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FAQ about Preparing for a Funeral

Below are some common questions about preparing for a funeral. We address some important information about the cost of a funeral as well as headstone delivery and installation. Each cemetery has their own set of regulations for the headstones that are placed on their grounds.

Download our Cemetery Regulations Checklist and take it with you when coordinating the delivery and installation of your headstone with your cemetery.

Funerals, Memorials and Preplanning
How much does a funeral cost?
How can I avoid the high cost of a funeral?
How can I make preplanning arrangements?
What else should I consider when preplanning?
Can't I just tell my family members what kind of services I want?
If I pay for my services now, will my family members have to pay more money when I die?
What if I change my mind about the services I want?
What is the Funeral Rule?
What is the purpose of the Funeral Rule?
What is the meaning of basic services of the funeral director and staff?
Why do I have to use a funeral home?
Are all funeral homes the same?
Is embalming required?
How much does a casket cost?
Will certain caskets preserve the body?
Do I have to have a casket if I choose cremation?
Are burial vaults required by law?
How do I choose a grave?
What is endowment care?
If I am a veteran, can I be buried for free?

Shipping Questions
What is the cost of shipping?
Do you ship anywhere?
Will your company deliver and set the memorial at the cemetery?
Does the price include the installation?
When will I have to pay the cemetery for their fees?
How can I make a claim if the memorial is damaged in shipping?

Ordering Questions
How much does a memorial cost?
It is possible to have a picture on the memorial?
Do you have pet memorials?
Do you engrave non-English letters?
How long will it take to make the memorial?
If I buy a companion stone now, how can my name be engraved on it later?
How can I find what I want?



Funerals, Memorials, and Preplanning

How much does a funeral cost?
Funerals can be one of the most expensive purchases a person will make. A traditional funeral can range from $2000 to $10,000, depending on where you live and what services you choose. If you need to purchase cemetery property and pay the charges for a burial, you could be adding thousands of dollars more, also depending on where you live. Flowers, an obituary notice, folders or limousines, also add to your total.

How can I avoid the high cost of a funeral?
By thinking ahead, you can make an informed and thoughtful decision about your funeral and disposition arrangements. Preplanning allows you to choose the items you want and gives you time to compare prices.

How can I make preplanning arrangements?
Look in your local listing and talk with the funeral home or cemetery of your choice. You can also arrange through a funeral planning or memorial society. Next, talk with your local monument dealer or with us to get information for your memorial.

What else should I consider when preplanning?
Consider where the remains will be buried, entombed or scattered. Once a death has occurred, many family members find themselves frantic to buy a cemetery plot or grave. Consider the number of graves or spaces you will want to purchase and the type of memorial you'll want to cover those graves.

Can't I just tell my family members what kind of services I want?
You can, but it is better to put your preferences in writing and give copies to family members or your attorney and keep a copy in an accessible place. If you put a copy in your safe deposit box, make sure you have another copy that can be found if it is needed on a weekend when the banks are not open. If you put it in your will, it may not be found or read until after the service.

If I pay for my services now, will my family members have to pay more money when I die?
This is a good question to ask when you make your arrangements. There may be many items you can pay for now and freeze the cost. Be sure to tell your family about the plans you've made and where you made them. If they don't know about them, they may pay for the same services somewhere else.

What if I change my mind about the services I want?
It is a good idea to review and revise your decisions every few years if necessary. If you do change your mind, make sure your family knows about it. You’ll want to let them know where you have your arrangements made about any changes—they may want them in writing.

What is the Funeral Rule?
The Funeral Rule, enforced by the Federal Trade Commission, obligates funeral directors to provide written itemized prices to persons when they inquire in person and verbally if they call on the phone. The Funeral Rule also requires funeral directors to present you with a written price list with a description before you look at goods and services like caskets.

What is the purpose of the Funeral Rule?
The Funeral Rule affords a person the right to choose the funeral goods and services she wants. The funeral provider must state this in writing on the general price list. If the state or local law requires you to buy any specific item, it must be listed on the price list along with a reference to the law. The rule also states that if a casket is bought elsewhere, a funeral provider cannot charge a handling fee or refuse the casket. If cremation is offered, alternative containers for cremation must also be offered.

What is the meaning of basic services of the funeral director and staff?
The Funeral Rule allows funeral homes to charge a fee for basic services. The fee for basic services includes services that are common to all arrangements. Some of the fees included are for securing the necessary permits and copies of the death certificates, preparing the notices, sheltering the remains and coordinating the arrangements with the cemetery, crematory or other third parties.

Why do I have to use a funeral home?
You are not legally required to use a funeral home to plan and conduct a funeral. But because most of us do not have experience with the details and legal requirements involved, the services of a professional funeral home may be necessary and helpful.

Are all funeral homes the same?
People may select a funeral home because it is close to home or has served the family in the past. Whatever your reason for choosing a funeral home, you may want to shop around and compare prices and services. Visit the facility in person to see if will meet your needs. While you are visiting, pick up a price list and talk to someone.

Is embalming required?
Embalming is not required by law except in certain special cases like having a viewing or visitation or a service with an open casket. If embalming is required, the reason must be given to you in writing. The funeral provider must disclose in writing that some funeral arrangements make embalming necessary and a required purchase. They must also disclose in writing that you have the right to choose a disposition that does not require embalming.

How much does a casket cost?
An average casket may cost between $2000 and $4000, depending on your area. Some caskets such as those made of copper can sell for as much as $10,000. When you select a casket, you should get a copy of the casket list with descriptions and prices.

Will certain caskets preserve the body?
The purpose of a casket is to provide a dignified way to move the body before burial or cremation. No casket will preserve a body forever. Many metal caskets will have a rubber gasket or some other feature meant to delay the penetration of water into the casket.

Do I have to have a casket if I choose cremation?
If you choose cremation and are having a visitation or a funeral service, you may want to ask about a rental casket. If you are choosing direct cremation without a service or viewing, the funeral provider must offer an inexpensive, unfinished wood box or alternative container that is cremated with the body.

Are burial vaults required by law?
State laws do not require a burial vault or liner. Many cemeteries will require some type of outer burial container for the casket to prevent the grave from collapsing as the casket deteriorates over time. Before looking at any outer burial containers, the funeral home must present you with a list of prices and descriptions.

How do I choose a grave?
Look around at cemeteries in your area and close to home. Ask yourself if they meet the requirements of your family's religion, are there any restrictions for plantings or flowerpots or vases. Does the cemetery allow you to have the type of memorial you desire? Do they have restrictions for the size and type of memorial? Can you have a bench on the plot?

What is endowment care?
In addition to the cost for the grave, the cemetery may have a cost for endowment care. Endowment care is the care fee for maintenance and grounds keeping for the life of the cemetery. Talk to the cemetery about what type of maintenance and care the endowment care covers. In most cemeteries it is a one-time fee.

If I am a veteran, can I be buried for free?
All veterans are entitled to a free burial in a national cemetery and a grave marker in any cemetery. Spouses and dependent children are also entitled to a lot and marker when interred in a national cemetery. In a national cemetery, there are no charges for opening or closing of the grave, for an outer burial container, or for setting the marker. In a private cemetery, in addition to the costs of the grave and the burial, there is a cost for setting the veteran’s provided marker.

 


Shipping Questions

What is the cost of shipping?
The size of the memorial, as well as the weight and the distance it is shipped will determine the cost. Memorials from Monuments.com are shipped freight prepaid so the shipping cost within the United States is included in the price!

Do you ship anywhere?
We can ship anywhere in the U.S. and anywhere in the world a shipping company will deliver to. Shipping costs are additional on anything shipped outside of the United States.

Will your company deliver and set the memorial at the cemetery?
We can have the memorial shipped to the cemetery, if they will accept the delivery. Many cemeteries will have staff members who are able to install the memorial. Other times they may contract with another company for setting. Check with them to see how to make arrangements for installation.

Does the price include the installation?
The prices you see on Monuments.com do not include the cost of installation. Most cemeteries will have fees for installation and endowment care that you will pay directly to them. Check with them to find out what those charges might be.

When will I have to pay the cemetery for their fees?
Most cemeteries will probably require payment in full before accepting delivery of a memorial. When you check with them about their rules and regulations, verify when the payment has to be made. It may be possible to pay them as soon as you order the memorial.

How can I make a claim if the memorial is damaged in shipping?
Although we create a memorial to ensure a safe delivery to its destination, the rare possibility exists that damage can happen. If it does, we ask that you check for damages before accepting delivery from the shipping company and that any damages are noted on the bill of lading. Contact us immediately—before the memorial is installed.

 


Ordering Questions

How much does a memorial cost?
The type of material used, the size and shape of the memorial, the detail of the design and how many sides are finished can influence the cost. The shape of a memorial can be standard or customized. The range is from about $300 to over $10,000. Standard upright monuments average around $3000 to $5000.

It is possible to have a picture on the memorial?
This is a good question to ask the cemetery where the memorial will be placed—is a picture allowed on the memorial? If it is allowed, what type can you have? We have several types of pictures available for the memorials. We can tell you which type will work best for the memorial you would like. For more information, see our Headstone Design Gallery.

Do you have pet memorials?
Yes, we have several types of pet memorialsavailable. To see them, look under Pet Memorials.

Do you engrave non-English letters?
Yes, we can carve the memorials with non-English letters. We have the fonts for Hebrew, Russian, Greek, Vietnamese, and Korean letters. When the family gives the lettering to us, we can also carve Chinese, Japanese and Farsi, to name a few.

How long will it take to make the memorial?
The time frame for completion of your memorial will vary depending on the availability of granite, the customization of the memorial, photos, and number of drawings done for approval. For a standard design on a memorial we have in stock, we can complete engraving in four to six weeks (shipping time not included).

If I buy a companion stone now, how can my name be engraved on it later?
Most cemeteries and local monument companies add final dates on a regular basis for a nominal charge.

How can I find what I want?
Give us a call at 1 800 824 0669 or use the Contact Form and we will help you find a meaningful memorial that fits all your needs.