These are some of the most commonly asked questions about funerals and cremation services. We hope this information will be both educational and helpful.
- Probating the will
- Filing life insurance (each policy will need a copy)
- Changing property deeds or titles
- Selling property owned by your loved one
- Succession planning
Funeral Services FAQs
Traditionally, funerals can cost as little as $3,500 for a direct disposition. (Direct disposition includes registering the death, a basic casket or container, and transporting the deceased to a cemetery or crematorium). For an adult, full-service funeral, the average cost in the United States is about $6,500. This includes all professional services like transfer of remains, embalming, and other preparation; use of viewing facilities and the facilities for the ceremony; hearse, and the purchase of a casket.
Funeral costs have increased no faster than the consumer price index for other consumer items. Similar to other family events, the type and cost of funerals vary according to the preferences, traditions and budget of the consumer. In addition, a funeral home is a 24-hour, labor-intensive business, with extensive facilities (viewing rooms, chapels, hearses, etc.). These expenses must be factored into the cost of a funeral. The cost of a funeral includes not only merchandise, like caskets and urns, but the services of a funeral director in making arrangements; filing appropriate forms; dealing with doctors, ministers, florists, newspapers; and seeing to all the necessary details.
Through Simple Traditions by Johnson, you will save at least $1,400 over traditional funeral home arrangements by making your selections online and providing the personal and obituary information necessary.
Although each state regulates this differently, there are numerous options available. The cremated remains can be buried in a cemetery, placed in a niche, kept at home, scattered (with permission) on private property, in certain public waterways or at least three miles off most coastlines. If you choose to scatter the cremated remains on land or water, it is advisable to consult the local authorities. As you make this decision, there are numerous special urns or containers designed specifically for helping with the scattering of remains.
If you decide to keep the cremated remains, a wide variety of decorative urns are available to honor the lifestyle, values and religious preferences of the individual or the family. There are also smaller, “keepsake” urns which enable the cremated remains to be divided and kept by various family members. Most recently, special "keepsake" jewelry is being designed and crafted in a variety of styles and materials. All have been designed to hold a small portion of the cremated remains.
If the cremated remains are to be buried, special burial urn vaults are available to protect and secure the urn containing the cremated remains. Although not required by state law, some cemeteries require some type of urn vault. We also offer special urns designed for scattering of remains, if desired.
The cremation must be authorized by the legally authorized person according to state law. Cremation may not be performed until a legally authorized person gives written authorization for such cremation. State law also defines the "legally authorized person" and sets up the order of priority of next of kin. It is our policy to require this written authorization be executed on our "Authorization for Cremation" form before the cremation is scheduled. This form must be signed by the next of kin as determined by the order specified by the state of death. Next of kin may be defined as:
- Self (if allowed by state law)
- Any person designated in a written instrument signed by the decedent (if allowed by state law)
- Child/Children of legal age
- Sibling(s) of legal age
- Other adult persons in the next degree of kinship in order named by law to inherit the estate.