Top 5 Myths of Funeral Service
By Rick Allen, Allen Family Funeral Options, Collin LIVING WELL Magazine
For many years, the funeral industry has been veiled in a cloak of mystery and even fear about the entire process. People have had fears about the funeral industry for a couple of primary reasons. First, the experience itself is something most people will only be responsible for dealing with once or possibly twice in their lifetime, so there is no familiarity of the process. All of us are a little leery about the unknown, so just not knowing what to expect causes anxiety. Second, the public perception about funerals is that they are extremely expensive. This can be true, depending on the choices a family makes regarding the type of funeral service, merchandise selected and whether or not cemetery property has been secured in the past or if that too is a required expense at the time. So, let’s explore the top five myths about funerals and see if we can clear up some of the confusion or misinformation that exists on the subject.
- Embalming is required – Every state has their own rule regarding embalming. In Texas, as in most states, the requirement for embalming is left up to the funeral home. Typically, if a body is going to be viewed or present at a public service or visitation, embalming will be required by the funeral home. This is necessary for public health purposes and a body that has been properly embalmed and prepared for viewing presents a better memory picture for those seeking closure in dealing with their grief. If cremation is your choice, and no one will need to see the deceased once they have been brought into the care of the funeral home, embalming is not necessary.
- Cremation is cheaper than burial – In a nutshell, yes. This is true because you eliminate the need for cemetery property in most cases. However, if you have a traditional funeral service followed by cremation the cost will be the same. The difference, or savings, lies in the fact that the need for cemetery property is eliminated. Most funeral homes offer a ceremonial (or rental) casket for those who desire a traditional funeral but also want cremation. The absolute cheapest way to dispose of a deceased individual’s body is by direct cremation. With this option, there is no viewing and no service at all. Additionally, only a minimal container (usually constructed of cardboard) is all that is required to hold the body.
- Only one person can be buried in a single grave space – Most cemeteries are now offering what is referred to as a second rite of interment. For a fee, usually a percentage of the cost of the grave space, a second interment can be made. If a burial has been made in the past, the second interment may be limited to only cremains. If it is designated prior to the first burial being made, up to two persons can be buried in a single space. Some cemeteries have special sections set out for this and the grave liner is already in place prior to either burial being made. These types of spaces are called lawn crypts.
- You must have a vault if you choose to bury – This requirement may or may not exist. The cemetery can decide if they require any type of outer burial container. If the cemetery requires such, its primary function is to keep the grave level by providing a foundation for which the dirt replaced in the grave after burial rests on. Typically, these are simply a concrete box and do not provide a dry resting place for the casket. If that is important to you, a protective vault should be chosen and this will meet any minimum requirement of the cemetery.
- Funerals must be paid for in full up front – Most funeral homes want to know how you plan to pay and yes, some will require you to pay in full prior to the funeral service. If you plan to use proceeds from a life insurance policy to pay for a funeral, most funeral homes will accept an assignment of proceeds as a form of payment. Most funeral homes also accept credit cards as well. Very seldom will you find a funeral home that offers installment payment options, unless you are pre-planning in advance of an actual need.
Hopefully, this has helped to clear up some of the questions you may have had about funerals. In the event you would like more information about any of the above mentioned topics, or have additional questions, please feel free to call us.
Rick Allen is the owner of Allen Family Funeral Options. Visit their informative website at www.affoplano.com to learn more or give them a call at 972-596-8200.