A gift to your family, sparing them hard decisions at an emotional time.
We understand that making the many decisions which come at a time of loss can be difficult.
Listed below is a guideline of the decisions that we will assist you in making.
If you have any questions or concerns regarding these decisions or to speak to one of our caring, professional staff members, please call us at (706) 778-8668.
We are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week.
Make "First Calls"
When someone dies various parties must be immediately notified, including:
The attending physician, a coroner or medical examiner to officially pronounce the death. If the deceased is in a hospital or other care facility, this is typically arranged by the staff of that facility.
Local law enforcement should be contacted first if the death is not attended, by a physician, or is due to unknown circumstances.
Family members or a legal representative of the deceased. They will need to locate the deceased's pre-arranged funeral plan, if one exists, for direction in how to proceed with funeral arrangements.
A Funeral Director to transfer the body from the place of death to a funeral home.
Planning a funeral involves making a myriad of decisions concerning everything from choosing a final resting place ... to selecting a casket ... to deciding on pallbearers.
We will help you plan the funeral ceremonies and then direct the ceremonies in accordance with your wishes, including coordinating with the cemetery, crematory or any other outside individuals. We also handle the technical services regarding the care, preparation, presentation, and final disposition of the deceased.
Choices that must be made when arranging a funeral include: Method of interment
Will the deceased be buried or entombed?
Will the deceased be cremated? If so, will the cremated remains be buried, entombed, scattered or kept by the family?
Will the body be donated to science? Will organs be donated?
Will there be a traditional funeral with the casket present or a memorial service without the presence of the casket? Will both types of services be held or no ceremonies at all?
Where will the ceremonies be held? At a funeral home? At a place of worship? At the graveside?
Will there be one or more visitations? If so, will the casket be open or closed?
Will the deceased be embalmed?
Who will participate in the funeral ceremonies? Clergy? Pallbearers? Speakers? Musicians or vocalists?
Will the ceremonies feature certain music, readings, or tributes?
Will there be a procession to the cemetery? Will the deceased be transported in a hearse? Will family travel in a limousine?
Select Funeral Merchandise and Memorial Items
The necessary funeral merchandise and any desired memorials can be purchased from the funeral home. Your options include:
Casket: If the body will be buried, you will need to choose a casket. There are many types of caskets to accommodate varied tastes, sizes and budgets. They can be made of metals or woods. The casket's interior fabric can be of varied materials, colors and designs.
Outer burial container: Most cemeteries require an outer burial container to place the casket in for burial. Their primary purpose is to support the soil. The minimum requirement is usually a concrete box. Burial vaults are more sophisticated enclosures that may be made of concrete and lined with plastic or metal. When the body will be entombed in a mausoleum, the cemetery does not require any container beyond the casket.
Urn: When cremation is the choice for final arrangements, an urn is needed to hold the ashes. Even if the family plans to scatter the ashes, a container will be needed to hold the ashes until the scattering takes place. Urns are available in marble, wood or metals such as bronze or steel. They can be personalized with engravings, military medallions, and emblems.
Grave marker: Grave markers can be made of stone such as granite or marble or metals, such as bronze. Memorials lie flush with the ground. Monuments sit upright and vary in size. Before purchasing a grave marker find out about your cemetery's rules and regulations governing marker placement and type.
Online memorials: Families can remember loved ones with lasting memorials on the world wide web. These memorials are available on a variety of websites and typically include a biography and photo of your loved one, as well as personal remembrances provided by family members and friends.
A cemetery is the place where the dead are buried or interred -- a "final resting place" for the deceased. A typical cemetery offers various types of grave spaces for earth burial and mausoleum crypts for entombment. Similar options are available for burial or entombment of cremated remains. The cemetery also provides services to open and close the grave or crypt and to install grave markers. Some cemeteries charge recurring fees for the perpetual maintenance of the grounds.
Since you are likely to visit the cemetery periodically to remember your loved one, location is an important consideration in selecting a cemetery. Many people purchase cemetery property in advance to relieve their survivors of this responsibility.
Following the funeral a variety of financial, legal and administrative matters must be addressed. The tasks you may need to do include:
Sending acknowledgement notes expressing gratitude for flowers, donations and special assistance.
Commencing estate proceedings. Whether an extensive Probate proceeding is necessary is determined by the size of the estate and the existence of a will and living trusts. An Executor, named in the will or appointed by the Probate Court will shepherd the estate through this process. Also, it may be necessary to hire an estate planning attorney to provide legal guidance.
Accounting for all assets and debts of the deceased. Make arrangements to pay outstanding bills. It may be necessary to have the Probate Court release short-term funds to cover these bills.
Filing death benefit claims with insurance companies, Social Security, the Veterans Administration, pension/retirement funds, unions, etc. Certified copies of the death certificate are usually required in making these claims.
Changing all jointly held accounts including, bank accounts, credit cards, mortgages, loans, brokerage accounts, stocks, bonds and other investments.
Sending notifications of death to:
Fraternal, social, and religious organizations
State and local agencies, such as the Department of Motor Vehicles, to transfer all licenses and titles
Telephone, utility, newspaper and any other services that are registered in the deceased's name