123 South Washington Street
Havre de Grace, MD 21078
Phone: (410) 939-2882
Fax: (410) 939-5153

Frequently Asked Questions

We are happy to answer any and all questions which come our way – and we hear some over and over again. Those are the ones we’ve included in this section of the website.

However, if you’re question isn’t listed, don’t hesitate to email us. If yours is an urgent need, please call.

1. What is a funeral?
 
2. How much does a funeral cost?
 
3. How do I make funeral arrangements?
 
4. What is a pre-arranged funeral?
 
5. How do I make funeral arrangements?
 
6. What type of funeral service should I have?
 
7. Can I personalize my funeral service?
 
8. Is it Possible to Plan a Funeral in Advance?
 
9. I Have Never Arranged a Funeral Before What do I Need to Do?
 
10. Why should we have a public viewing?
 
11. What should I do if a death occurs in the middle of the night or on the weekend?
 
12. What should I do if a death occurs while away from home?
 
13. What happens if I have a problem with how a funeral was handled?
 
14. Why do we need an obituary notice?
 
15. What is included in an obituary?
 
16. What is embalming?
 
17. Is embalming necessary?
 
18. What is involved in cremation?
 
19. Do I need a casket if I choose cremation?
 
20. Can I have a visitation period and a funeral service if cremation is chosen?
 
21. Can We have the Service Before or After the Cremation?
 
22. Are Cremations are Done Individually?
 
23. When After Death can a Creamtion Take Place?
 
24. Is Embalming Necessary for Cremation?
 
25. Are There Special Cremation Caskets?
 
26. What can be done with the cremated remains?
 

Question #1What is a funeral?
Answer:A funeral is a time when friends and family gather to celebrate a life and mourn the loss of a loved one. They occur in cultures and societies around the world, and have deep personal and social significance. We know a funeral is the starting point of the recovery process and the first step toward healing.

Question #2How much does a funeral cost?
Answer:The cost of a funeral depends entirely on your wishes for the funeral. Funeral costs are made up of professional services, charges for transporting the body and presentation of the body, casket costs, vehicle charges, and fees for the doctor, minister, or cremation. Personalizing a funeral is also a factor in the cost. While we have many options to help you memorialize your loved one in a meaningful way, those options all have costs attached.

Question #3How do I make funeral arrangements?
Answer:You can call a funeral director to make an appointment or plan it online. We offer this service free of charge, and without obligation.

Question #4What is a pre-arranged funeral?
Answer:A pre-arranged funeral is a funeral arrangement made prior to death. You can pre-arrange your own funeral or you can pre-arrange a funeral for a loved one. Pre-arrangement is a way for you to make sure your life is celebrated in a way that is meaningful to you. It also relieves your loved ones of the burden of arranging a funeral for you.

Question #5How do I make funeral arrangements?
Answer:You can call a funeral director to make an appointment or plan it online. We offer this service free of charge.

Question #6What type of funeral service should I have?
Answer:The answer to that question is very personal – how would you like it to be? A funeral service can be open to the public or accessible by invitation only. You can choose a large service or a small one. And, if you’re deeply religious, you can follow the liturgy of your faith.

Perhaps you want something completely out-of-the-ordinary, and that’s possible too. Our funeral directors are trained to provide you with support and guidance to help you plan a funeral that truly reflects your needs and desires.

Question #7Can I personalize my funeral service?
Answer:In a word, yes. We believe that each funeral should reflect the life of the deceased – and no two people are the same. We invite – no, we encourage –you to let us know exactly how you want you or your loved one to be remembered, and we will do our best to create a ceremony that will truly celebrate the life lived.

Question #8Is it Possible to Plan a Funeral in Advance?
Answer:We recommend that everyone preplan his or her own funeral. Doing so can offer emotional and financial security for both you and your family. By preplanning a funeral you will get the kind of service you want and your family will be unburdened from making decisions at a stressful time. Preplanning doesn’t necessarily mean prepaying. If you are considering preplanning your funeral, please visit the Pre-plan section of this website or contact us for more information.

Question #9I Have Never Arranged a Funeral Before What do I Need to Do?
Answer:At some time in our lives, most of us will make or assist in making funeral arrangements. This will not be an easy time, but the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA) offers these tips for smart planning.
1.      Be an informed consumer. Don't be reluctant to ask questions.


2.      Today's funeral director offers a variety of options to meet your financial needs and wishes. Families should discuss all options with their funeral director when making arrangements.
3.      When selecting a funeral director, choose one who is licensed and has a good reputation in the community. Give thought to this decision as you would when choosing a doctor, attorney or other professional.
4.      Be prepared! Avoid the burden of making decision while under emotional stress by organizing details with your funeral director ahead of time. Remember ... preplanning doesn't necessarily mean prepaying.
5.      Plan a personal and meaningful ceremony or service to help you begin the healing process. Getting through grief is never easy but having a meaningful funeral will help.

Question #10Why should we have a public viewing?
Answer:Not every tradition encourages a public viewing, but we believe that they serve a purpose. In making a viewing part of your funeral service, you provide a certain amount of closure to all in attendance. This isn’t just our opinion; studies show that viewing the body helps everyone recognize the reality of death which is an important stepping stone in the grieving process.

Question #11What should I do if a death occurs in the middle of the night or on the weekend?
Answer:It’s simple: call us. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you need immediate assistance, one of our funeral directors will be there.

Question #12What should I do if a death occurs while away from home?
Answer:It’s comforting to know that our funeral directors can help you no matter where a death has occurred.  We’ll take care of everything from bringing your loved one back home; to helping you arrange the service. All you need to do is call us. We’ll take care of the rest.

Question #13What happens if I have a problem with how a funeral was handled?
Answer:If you’re not satisfied with how we attempt to resolve the issue, then you can reach out to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and/or our state licensing board.

Consumer Response Center, Federal Trade Commission
600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC  20580

www.ftc.gov

1-877-FTC-HELP (382-4357).

Question #14Why do we need an obituary notice?
Answer:An obituary notice is helpful for friends and family of the deceased. It informs them that a death has occurred and gives them information about the service.  Obituaries can be placed in newspapers and online.

Question #15What is included in an obituary?
Answer:"Funeral arrangements are being made by the funeral home and will be announced at a later date."

You may wish to add additional details, such as the names of any children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, parents, other close relatives or special friends. You may wish to write about the deceased’s life, accomplishments and legacy. You may suggest preferred charities for memorial contributions and let people know if you would rather not receive flowers.

Question #16What is embalming?
Answer:Embalming is the temporary disinfection, preservation, and restoration of the body. During the embalming process, the body is washed and dressed and cosmetics are applied.

Question #17Is embalming necessary?
Answer:If the body has to be transported to a country that requires embalming, then yes, it is necessary. Otherwise the decision is up to you. Some religious traditions forbid embalming. If your religion allows it, we recommend embalming if there is a long wait before burial or cremation.

Question #18What is involved in cremation?
Answer:The casket or container is placed in the cremation chamber where the temperature reaches 1,400-1,800 degrees Fahrenheit. After approximately 2.5 hours, all organic material is consumed by heat and evaporation, and the bone fragments are left behind. These are known as the cremated remains, which are then carefully removed from the chamber and processed into fine particles to be placed in a container or urn for the family.

Question #19Do I need a casket if I choose cremation?
Answer:No, you do not need to purchase a traditional casket. But, for sanitary reasons, crematories usually require a combustible, leak-proof, covered container. Commonly, a relatively-inexpensive cardboard cremation container is all you need to purchase. However there are other, more elegant options available as well. Visit our online cremation container showroom to explore your options.

Question #20Can I have a visitation period and a funeral service if cremation is chosen?
Answer:By all means, yes. We encourage families to have a gathering – whether it’s a simple visitation, or a more elaborate funeral or memorial service – to support the bereaved and begin to mend the social fabric, torn by the loss of a member of the community.

Question #21Can We have the Service Before or After the Cremation?
Answer:It's completely a matter of family preference. Many times when a family is split regarding the decision to cremate, a compromise may be achieved by having a traditional service first - to be followed by cremation.



Question #22Are Cremations are Done Individually?
Answer:Yes. MarylandState law provides that only one body may be cremated at a time.

Question #23When After Death can a Creamtion Take Place?
Answer:Maryland State Law requires that a body may not be cremated until 12 hours after death, because cremation is an irreversible process and because the process itself will eliminate any ability to determine exact cause of death, many states require that each cremation be authorized by the coroner or medical examiner.

Question #24Is Embalming Necessary for Cremation?
Answer:No. In most cases, it is your choice. It may depend on such factors as whether the family selected a service with a public viewing of the body, whether there is to be a funeral service, or whether there is refrigeration available. Embalming may also be necessary if the body is going to be transported by air or rail, or because of the length of time prior to the cremation.

Question #25Are There Special Cremation Caskets?
Answer:There is a choice of very affordable cremation caskets that are completely combustible. The selection includes options from a simple pine or cloth-covered casket to a hardwood casket.

Question #26What can be done with the cremated remains?
Answer:The cremated remains can be interred in a cemetery plot or retained by a family member -- usually in an urn, scattered on private property or at a place that was important to the deceased. The cremated remains can be scattered at sea, or the skies above a special, well-loved place. You can also incorporate the remains into an artificial reef, to be lowered onto the sea floor. There, your loved one provides sanctuary for sea life for years to come.

There are also elegant ways to memorialize a loved one using small amounts of the cremated remains, including art glass, oil paintings, and man-made diamonds. Or you can take a small amount of the cremated remains to include in a piece of cremation jewelry. Please view our online cremation keepsakes and jewelry selection for inspiration.