General Funeral Questions
What is meant by the term “disposition”?
“Disposition” refers to the placement of cremated or whole remains in their final resting place.
What are vaults made of?
Vaults are made of concrete, metal, or wood.
What is a vault?
A vault is a grave liner that completely encloses the casket on all sides once the casket is in the ground. Vaults are used to keep the ground from sinking down around the grave site as the earth settles.
What is an outer burial container?
An outer burial container, also known as a grave liner, is a concrete cover that fits over a casket in a grave. Some liners may cover both the tops and sides of the casket. Outer containers are used to minimize the ground sinking down around the grave site as the earth settles.
What is a grave liner?
A grave liner, also known as an outer container, is a concrete cover that fits over a casket in a grave. Some liners may cover both the tops and sides of the casket. A vault is a grave liner that completely encloses the casket. Grave liners are used to minimize the ground sinking down around the grave site as the earth settles.
What is an ossuary?
An ossuary is a facility used to store human bones. In previous times, ossuaries were often used in areas where grave space was scarce. In this case, a body might be buried in a temporary grave and exhumed some years later after decomposition had occurred, with the bones then being moved into permanent housing in the ossuary. There are many examples of ossuaries in Europe which date back to the Middle Ages. The Roman Catholic, Eastern Orthodox, and Jewish religions all have a history of using ossuaries to store their dead.
What is a mausoleum?
A mausoleum is a permanent, above-ground building in which remains are buried or entombed. The mausoleum has several chambers inside for holding casketed remains.
What is a grave?
A grave is commonly defined as space in the ground used for the burial of remains. The grave is usually located inside a cemetery.
What is a casket?
A casket is a box or chest for burying the remains of a deceased person. A casket is sometimes also called a coffin.
What happens to the body when the medical school has finished its research?
Once the school is finished with its teaching and research, the remains are cremated. The cremated remains may be dispersed or buried by the school, or they may be returned to family if so desired.
Does body donation interfere with funeral arrangements?
While it is not possible to have an open casket viewing with a whole body donation, the donor family may opt to have a memorial service with the cremated remains.
If you are an organ donor, how do you make sure your wishes are carried out by the funeral home?
If you want to be an organ donor after your death, you should:
- Sign up as an organ and tissue donor in your state’s donor registry (you can locate your state’s donor registry at www.organdonor.gov), or fill out an organ donor card when you get or renew your driver’s license.
- Include organ donation in your advance directives, will, and living will.
- Tell your family you have elected to be an organ donor after you die.
- Tell your physician, friends, and pastor or other faith leader.
Having this information on record will enable the funeral home to make the appropriate arrangements.
What are my options to ship cremated remains?
In the United States, the only way you can legally ship cremated remains is through the United States Postal Service via Priority Mail Express. FedEx, UPS or other carriers do not ship cremated remains. There are specific requirements for preparing, packaging, and shipping human or animal cremated remains. USPS has provided guidelines in their document “How to Package and Ship Cremated Remains.”
Learn more about shipping requirements from the Cremation Association of North America (CANA).
What is the average cost to fly cremated remains back home?
If you are considering flying with the cremated remains, you will pay the cost of your plane ticket, and depending on the airline, possibly a small fee. Most airlines will allow you to transport cremated remains, either as air cargo, or as carry-on or checked luggage (traveling with you).
You will need to check the individual airline policy regarding transport of cremated remains. The Transportation Security Administration (TSA) policy allows airline passengers to carry cremated remains, as long as they are in a container through which they can scan and determine the contents. Read more on TSA rules related to traveling with cremated remains.
What does it cost to ship an embalmed body back home by air?
The cost can vary widely due to several factors. The body will usually be shipped by cargo plane, and the shipping cost is calculated according to the weight and the distance between the point of origin and the final destination.
The funeral home is legally required to make the air shipping arrangements. Shipping charges inside the US may cost up to several thousand dollars, while the cost to ship a person’s body internationally can be $10,000-$20,000, says International Insurance.