If you’re lucky, you’ve never had to make funeral or cremation arrangements. For most people, however, the time will come when final arrangements will need to be made for a family member or friend and there are several things you’ll need to know. To help, we’ve taken some frequently asked questions about final arrangements and provided the answers:
My loved one just died. Now what do I do?
If the death is unanticipated, call 911. The police will take appropriate steps depending upon the situation. In the case of a non-suspicious death of an apparently healthy individual, the police call the State Medical Examiner’s office and await instructions. If the death was suspicious in nature, then the Medical Examiner will most likely order an autopsy.
When is it time to call the funeral home?
A family member should call the funeral home as soon as possible. The staff at the funeral home understands the stress you’re going through and will make sure to make the process as simple and smooth as possible. We will ask some specific questions, such as the name and location of the family member who passed away, the name of the attending physician and the name of the next of kin.
Who makes the funeral arrangements?
The person who has legal authority to authorize the funeral service, such as an executor or designated next of kin, makes the arrangements. Immediate family members and close friends may want to help. However, the person who authorizes the service accepts financial responsibility for the arrangements.
How much does a funeral cost?
According to the National Funeral Directors Association, the median cost of a funeral and burial is $7,181. The final cost depends on a variety of factors, includes what services you want and which merchandise (flowers, casket, etc.) you buy. We will work with you to give you the funeral you want within your budget. And we’re transparent about pricing: You can find all of our rates and charges on our website.
What does cremation cost?
The NFDA reports that the median cost of a funeral with viewing and cremation is $6,078. However, we have simple packages starting at $1,295. As with funerals, the final cost depends on the service and merchandise that you desire. Again, all of our prices can be found on our website.
Can you have a funeral if you’re cremated?
Just because someone is cremated does not mean that the family cannot have a viewing and funeral service. All of the customs and ceremonies associated with a traditional funeral can still be performed prior to the cremation taking place. For these occasions, we offer economical cremation caskets and rental caskets.
Does the funeral home handle cemetery arrangements?
If a burial plot has not been purchased, the person making the arrangements will have to work with the cemetery to purchase a burial or entombment space. Some funeral director can make these arrangements on behalf of a family.
Do I need to order a casket from the funeral home.
You do not have to buy a casket from the funeral home. Federal law requires the funeral provider to accept one you provide from another source. So shop around; it may be that the funeral home has the best price. But if you’re looking for something they don’t carry, you can look elsewhere.
Does the body have to be embalmed?
No, in New Hampshire embalming is not required by law. However, embalming is required if the family has selected a funeral service with a public wake or viewing. Embalming is also required if the deceased is to be transported from one state to another by common carrier. For example, if an individual passes away in Florida and is to be transported by airplane to New Hampshire for burial, embalming would be required.
Do I need a death certificate and where do I get it?
Official death certificate copies are typically required for multiple legal purposes, including:
- Notifying Social Security
- Notifying insurance companies (life insurance, vehicle insurance, etc.; 1 for each policy held)
- Notifying mortgage and/or title companies (1 for each property or company)
- Notifying banks, credit card companies, and/or investment companies (1 for each account)
- Applying for Veterans benefits, if your loved one was a Veteran
- Changing vehicle registration and/or titles
- Probating an estate.
What will I need to bring to the funeral home when making arrangements?
Some of the things you’ll need include:
- Birth certificate
- Military discharge papers (form DD 214)
- List of surviving relatives and their cities of residence
- Recent photograph for cosmetizing and hair styling
- Insurance papers (if used to pay for the funeral)
- Pre-arrangement funeral data (if any)
- Cemetery deed
- Personal items, such as jewelry, eye glasses and religious items.
If you have any other questions, our staff will be happy to answer them. Just call us toll-free at 1-800-PHANEUF or at (603) 625-5777. Or request our free brochure and planning guide that explains our burial and cremation services, package options, veterans services and packages, and provides full disclosure of all of our prices. You can request it to be sent by mail or you can download it.