Basic services of funeral director and staff is the only non-declinable fee that is charged by the funeral home. All other service items are subject to inclusion at the direction of the family. Some service options such as forwarding or receiving remains and immediate burials reflect a reduction in this fee. Basic services can be thought of as a fee for services that are utilized by all families and as a fee that includes a recovery for certain overhead expenses necessary to the operation of the business. Services used by all families include the personnel to respond to the initial death call, the arrangement conference and the subsequent time involved in attending to service details, the filing of certain documents like the notification of death, the death certificate, and the maintenance of records to comply with the various governmental authorities. Examples of overhead expenses that are included are telephone, utilities, building and grounds maintenance, furnishings, insurance, administrative costs, office equipment and supplies, licenses, and legal and accounting fees.
Embalming disinfects, temporarily preserves, and restores the body to an acceptable physical appearance. Embalming is not required by law. It may be necessary if you select certain funeral arrangements such as a funeral with a viewing of the body. Embalming permits family and friends travel time to attend funerals and the burial to take place any distance from the place of death. We have always placed a great deal of emphasis on the appearance of the deceased and have trained our embalming staff to make every effort to do a commendable job for all families. Dressing and casketing includes our cosmetic work, but does not include any charge for a hairdresser.
FACILITIES AND RELATED STAFF CHARGES
The largest expense that the funeral home incurs is for salaries and other items related to personnel costs, such as Social Security, retirement benefits, hospitalization and insurance costs. Another large expense has to do with the costs of providing an adequate facility for the public. We are proud of our staff and our facility and feel that both compare very favorably to those offered by any other funeral home. The costs associated with staff and facilities are reflected in the charge for visitation and the charge for conducting the service.
The visitation at the funeral home includes the personnel for supervision and attendance during the visitation period, the set up and use of the visitation room and parking lots, and the display of floral arrangements. The traditional time and place for visitation is the night before the service at the funeral home, however, other options are available.
The use of facilities and staff services for the funeral includes coordinating the funeral arrangements, supervision of the funeral and staff to be present. The charge for this category is the same whether the service is in our chapel or in a church. There is a reduction in this fee if the service is conducted at the graveside.
Delivery and use of home equipment includes a flower spray of white carnations, the register stand and book, and folding chairs, if desired.
The funeral tent is left in place over the grave for approximately 5 days, subject to availability and to weather conditions.
The itemized price for automotive equipment includes use within a 25 mile radius. Additional mileage charges are listed on the GPL. The transfer of remains to the funeral home includes both vehicle and staff. The family car carries up to eight family members. The lead car is the vehicle that leads the procession from the place of the funeral to the cemetery. The service vehicle and flower car is utilized in servicing the grave and tent as well as transporting flowers to the grave.
As a part of our service, and at no additional charge to the family, the funeral home staff provides other items as discussed below.
Acknowledgement cards will be provided.
The funeral home files a notification of death with the Social Security Administration. Currently SSA will pay the surviving spouse a death benefit of $255, if the deceased qualified. There is no benefit payable if there is not a surviving spouse, unless there is a minor child or minor children. Under normal circumstances, you will not need a death certificate to apply for this benefit.
The funeral home will gladly assist you in the filing of any life insurance policies. We can assist you in obtaining, completing, and mailing the necessary paperwork. In general, you will need a certified copy of the death certificate for each company with whom the deceased had a policy.
The funeral home will obtain the certified copy of the death certificate at the cost charged by the governmental agency. In North Carolina, the Register of Deeds in the county of death produces the death certificate at the cost of $10.00 for each certified copy. The funeral home initiates the death certificate and then sends it to the doctor for completion and signature. Then the certificate is delivered to the health department for processing and then on to the Register of Deeds where it will be available anytime during regular office hours, usually from 8 a.m. to 5 p.m., Monday through Friday. It generally takes from 7 - 10 working days for the certificate to be on file at the courthouse.
The funeral home will arrange for the flowers to be removed from the gravesite after a period of approximately 5 days. The florist that made the casket spray for the family is contacted to do the cleaning. In the event that this florist is not available, the funeral home will contact another florist or have funeral home staff to complete the job.