Frequently Asked Questions

General Funeral Questions

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General Funeral Questions

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What information should I bring to the arrangement conference?

  • Advance Directives – If the deceased left any written advance directives concerning the disposition of his remains and memorialization, you need to bring them with you. These instructions may be found in a will, or there may be a formally witnessed disposition directive, funeral pre-arrangements, or a pre-need contract.
  • Military Discharge Papers
  • Details on any cemetery property owned by the deceased or the family (grave plot, columbarium space, etc.)
  • Recent photograph of the deceased and any personal effects that you wish to be included in the viewing or burial

Specific Information On The Deceased:

  • Full legal name
  • Address
  • Marital status
  • Social Security number
  • Date of birth
  • Place of birth (city and state)
  • Educational history (number of years of schooling)
  • Armed Forces service dates and serial number
  • Occupation or profession
  • Parent’s names, including mother’s maiden name
  • Next of kin and other survivors

What is a plot?

A plot is a specific piece of ground located in a cemetery which is owned by a family or an individual. It is used to bury the casketed body or urn containing cremated remains. Most plots contain two or more graves.

What is the difference between an outer burial container and a vault?

A vault is an outer container that completely encloses the casket on all sides once the casket is in the ground. An outer container does not completely encase the casket, but may simply cover the top of the casket, or may cover both tops and sides, but not the bottom. Both vaults and outer containers are used to minimize ground settling.

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. A vault is a grave liner that completely encloses the casket. Outer containers are used to minimize ground settling.

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 ground settling.

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 is meant by the term “disposition”?

“Disposition” refers to the placement of cremated or whole remains in their final resting place.

Who is considered next of kin for the purpose of making funeral arrangements?

In general, the next of kin will follow in this order: Spouse or domestic partner; Children ; Parents;
Siblings; Authorized guardian; Grandchildren; Great-grandchildren; Nieces and nephews; Grand-nieces and grand-nephews; Grandparents; Aunts and uncles; First cousins; Great-grandchildren of Grandparents; Second cousins; and Fiduciary (a legally appointed trustee).

What is a mass card?

In the Catholic religion, a mass card indicates that a Mass for the deceased has been arranged.

What is an affirmation or celebration of life service?

The “Affirmation or Celebration of Life” Service is an alternate type of service that is highly personalized and follows no standard set of rules. It may be religious or non-religious, and can vary widely in content and format, depending on the plans and wishes of the deceased and their family.

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