Working at a funeral home….


I sometimes just want to bang my head off my desk. . . . . .  I understand that families have their problems, really I do! but families have to understand that we CANNOT get in the middle of these arguments or disagreements. let’s review some things here.

For cremation.

If the deceased is to be cremated we need the Next of Kin’s signature for the cremation authorization. That does not always mean that the Next of Kin will be picking up the cremated remains when they are ready to be picked up. By law the Next of Kin is who legally is entitled to pick the cremains up. BUT, during the time of arrangement, we ask the family who is to be contacted when the cremated remains are available to be picked up. Sometimes the spouse will let the daughter/son pick them up, or say the deceased is widowed and no children, so the mom is going to pick them up. whatever the case may be, whoever that person is to be contacted signs a form and the next of kin initials that form stating that is the person who will be picking the cremains up from the funeral home. see, it covers our ass! So, it doesn’t matter who paid. who signed the authorization, etc…..if there are problems and people are fighting over the cremains, then we will give them to the next of kin, no questions asked, no special “who should we call” NOTHING! this way, we wipe our hands clean of the whole this person that person….so, don’t call the funeral home and start bitching that so and so doesn’t deserve to be able to pick the cremains up because they are not close to the decease or have been separated from the decease for x amount of years, or they are no good rotten kids, etc…. I don’t really care. and even if I did care, well, it is not for me to decide. I get one person calling me to make sure that they are the ONLY ones to be able to pick them cremains up, then I get another person calling to see if they can pick them up because the person who is suppose to pick them up is a bitch, an asshole, etc… then I get a call from someone saying they paid for the whole funeral they should be the ones who should get the cremains. then I get a call from someone who thinks they have a law degree and insists they know what they are talking about. WELL, if you knew what you were talking about then you wouldn’t have called! SO, legally, the NEXT of KIN is who we would contact to pick up the cremains. UNLESS otherwise stated BY THE NEXT of KIN and documented by the Next of Kin that they are allowing so and so to pick them up! Now, when whoever picks the cremains up, whether it is the next of kind or whoever the next of kin allowed to pick them up, that person MUST sign a paper stating that they picked them up!  it is dated and also signed by the funeral home rep.

I had a friend ask me the other day about what are you suppose to do or what can you do if you cannot pay for a funeral. Well, not much really. Hopefully the deceased has a life insurance policy. I think I went over that in one of my recent posts. Other than that, I guess one would have to find a funeral home that takes payments. Which is hard to come by. I know of a couple but that’s it. You can also apply for state aid. but they only pay a few hundred dollars. and if the deceased had any kind of assets whatsoever they WILL find them and deduct that from what they will pay out. I’m not talking a thousand dollars here either, I’m talking the state will only pay out about $500 – $800, depending on if you want burial or cremation. they will pay more toward a burial. to bury someone is more expensive than cremation. so, usually I will tell people if you know you cannot afford it, then don’t do it. there is always direct cremation. you can always have a memorial service later on. you can have a memorial anywhere you want really, it doesn’t have to be at the funeral home. it can be at a park, at church, a hall, your home….so you can save money there. so, if you were approved for the full amount from the state and you decided you wanted a direct cremation. your total bill would be $1600.00 not including the cost of death certificates. I know it is still a lot of money, but compared to a full-out funeral it’s extremely inexpensive! if you decided you wanted a burial and you wanted 2 days of viewing and the 3rd day a service you’re looking at $6000 – $10,000 !!

I know a lot of people always use the same funeral home, their entire family uses the same funeral home. but, when it comes to trying to find the most cost-effective way to have a funeral, especially these days, call around, get pricing. funeral homes should be able to give you an estimate over the phone. NOT A guarantee of pricing, just and estimate! and again, when you ask if they take payments and they say ‘no’, don’t get snippy with them, they are only doing their job!

when you are making funeral arrangements please try to bring the clothing you want the deceased to wear at that time. I always try to remind people when they call to set up arrangement times to bring in clothing. we cannot work miracles when people do not bring us clothing in time. it is a process to get a deceased dressed and cannot be done in the chapel. we would like to have the clothing as soon as you can possibly bring it to us, NOT the day of the viewing! same goes for makeup and wigs, etc… if you do not specify or bring in a picture of what the deceased is suppose to look like we will try to do our best without knowing, but when you come in to see them for the first viewing and you do not like it….well, we asked you to bring in a pic and you did not do so. we, again, can only do so much once this person is already casketed. we will do our best for you. but once the makeup is already one, we can only add to it. a picture for hair and makeup will help us tremendously!

alrighty…..Happy Holiday!

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