Funeral FAQs


Click on the questions below to reveal each respective answer.

Primarily they care and safeguard the deceased person until final disposition, including embalming and restorative work. A growing number of funeral directors are trained as grief counselors to help families through the bereavement process. They also arrange and provide an orderly series of events that finalize the funeral, the final disposition, and legal paperwork so the family can proceed forward. They also provide the physical establishment in which all of this can be accomplished.

The cost of a funeral can vary greatly depending on the many options which a family must choose. Our service charges for a traditional funeral with a viewing followed by burial begin around $4500.00. We would appreciate the opportunity to meet with you and your family to discuss all of your options, and explain them in detail.

The funeral and the ceremony that accompanies it are indeed very important. For those who are left behind, a funeral provides a place for family and friends to gather for support and to reminisce; an opportunity to celebrate the life and accomplishments of a loved one; a chance to say goodbye; and the focal point from which the healing process can begin. The funeral identifies that a person's life has been lived, not that a death has occurred. It is also important to notify the community that this person has died. There are people beyond the immediate family who have the right to grieve a death. For instance, what would have happened in the United States if there had not been a funeral for President John F. Kennedy?

The most important quality that enables the funeral director to provide services in the community is his or her reputation for honesty and good will. In fact, a good reputation is the key factor in being able to stay in business. If a particular funeral director took advantage of the bereaved, it would not be long before the community responded to those actions by going to a different funeral director.

A service can usually be held at any location that family and friends feel would be comfortable and appropriate. Most often this is a funeral home or church, however, other locations can also be suitable and meaningful to the family members.

Yes, if that is the wish of the family, the funeral director will arrange designated times for calling hours, have the times published in the newspaper and simply add to the obituary that services will be private or at the convenience of the family. This information will make it clear to the public as to arrangements, and fulfill the wishes of the family.

While most services are held in the morning or afternoon, some families are now choosing to have services held in the evening hours for the convenience of family and friends. This enables more people to attend the service who otherwise might be unable to be excused from their place of employment during the day.

Considerations include the need to secure all permits and authorizations, notification of family and friends, preparation of cemetery site and religious considerations. For example, Orthodox Judaism requires that the body be interred within 24 hours of death. In most cases the funeral will occur two to four days after the day of passing, and Pennsylvania Law also has limitations on the maximum length of time allowed to pass prior to final disposition.

The Funeral Director is responsible for explaining all the charges that specifically pertain to the funeral home's services offered and merchandise sold stated on its general price list. Any additional charges may fall under the category of cash advances. These additional charges might be for opening and closing the grave, clergy honorarium, newspaper notices, flowers, organist, church sexton.

There is a great range in prices for services and merchandise from our firm, depending on the type of funeral you elect to have. The perception that funerals are too expensive usually can be attributed to a lack of familiarity with the normal price range. If you find that the price for certain services and merchandise seems to high, you should ask about the charge and check into different types of funerals until you find the price that fits your budget. Obviously, it is difficult to comparison shop in an at-death situation. Therefore, it is important contact us ahead of time. By preplanning, you can find an array of services and merchandise fit your budget.

The Federal Trade Commission Funeral Rule requires that all funeral homes itemize their charges for professional services, facilities and motor equipment and that they provide a General Price List to all clients. You have the right to select and pay for only those services you choose to utilize.

Talking with friends who have used the services of a funeral home or your personal experience from attending funeral services of friends or relatives at a variety of funeral homes are excellent methods of comparison. You might also consider just stopping by a funeral home unannounced to experience how you are treated.

Yes, usually all arrangements may be made in advance. When you plan ahead, you will be able to consider the many options available. You will have the opportunity to make an informed decision about your funeral and cemetery arrangements, and the form of memorial you prefer. You will be able to make choices that are meaningful to both you and your family, and you will gain peace of mind knowing your family and friends will be relieved of the emotional and financial burden often associated with making arrangements when a death occurs. By pre-arranging your funeral and cemetery services, you benefit by purchasing at today's prices, free from inflationary pressures in the future.

Yes, as a convenient method of payment, our funeral home will allow for an insurance assignment. This assignment transaction is processed by the funeral home, releasing only the funeral expenses to the funeral service provider, and with any remaining balance going directly to the beneficiary. The insurance assignment is an effective, convenient means in which to cover funeral expenses. Simply having life insurance will not make the important decisions that must be made in regard to your funeral -- which funeral home will take care of the service, what type of service will be held, how much will be spent on the funeral service, etc.

All funeral homes are required by the Federal Trade Commission to have casket price lists available to the public at all times. Our funeral home will gladly discuss prices on the phone, or arrange an appointment to see available caskets.

Most caskets are made of either wood or metal. Metal caskets are made of either bronze, copper, steel or stainless steel. Wood caskets are available in a variety of types of wood. Interiors of caskets are usually made with velvet or crepe; however, other materials may be available.

It depends upon the materials with which the casket is made. Obviously, a casket made of bronze would be priced higher than one made of steel. A casket made of solid mahogany would be more costly to manufacture than one of soft pine wood. A casket with a crepe interior materials would be priced less than an interior of velvet because of the cost of the material. It depends upon what materials the casket shell is made of, the interior materials and any protective features included in that particular model.

Yes , It is certainly a financially sound decision to purchase anything at today's prices which can then be used as a later time; however, you need to consider several things. Who will store the casket, you or the company you purchased it from? If you buy it without delivery, you need to know how your purchase will be protected. Also, you may want to know if the product has any warranties or guarantees attached to it. When and if you select to purchase a casket (or vault) from a third-party vendor, be certain that the seller will guarantee the specific product you purchase be available at the ultimate time of need and will include delivery to wherever it is needed.

As a matter of fact, you can, although as a matter or practicality, it may present some storage challenges for you. You might also need to consult a funeral home for correct measurements as the casket will ultimately need to be placed into a burial vault, or mausoleum crypt.

These are the outside containers into which the casket is placed. Burial vaults are designed to protect the casket from the forces of the soil above the casket as well as the pressures caused by cemetery equipment that may be moved across a grave. They are usually made of concrete and may feature different types of liners the increase the strength of the vault as well as inhibit the elements from reaching the inside of the vault.

In most areas of the country, state or local law does not require that you buy a container to surround the casket in the grave. However, most all cemeteries require that you have such a container so that the ground will not sink.

Yes, our firm will not only assist with securing these death benefits, we will complete all the paperwork for you.

The publication of an obituary notice is a matter of your personal choice. While most newspapers control the editorial format, you have the right to limit the amount of information, if any, provided to them.

Children grieve just as adults do. Any child old enough to form a relationship will experience some form of grief when a relationship is severed. As adults we may not view a child's behavior as grief as it often is demonstrated in ways which we misunderstand as "moody", "cranky", "withdrawn" or other behavioral patterns which do not appear to us to be grief. When a death occurs children need to be surrounded by feelings of warmth, acceptance and understanding. This may be a tall order to expect of the adults who are experiencing their own grief and upset. Caring adults can guide children through this time when the child is experiencing feelings for which they have no words and thus can not identify. In a very real way, this time can be a growth experience for the child, teaching about love and relationships. The first task is to create an atmosphere in which the child's thoughts, fears and wishes are recognized. This means that they should be allowed to participate in any of the arrangements, ceremonies and gatherings which are comfortable for them. First, explain what will be happening and why it is happening at a level the child can understand. A child may not be able to speak at a grandparent's funeral but would benefit greatly from the opportunity to draw a picture to be placed in the casket or displayed at the service. Be aware that children will probably have short attention spans and may need to leave a service or gathering before the adults are ready. Many families provide a non-family attendant to care for the children in this event. The key is to allow the participation, not to force it. Forced participation can be harmful. Children instinctively have a good sense of how involved they wish to be. They should be listened to carefully.

While a hearse or casket coach is most commonly used for this purpose, other options are often appropriate. Families might consider more personalized and meaningful options; for example, our firm once transported a fire fighter on an antique fire truck.

Certified copies are used as proof of death for the transfer of ownership of such items as a deed for property, car titles, stocks and bonds, banking transactions and life insurance. We will assist you in obtaining the copies. In Pennsylvania the state charges $6 per copy.

One way is to bring personal items into the funeral home to be displayed in or near the casket. Example: An avid golfer might have a favorite putter placed in the casket. An avid hunter or fisherman might have some of their personal effects or trophies displayed on a memory table. A person who quilted could have the casket draped with a quilt they made. An artist could have their art work displayed. A person's favorite rocking chair could be brought to the funeral home and placed next to the casket.

At the funeral home, a memory table may be used to display personal items of the deceased. A memory board would have a collection of family photographs attached and can be displayed on an easel at the funeral home for visitors to reminisce about their life experiences with the deceased.

Tribute videos are another extension of the memory table or board. Photos from the families collection are compiled into a video presentation that is played on a monitor in the entryway of the funeral home. There is no charge at our funeral home for this service and a complimentary copy of the DVD is given to the family. Additional copies can be purchased if needed.

Most times a clergy person is asked to officiate at the services however it is also common for family or friends to share personal thoughts, memories and feelings about the deceased as part of the service.

In addition to coordinating the donation, we can arrange for either a Memorial Service or a calling hours to be held at a time and place convenient for the family.

The traditional format regarding the number of pallbearers is 6, primarily due to the length of the standard casket, so that 3 people on either side can conveniently carry the casket. Most caskets have additional handles at each end which will accommodate 2 more bearers.

After the death has occurred, the most prudent decision would be to call your funeral service provider in your home town. Your funeral director will be able to make the necessary arrangements to transfer the deceased, relieving the family of the burden of dealing with unfamiliar people, places and related issues.

Although the Veterans Administration does not pay for complete funerals, it does provide certain merchandise, services and reimbursements. We or your local VA office can provide you with the variety of benefits available. In general, any veteran with a discharge other than dishonorable is entitled to be buried in an accepting national cemetery. He or she may also receive a free grave liner, bronze marker and a flag holder appropriately marked with the veteran's rank, war served and religious icon. Our closest national cemetery is located at Fort Indiantown Gap in Annville, PA. However, veterans are eligible for certain benefits even if they are not buried in a national cemetery. Feel free to contact us and we can explain these benefits.

If the cemetery is within driving distance we would transport the casket directly to the cemetery. If not, arrangements would have to be made with the cemetery or a local funeral home to pick up the body from a local airport and transfer it to the cemetery.

The complaint should first be given to the funeral director that served the family. If the situation is not resolved to your satisfaction, then a complaint should be filed with your state's board of funeral service, or with the consumer complaint department of the state attorney general's office. In most instances, the complaint will be resolved by the local funeral director.

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