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Funeral Services FAQs

Question Topics:

Funerals Explained

What Do Funeral Directors Do?

Funeral directors are caregivers and administrators. They make the arrangements for the transportation of the deceased, complete all necessary paperwork, and implement the choices made by the family regarding the funeral and final disposition of the deceased.

Funeral directors are listeners, advisors, and supporters. They have experience assisting the bereaved in coping with death. Funeral directors are trained to answer questions about grief, recognize when a person is having difficulty coping, and recommend sources of professional help. Funeral directors also link survivors with support groups at the funeral home or in the community. Please see our what we do page for more information.

What Types of Funeral Services Exist?

Every family is different, and not everyone wants the same type of funeral. Funeral practices are influenced by religious and cultural traditions, costs, and personal preferences. These factors help determine whether the funeral will be elaborate or simple, public or private, religious or secular, and where it will be held. They also influence whether the body will be present at the funeral, if there will be a viewing or visitation, and, if so, whether the casket will be open or closed and whether the remains will be buried or cremated. Let us plan a truly unique celebration of life for your loved one. Please see our funeral services overview page for more information.

Why Have a Public Viewing?

Viewing is part of many cultural and ethnic traditions. It also needs to be stated that viewings exist for the benefit of the survivors—not the deceased. Many grief specialists believe that viewing aids the grief process by helping the bereaved recognize the reality of death. Viewing is encouraged for children as long as the process is explained and the activity voluntary.

Final Disposition

Who Has Right to Final Disposition?

Public Health Law §4201 designates in descending priority those individuals which shall have the right to control the disposition of the decedent's remains, as follows:

  • Person designated in written instrument pursuant to Section §4201 of Public Health Law; 
  • Surviving spouse; 
  • Domestic partner 
  • Any of the decedent's surviving children over the age of 18 
  • Either of the decedent's parents 
  • Any of the decedent's surviving siblings (brothers or sisters) over the age of 18
  • A guardian appointed pursuant to Article 17 or Article 17-a of the Surrogate's Court Procedure Act (SCPA) or Article 81 of the Mental Hygiene Law 
  • Person 18 years or older now eligible to receive an estate distribution, in the following order: 
    • Grandchildren 
    • Great-grandchildren 
    • Nieces and nephews 
    • Grand-nieces and grand-nephews 
    • Grandparents 
    • Aunts and uncles 
    • First cousins 
    • Great-grandchildren of Grandparents 
    • Second cousins  
  • The duly appointed fiduciary of the decedent's estate 
  • Close friend or other relative who is reasonably familiar with the decedent's wishes, including his or her religious or moral beliefs, when no one higher on the list is available, willing, or competent to act; (Note: This person must complete an "At-Need Written Statement of Person Having the Right to Control Disposition" form) 
  • Public Administrator (or the same official in a county not having a public administrator); or, anyone willing to act on behalf of the decedent who completes the "At-Need Written Statement" form

Funeral Merchandise

Do I Need a Casket?

A casket is necessary for either above ground or in ground burial. The minimum requirement for burial in the state of New York is an alternative container, which is made of cardboard/fiberboard.

Can I Supply My Own casket?

Yes. We accept caskets purchased elsewhere, however, we are not responsible for damage during transit or delivery issues that may arise by common carrier.

Is a Burial Vault Required?

Burial vaults are required by several cemeteries in our area when burying in ground. In many cases, the minimum requirement is a grave liner.

Funerals & Preparation

What is the Purpose of Embalming?

Embalming sanitizes and preserves the deceased, retards the decomposition process, and enhances the appearance of the deceased. Embalming makes it possible to lengthen the time between death and the final disposition, thus allowing family members time to arrange and participate in the type of service most comforting to them.

Is Embalming Required Prior to Burial?

No, embalming is not required by law. Under certain circumstances, such as factors of time, public viewings before burial or when a deceased is to be transported from one state to another, embalming may be required.

Can the Body Be Viewed Without Embalming?

Yes. Immediate family members may briefly view the deceased prior to burial in one of our private viewing rooms. The deceased will be bathed, dressed and placed in their casket for private viewing. Under certain circumstances, embalming may be required.

Cost for Funerals

How Much Does a Funeral Cost?

The cost for a funeral is directly related to the amount of services you choose and the type of merchandise that is chosen. Please see our pricing page for more information on pricing and popular service plans.

In 2009, the average price for an adult, full-service funeral is $7755.00. ( This includes funeral home services for viewing with a service at the funeral home, minimum metal casket and burial vault. Cash advance items are additional.

How Are Funeral Expenses Paid For?

We accept a variety of payment options, including cash, check, major credit cards, life insurance assignments, VA benefits, funded burial trusts and Department of Social Services.

Help For Those Needing Financial Assistance

Is There Any Assistance For Those Families On Welfare?

The Monroe County Department of Social Services will provide benefits for deceased residents who are indigent, or who do not have any assets to pay for their funerals. The maximum benefit is $1250.00. We offer “No Cost” Burial and Cremation options for those who qualify.



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