake if you continue to move forward with them.

4. Consider Using Grief Counseling Services

Most families are stuck in a state of grief when they first show up at a funeral home. They don’t know what to say or do and struggle to even process the emotions they’re feeling.

Are you experiencing this at the moment? If so, use the grief counseling services available through most funeral homes. They can help you talk through your emotions so that you can get a grip on them.

Think about joining a grief support group in the coming weeks, too. Your funeral home should be able to point you in the right direction and tell you about groups in your area.

5. Personalize Your Loved One’s Funeral as Much as Possible

Families sometimes fall into the trap of thinking that they need to spend a fortune in order to send their loved one off during their funeral. This couldn’t be further from the truth.

While you might want to spend a little extra to get them the casket or urn you know they would have loved, the success of your loved one’s funeral service shouldn’t hinge on how much you spend on it.

Rather than spending more than you can afford to on a funeral, make your loved one’s services special by personalizing them. You can do it by:

  • Creating photo and video tributes to your loved one and displaying them at the funeral
  • Selecting songs for the funeral that you know your loved one would have liked
  • Choosing readings for the funeral that reflect what your loved one was all about
  • Asking different family members and friends to share their memories of your loved one during the funeral

It won’t cost you anything to do most of these things. But they’ll leave a big impact on those in attendance at your loved one’s funeral and show everyone how much your loved one meant to your family.

Start Planning a Funeral for Your Loved One Today

The funeral planning process can be challenging and completely overwhelming for some families. They don’t know where to begin and get so overcome by grief that they drag their feet while making funeral plans.

Avoid this by working with the best funeral home and funeral director. They’ll show you the right steps to take to make your loved one’s funeral a memorable affair.

Contact us today if you need help with planning a funeral from start to finish.