Questions & Answers About Funerals 4/29/2017

What is the difference between a "funeral” and a "memorial service”? 
The body is present at a funeral, for viewing or in a closed casket. In a memorial service, the body is not present. 

Whom do I call in the event of a death? 
When a death occurs at home, in a hospital, or in a nursing home, call the funeral home that will be in charge. We will assist you in making all the necessary arrangements. 

What is a death certificate? 
It is the legal record of a death, showing the date, time, place, and cause of death. A certified copy is required for life insurance and other death benefits, and for probate (transferring property to the survivors). We will obtain death certificates for you. 

What are "cash advances”?
These are expenses that the funeral home pays on your behalf and includes on your final statement. Cash advances may include death certificate fees, coroner’s fees, obituary notices, music, flowers, food, lettering a monument, opening and closing a grave, and honorariums for the clergy. We handle these payments as a service to you and your family. We do not make a profit on cash advances. 

How much does a casket cost? 
The price of a casket varies with its construction and its interior fabrics. It may be built of cloth-covered fiberboard, metal (stainless steel, copper, or bronze), or hand-crafted hardwoods. The interior fabrics used most often are satin, crepe, and velvet. 

Is embalming required? 
Under some circumstances, embalming is required by law. If you select immediate burial or direct cremation, embalming is usually not necessary.  You must have embalming done when you ship by common carrier - unless the family objects to embalming on religious grounds.  (But body must be enclosed in a strong, tightly sealed outer case).  Also, when you cross state lines.  

Do we need a burial vault? 
Most cemeteries require a vault for burial. The vault makes it easier and less expensive to maintain the cemetery and to provide perpetual care for the grave. 

Can we move a loved one from one cemetery to another after burial? 
Yes, although doing so can sometimes be very expensive. We can make all the arrangements. 

If we choose cremation, can we still have a visitation and funeral? 
Yes. The choice is yours. We will arrange a funeral to meet your needs and wishes. 

If we choose cremation, do we still need to buy a casket? 
A simple fiberboard container is the minimum required for cremation. For the funeral service, you can purchase a cremation casket. 

What else is required for cremation? 
Cremation requires written permission from the family, a signed death certificate, and written permission from the county coroner. We will obtain these for you. 

How long does cremation take? 
The cremation process takes six hours — three hours for cremation and three hours to cool the remains. 

Where can cremation remains be scattered? 
Wisconsin law allows you to scatter cremation remains anywhere except on a cemetery. To scatter cremation remains on private property, you must have the owner’s permission. 

How do we obtain Social Security death benefits? 
 We will notify Social Security to let them know a loved one has passed. They will then want the next of kin to call and make an appointment to talk about benefits.

What about Veterans’ death and burial benefits? 
A Veteran who was honorably discharged will receive a United States flag and a Veteran’s marker for the grave site. We will obtain the flag for you and we can help you apply to the Veterans Service Office for the marker. 

Can I pay for my funeral ahead of time? 
Yes, and many people do. You can pre-pay through an irrevocable funeral trust. We can help you set up the trust. We do not charge for this service. 

Can I choose what I want for my own funeral? 
Yes. If you have special wishes for the type of service, the casket, flowers, music, or any other details, talk with us. We will keep a private record of your wishes. 

When the time comes, having your wishes known will be a help and a comfort to your loved ones. Can my family ignore my wishes? 
They can, but it is more likely that your family will honor your wishes and will be grateful that you made your wishes known to them. 

Thank you for your trust. We will be honored to answer any questions you or your family may have about funerals, cremation, burial, or pre-need planning. We’re here to help you. 

Call us at (920) 748-2623. 

Todd & Tamera Goheen  -  Licensed Funeral Director & Owners  
 

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