Frequently Asked Questions

What is a funeral?

A funeral is a ceremony for a deceased person prior to burial or cremation.  A funeral gives the opportunity for family and friends of the deceased to gather and mourn the passing of their loved one, to share cherished memories and celebrate their life.  A funeral is a vital first step to help the bereaved heal after the loss of someone special.

What type of service should I have?

The type of service is entirely up to the survivors.  Services are usually held at a funeral home, place of worship or cemetery.  There is a wealth of different services, ranging from a traditional religious or military service to something a little more non-traditional.  Our funeral directors will work with you to figure out what type of service is most appropriate.

Can I personalize a funeral?

Yes you can, in fact more and more people are opting for a more non-traditional personalized service.  There are many unique ways to celebrate life, let the funeral director know exactly what your desires are and they will honor your wishes.

Who are funeral directors and what do they do?

Funeral directors are in charge of all the logistics following a death.  They complete all the necessary paperwork, make arrangements for the transportation of the body, and put into action the choices made by the family in regards to the funeral service and the final resting place of the body.  Beyond the logistics, funeral directors are there to provide moral support and guidance for someone coping with death.

What happens if the death occurs in the middle of the night or on the weekend?

We are here to help, funeral directors are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week, and 365 days a year.

What if a death occurs away from my hometown?

Our funeral home can arrange to have the remains transported home from anywhere in the world.  We will assume responsibility and make the proper arrangements to have the remains return to the community.

What is embalming and what purpose does it serve?

Embalming sanitizes, temporarily preserves the body and provides a cosmetic effect to the body.  Embalming gives time to the family of the deceased to arrange a service, and allows the family the option of having an open-casket viewing for the public.

Is embalming required? 

No, Florida law states that a decedent must be refrigerated or embalmed within 24 hours of death. Embalming may be necessary, however, if you select certain funeral arrangements, such as a funeral with viewing. If you do not want embalming, you usually have the right to choose an arrangement that does not require you to pay for it, such as direct cremation or immediate burial. 

How much do the services of the funeral home cost?

The cost of services varies depending on the wishes you have.  A traditional funeral with burial can easily cost $7,000 whereas a memorial service (services without the body present) can cost under $ 3,000.00 dollars.  A direct cremation (cremation without a funeral or memorial service) will cost close to $ 1,000.00

Why are funerals so expensive?

Funerals are labor intensive and require a lot of work from a lot of people.  The cost of a funeral goes beyond merchandise such as caskets and includes the services of a funeral director who coordinates the necessary arrangements with clergy, cemeteries, doctors, lawyers and insurance companies.  Funeral directors work an average of 40 hours per funeral.  The cost of operating a funeral home is factored into the cost as well.  Funeral homes are a 24 hour operation, with extensive facilities that need to be maintained and secured.  

Cremation FAQ

What is Cremation?

Cremation is the process of reducing the human body to bone fragments using high heat and flame and is the final disposition of the remains.

Is a casket needed for Cremation?

No, a casket is not required.  A minimum alternative container constructed of wood or cardboard is required for the cremation process.  ,

Is embalming required prior to cremation? 

No. In fact it is against the law for a funeral home to tell you otherwise.

Can the body be viewed without embalming?

 Yes. Florida law states that a decedent must be refrigerated or embalmed within 24 hours of death, so the body will be kept in refrigeration.  Immediate Family may have a brief identification of the body before cremation takes place.

Can the family witness the cremation? Yes, family members can be present when the body is placed in the cremation chamber. Some religious groups even include this as part of their funeral custom.

What can be done with the cremated remains? While laws vary state by state, for the most part remains can be buried in a cemetery lot or a cremation garden, interred in a columbarium, kept at home or scattered.  

How can I be sure I receive the correct cremated remains? 

As required by Florida law, we have a system in place to identify human remains from the time we take custody of the decedent throughout the cremation process. In addition, it is illegal to perform more than one cremation at a time

How long does the actual cremation take? 

It all depends on the weight of the individual. For an average sized adult, cremation can take two to three hours at a normal operating temperature of between 1,600 and 2,000 degrees Fahrenheit.

What do the cremated remains look like?

 Cremated remains resemble coarse sand and are whitish to light grey in color. The remains of an average sized adult usually weighs between 5 and 8 pounds.

Are all the cremated remains returned? 

All of the cremated remains are given back to the family.  However, it is impossible to remove or recover all cremated remains from the crematory or equipment for processing the ashes.

Do I need an urn? 

An urn is not required by law. However, an urn may be desired if there is to be a memorial service or if the remains are to be interred in a cemetery. If an urn is not purchased or provided by the family, the cremated remains will be returned in a temporary cardboard container.