Frequently Asked Questions
What is a cemetery service?
The cemetery will bury the deceased in lots, plots or compartments including spaces for the storage of cremated remains, open and close the lot, plot or compartment, and provide vaults and markers as needed. You must visit the cemetery to make arrangements and prepare contracts that will outline the products and services provided.
Can I purchase cremation services directly from a crematory?
In most cases a crematorium only sells their services to a funeral director. This is not mandatory and therefore you should shop around if you are interested in purchasing directly from a crematorium.
Can I prearrange my cemetery services?
Yes, but there are trusting requirements and cancellation provisions that will vary by cemetery. The deed for the cemetery space would normally be delivered immediately and if a purchaser changes their mind the space may be purchased back by the cemetery or must be sold privately. Markers may be manufactured at time of purchase and stored until time of need, but if the purchaser changes their mind, it could be delivered to the purchaser or to another location. Open and closing cannot be delivered until the time of need and accordingly, will only be refunded at the discretion of the cemetery owner.
What is the definition of perpetual care?
Perpetual care means the preservation, improvement, embellishment, and maintenance, in perpetuity and in a proper manner of lots, plots, tombs, monuments, or enclosure, in a cemetery or of compartments in a columbarium or mausoleum.
What are the responsibilities of licensed cemetery owners?
By law, licensed cemetery owners are required to set aside money in an irrevocable trust account based on the selling price of the space. Only the interest earned by the perpetual care fund can be used for maintenance.
How does a cemetery operate and can its rules of operation be changed?
In addition to an application license, a cemetery operates under a set of rules and regulations which should be provided to you upon the purchase of a lot, plot, or enclosure in a columbarium or mausoleum. Alternatively, they should be available for inspection at the cemetery. These rules and regulations will provide for such matters as the mandatory use of vaults; size of graves, and hours of business. Because of continuing changes in customs, practices, economic conditions and products, cemeteries usually reserve the right to change rules and regulations from time to time, but are only permitted to do so on a go forward basis.
Are vaults mandatory?
Vaults are not required by law, but because they keep the ground from settling after burial and make mowing and maintenance easier, cemeteries may have their own policies requiring them as set out in their Rules and Regulations.
Is cremation a substitute for a funeral?
Cremations do not differ from burials when it comes to a memorial service. Whether a family chooses a traditional burial (ground interment, mausoleum interment) or a cremation, the family still has the option having a memorial service. And a memorial service for a cremation is just as important for the healing process as a memorial service with a traditional burial.
What happens during the cremation process?
There are four steps in our cremation safety and security process. The initial step begins at the location of death. Our professionally trained staff arrives at the place of death and secures a metallic bracelet around the ankle. This special indestructible bracelet has a unique number that is assigned to your loved one and that number will never be repeated. At the place of death, we have a family member, nurse, friend, caretaker or security staff signs a document stating they have seen us place this identification bracelet on your loved one. Our identification bracelet will remain with your loved one through the entire process. Once the cremation is complete, our staff will retrieve the cremated remains of your loved one using a state-of-the-art retrieval system that uses a high-temperature vacuum. The remains are processed to a uniform size and are placed, along with the identification bracelet, into the urn selected by your family. The urn is marked and identified with the name of your loved one, the identification number and the funeral home name.
Can I still view the body if I choose cremation?
We invite all of our families choosing cremation to follow us in a procession to our facility. Each family is given the option to be present at the crematorium to witness the placement of their loved one into the facility. Additionally, Memorial’s cremation packages include traditional viewings or private family viewings that allow you to view your loved one before the cremation takes place.
What can I do with the cremated remains after cremation?
We consult with you in making four essential decisions. First, we help you develop a unique way to say, “Good-bye.” Second, we assist you in the selection of an appropriate cremation container which is used to enclose your loved one’s remains prior to the cremation. Third, we offer you a selection of urns that will protect the integrity of your loved one’s cremated remains. Fourth, we provide you with the multiple options available for the final disposition of the cremated remains of your loved one. We offer keepsakes which are smaller containers used to house a portion of the remains. Final placement in a cemetery or home is common, and some people choose to scatter the remains (but scattering is not legal in some circumstances).
What types of services are available with cremation?
Whether a family chooses cremation or a traditional burial, the same services are available.