Funeral homes provide valuable burial and funeral services for many people. They are also known as “funeral parlors” or “mortuaries.” The services which they may provide include preparing and holding a wake as well as the actual funeral or cremation. They offer many of these services themselves, but may also serve as a means of making arrangements with other businesses.Austin Cheap Cremations It is very common for family members to choose a mortuary based on its proximity to their residence. However, in many areas, it is possible to perform all portions of the funeral at home.
However, there are seven states which require the involvement of a funeral parlor for at home services. These states are Connecticut, Indiana, Louisiana, Michigan, Nebraska, New York, and Utah. In these regions the involvement of funeral homes is required for such things as filing the death certificate, transporting the casket, and getting the body released from the hospital. This is required regardless of whether the family desires the involvement of a funeral director and whether or not they can afford it.
It is useful to note that the forty-three other states do not have these limitations on home funeral services. The argument for necessitating the presence of a mortuary or funeral director in home proceedings is that it enforces oversight. This oversight is intended to verify who has died, of what they have died and also that the corpse was handled with care. The reality is that either the last attending physician or the local medical examiner is responsible for verifying identity and cause of death for a death certificate. When it comes to cremation or interment, those wishing to break the law will likely not involve a mortuary anyway.
Also, the involvement of funeral homes does not guarantee that a body will be handled correctly. In fact, just as there are the occasional horror stories of a family hiding a death through illegal burial or cremation, there have also been stories of mishandling on the part of a funeral parlor. For instance, in the year 2006 the body of Erwin Jordan was lost by the Notier-Ver Lee-Langeland Funeral Home. It ended up being taken to a landfill with the garbage of Notier-Ver Lee-Langeland and was never recovered.
The Funeral Consumers Alliance is a non-profit group of organizations dedicated to providing the right of consumers to dignified, affordable, and meaningful funeral services. Their arguments against these laws requiring mortician involvement highlight the fact that many families provide at home care for their living elderly or disabled relatives. In this light, it does not make sense that care with matters involving deceased relatives should be a source of suspicion.
A family that manages their own funeral services does the same thing that a funeral director does. This includes filing all the necessary paperwork and bringing the body to either the crematory or cemetery.
Requiring the involvement of a director often encourages unnecessary charges. Some funeral homes operate with higher standards of ethics than others. Many will take advantage of the opportunity to charge a family for their services. U.S. mortuaries are permitted to charge a basic services fee which will generally cost at least $1,200. It may even surpass $3,000. This means that a family who wishes to handle the services entirely on their own may be charged these additional fees regardless of whether they even desire the services covered.
Even when a funeral home has the best of intentions there may be issues. In some situations, a director may be required to be present for the whole funeral from the beginning until its completion. If a family has an elaborate and lengthy funeral for traditional, personal, or religious reasons, the director must be present for this and will need to charge for his or her time.