Frequently Asked Questions
We have heard thousands of questions, and chosen to provide you with the answers to some of the more common questions relating to a funeral, a funeral service and funeral homes.
- What is a funeral?
The funeral is a ceremony of proven worth and value for those who mourn. It provides an opportunity for the survivors and others who share in the loss to express their love, respect and grief. It permits facing openly and realistically the crisis that death may present. Through the funeral, the bereaved take that first step towards emotional adjustment to their loss.
- What type of service should I have?
Only you can answer that question. The type of service conducted for the deceased, if not noted in a pre-arrangement, is decided by the family. The service is usually held at a place of worship or at the funeral home. The service may vary in ritual according to religious denomination or the wishes of the family. The presence of friends at this time is an acknowledgment of friendship and support. A private service is by invitation only where selected relatives and a few close friends attend the funeral service. A memorial service is usually a service without the body present and can vary in ceremony and procedures according to the family's community and religious affiliations.
- Can I personalize my funeral service?
Absolutely, in fact, we recommend it. After all, the funeral is the honoring of a life. Funeral directors are happy to discuss all options and ensure your funeral is tailored to your wishes. It may be personalized in many unique ways. Contact us at (765) 966-0596 to explore the possibilities.
- Why should we have a public viewing?
There are many reasons to view the deceased. It is part of many cultural and ethnic traditions, and many grief specialists believe that viewing aids the grief process, by helping the bereaved recognize the reality of death. Viewing is even encouraged for children, as long as it is their desire to do so, and the process is explained well. The visitation is a time of reminiscing, sharing memories, and honoring all facets of the deceased's life.
- Why do we need an obituary notice?
It is helpful to friends and the community to have an obituary notice published announcing the death and type of service to be held. A notice can be placed in local newspapers or newspapers where survivors live or the deceased lived, on the newspaper's website, on the local radio during the reading of obituaries, on the radio's website, and on the funeral home's website.
- What do funeral directors do?
Funeral directors are both caregivers and administrators. In their administrative duties, they make the arrangements for transportation of the body, complete all necessary paperwork, and implement the choices made by the family regarding the funeral and final disposition of the body. As caregivers, funeral directors are listeners, advisors and supporters. They have experience assisting the bereaved in coping with death. Funeral directors are trained to answer questions about grief, recognize when a person is having difficulty coping, and recommend sources of professional help. Funeral directors also link survivors with support groups at the funeral home or in the community.
- What should I do if the death occurs in the middle of the night or on the weekend?
We are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. All you need to do is place a call to us at (765) 966-0596. If you request immediate assistance, one of our professionals will be there within the hour. If the family wishes to spend a short time with the deceased to say good bye, it's acceptable. Then one of our professionals will come when your time is right.
- What should I do if a death occurs while away from home?
Your hometown funeral director can assist you if a death occurs anywhere on the globe. Contact us, your hometown funeral home, immediately. We will assume responsibility and coordinate the arrangements for the return of the deceased person to our community. We may engage the services of a funeral director in the place of death who will act as our agent, depending on the distance.
- What is the purpose of embalming?
Embalming sanitizes and preserves the body, retards the decomposition process, and enhances the appearance of a body disfigured by traumatic death or illness. It makes it possible to lengthen the time between death and the final disposition, thus allowing family members time to arrange and participate in the type of service most comforting to them. Embalming the body enables mourners to view the deceased if they wish. The emotional benefits of viewing the deceased are enormous, particularly to those having difficulty dealing with the death.
- Is embalming mandatory by law?
No. But, certain factors of time, health and possible legal requirements might make embalming either appropriate or necessary. Please note that embalming may be required if the deceased is being transported by air to another country where local laws need to be observed.
- Is cremation a substitute for a funeral?
No, cremation is an alternative to earth burial or entombment for the body's final disposition and often follows a traditional funeral service with the deceased present. We can assist you with the necessary information for a visitation and/or funeral with a cremation following, or a memorial visitation and/or memorial service following the cremation.
- Can I have a visitation period and a funeral service if cremation is chosen?
Yes. Cremation does not preclude having a visitation and a funeral service prior to the cremation or a memorial visitation and a memorial service after the cremation. Cremation is simply one option for final disposition of the body.
- Is cremation as a means of disposition increasing?
Yes, but not dramatically.
- Have funeral costs increased significantly?
Funeral costs have increased no faster than the consumer price index for other consumer items.
- Why are funerals so expensive?
In some respects, funerals are a lot like weddings or birthday celebrations. The type and cost will vary according to the tastes and budget of the consumer. Not only that, a funeral home is a 24-hour, labor-intensive business, with extensive facilities (viewing rooms, chapels, limousines, hearses, etc.), and these expenses must be factored into the cost of a funeral. Moreover, the cost of a funeral includes not only merchandise, like caskets, but the services of a funeral director in making arrangements; filing appropriate forms; dealing with doctors, ministers, florists, newspapers and others; and seeing to all the necessary details. Contrary to popular belief, funeral homes are largely family-owned with a modest profit margin.
- What are certified copies of the death certificate and how many will I need?
Your funeral director will gather all pertinent biographical information of the deceased and will enter this information into the Indiana Death Registry System. Then, the certifier (physician or coroner) will electronically sign the death certificate with the cause of death, date of death, and other pertinent information. Then, the Health Department will file the death certificate with the state and issue certified copies to the family of the deceased. The funeral director is usually able to obtain certified copies prior to the completion of the funeral service, but this is not always possible, especially if the doctor was not available to sign the death certificate right away, if death occured out-of-town, or if the cause of death is pending investigation. Certified copies are often needed for: life insurance claims; pension, IRA, and other benefits; accounts at banks and credit unions; stocks and bonds; title and deeds to property; vehicle registration and title changes; attorneys and CPAs; home mortgages; and other insurance (credit card, automobile).
Cemetery Common Questions
The answers below are here because these are the most commonly-asked questions. If yours isn't listed, we invite you to call us. We're here to provide the information you need, when you need it.
- Are cemeteries running out of space?
Just like other open spaces, cemeteries are impacted by increased population density in both urban and rural areas. Cemetery spaces are a finite resource, and as such, are at a premium in some regions.
- What is Perpetual Care?
"Perpetual Care" usually refers to the correct terms Permanent Care or Endowment Care. These Care funds are collected with each Interment Space sale to maintain the grounds, roads, and buildings of the cemetery.
- Can the vault be personalized?
Yes, we can show you the wide range of personalization choices, including customized nameplates and military insignias.
- Are there vaults for cremated remains?
Yes, we offer urn vaults, designed for in-ground burial of cremated remains.
- Can two cremations be performed at once?
Never. Not only is it illegal to do so, most modern cremation chambers are not of sufficient size to accommodate more than one adult. Thus it would be a practical impossibility to conduct multiple cremations simultaneously.
- Does a body have to be embalmed before it is buried?
No, embalming is not required for burial. It is always your choice. Your decision may depend on such factors as whether the family selected a service with a public viewing of the body with an open casket; or to enhance the deceased's appearance for a private family viewing; or if the body is going to be transported by air or rail, or because of the length of time prior to the burial.
- Must I purchase a burial vault?
In most areas of the country, state or local laws do not require that you buy a container to surround the casket in the grave. However, many cemeteries require that you have such a container so that the ground will not sink. Either a grave liner or a burial vault will satisfy these requirements.
- What are the advantages of a mausoleum burial?
Mausoleum crypts are both clean and dry. They offer a viable alternative for those who simply have an aversion of being interred in the ground. Furthermore, with the growing shortage of available land for cemetery use, mausoleums will allow for a maximum number of entombments in a minimum amount of space.
- What is a columbarium?
A columbarium, often located within a mausoleum, chapel or in a garden setting, is constructed with numerous small compartments (niches) designed to hold urns containing cremated remains.