Home FAQ's Contact

Frequently Asked Questions

What are my payment options for a prepaid funeral plan?

A prepaid funeral plan is a plan that clearly states the funeral home goods and services as well as funeral merchandise and cash advance (3rd party) items that will be provided upon the death of the named contract beneficiary.

Having a prepaid funeral plan in place relieves the financial burden as well as some of the emotional burdens that fall on the family at the time of loss.

The funeral home cannot accept payment in advance, but the funeral home may complete a prepaid funeral contract that is funded by a trust account or an insurance policy or annuity. For prepaid funeral contracts funded by insurance policies or annuities, you have several options for payment in advance:

SINGLE PAYMENT: You choose to pay the total contract price in one lump sum, and the insurance policy or annuity pays full benefits. Recommended for individuals who wish to pay for a prepaid funeral contract in full at the time of signing.

DOLLAR FOR DOLLAR PAYMENT PLAN: You choose to pay the contract price in installment payments over time, and the insurance policy or annuity pays limited benefits until all scheduled payments have been made. Recommended for individuals who wish to pay for a prepaid funeral contract in payments over time, but do not require or cannot qualify for insurance coverage for health reasons.

What if the contract purchaser cannot make a payment?

If a purchaser has difficulty in continuing to pay for a prepaid funeral plan or has a tragedy or medical emergency, a cancel-rewrite may be the solution. A review of the policy will determine if a new policy can be written with the funds rolled into it from the cancelled policy. This allows the policy purchaser to start fresh with either a new payment term or a new policy obtained by a single payment. Please call the claims department (325-695-3412) to determine if this process is right for you.

What if the contract beneficiary dies prior to the contract being paid up?

For Dollar for Dollar Installment Plans, the death benefit will be equal to the paid-in amount plus any growth that has been applied to the plan, as long as the policy is current on payments (not lapsed). For the Graded Benefit Insurance Plan, the death benefit will be a percentage of the contract face amount during the limited period (1 to 2 years, depending on the terms of the contract) as long as the policy is current. If death occurs after the limited period or if accidental death occurs, the full face amount of the contract will be paid. For a Fully Insured Insurance Plan, the full face amount of the contract will be paid for causes other than suicide as long as underwriting guidelines were properly followed and the policy is current.

What is cremation?

Cremation is a common method of final disposition and an alternative to ground burial. It is the process by which high temperatures and evaporation are utilized to reduce a body to its most basic elements.

What is “direct” cremation?

A “direct” cremation is a cremation that takes place with no funeral service, viewing, ceremony, or memorial service. Direct cremation usually includes the basic services of funeral directors and staff; a proportionate share of overhead costs; removal and care of remains; transportation of remains to funeral home and to crematory; necessary authorizations; and cremation fee.

Why do people choose cremation?

Many people choose cremation for its simplicity. Some choose cremation for its cost‐effectiveness, though this largely depends on the other service options selected. Others choose cremation because of environmental reasons or the flexibility it affords.

What religions permit cremation?

Many religious groups allow cremation as an alternative to burial including baptists, episcopalians/anglicans, methodists, and buddhists. Hindus actually require cremation as a “last rite.” Some religious groups allow cremation, but prefer burial (or sometimes stipulate that the body be present at the funeral ceremony). These groups include presbyterians, mormons, catholics, and reform jews. The religious groups that strongly oppose cremation include conservative and orthodox jews, muslims, and the greek and eastern orthodox church.

How much does cremation cost?

The basic charge for direct cremation can be somewhat less than immediate burial, but they are often comparable in cost. An average direct cremation costs about between $1000 to $3000, which usually includes the basic services of funeral directors and staff; a proportionate share of overhead costs; removal and care of remains; transportation of remains to funeral home and to crematory; necessary authorizations; and cremation fee.

What happens to my cremation plan should I relocate to another city?

Your cremation plan is transferrable to another funeral home should you move away from home. The details of how transfers work will be noted clearly in your contract.

Can you have a ceremony when cremation is chosen?

Yes! Ceremonies help families find closure and healing, and family and friends benefit greatly from a ceremony regardless of whether burial or cremation takes place. A healing and meaningful ceremony helps family and friends acknowledge the reality of death, express emotions of grief, give and receive support from others, and honor and remember the life of a loved one.

How can my family be involved in the cremation process?

Grief experts agree that when a family is able to see the body and spend time saying goodbye, loved ones are able to cope with the reality of the loss much more readily than if the body is never seen. Even with cremation, a viewing, public or private, can be arranged so that friends and family have the opportunity to say their goodbyes. It may also be possible for family members to be present at the time of cremation if they wish. Speak to your funeral director about your options.

Is embalming required for cremation?

No, embalming is rarely required by law. Embalming is helpful if a public viewing or service with an open casket is being held because it temporarily preserves the body and slows the decomposition process.

Can I decide what happens to my cremated body?

Yes. You may leave written directives for your loved ones to follow. A written plan eases the burden on families and brings a great deal of peace of mind to loved ones at the time of loss. Your local prearrangement specialist or a funeral director can assist you with creating a written plan.

Can you mail cremated remains?

Yes, the us postal service offers the only legal method of shipping cremated remains domestically or internationally. More information can be found at https://about.usps.com/publications/pub139.pdf.

What if I would like my cremated body to be scattered?

Consult your local funeral director or prearrangement specialist about your options for scattering. Scattering may be done legally on private property with permission; however, public property would fall under local ordinances. Consider also that scattering the cremated body can be meaningful, but it can also be traumatic for the person who is to do the scattering. To spill out all that is mortal of someone you have known and loved can be devastating. Scattering also leaves no record of your life behind. Be sure to plan ahead for a permanent memorial to be placed at the site or in a cemetery with a portion of the remains so that loved ones are able to visit, reflect, and remember.

Is a casket necessary if I choose cremation?

A casket is not necessary for cremation to take place. All that is required is an alternative container made of combustible material that is sufficiently rigid enough to hold the body. If a funeral service and/or viewing is held prior to cremation, a ceremonial casket may be purchased or rented at a lower cost than a casket designed for earth burial. A new insert is placed into the rental casket for each use.

What are the options for a resting place for cremated remains?

After the cremated body is returned to the family, there are many options for memorialization. The cremated body may be buried in a cemetery plot or cremation garden, placed in an ossuary, or laid to rest in a columbarium niche. The cremated body may also be kept at home, scattered in a special place, placed in cremation jewelry, or divided among family members.

How can I be sure the correct remains are returned?

Crematories utilize meticulous identification policies and procedures to prevent errors or cross-contamination. For your own peace of mind, you may request to inspect the cremation facilities or ask the funeral home staff any questions you may have.

What is returned to the family after cremation?

All of the cremated body is returned to the next of kin in a temporary container or in an urn if one has been provided or purchased ahead of time. An average adult’s cremated body weighs from 3 to 5 pounds.

Do I need to buy an urn?

It is not necessary to purchase an urn, but many people choose urns based on their function. A ceremonial urn may be a lovely focal point for a memorial service. A biodegradable urn may be interred or put out to sea, and a personalized urn may be chosen to reflect a loved one’s tastes and preferences. Urns of all kinds may be selected to display in the home—porcelain, wood, bronze, stainless steel, ceramic, marble, or glass. Families choose urns based on appearance and their intended use. However, there is no law requiring the purchase of an urn.