Frequently Asked Questions
|New Beginnings Funeral Service, Inc.
Many people have questions that they would like to ask of a funeral director. Let's face
it, death is not exactly a subject that many of us prefer to discuss.
Death and dying have always been taboo subjects, and many go through life with the
wrong information. Television and the movies all give us the wrong impression of how
death should be dealt with. A death of a loved one takes a great emotional toll on
everyone. In fact a death of a spouse has more impact than losing a job, or losing your
personal belongings to a fire. Over the past 15 years more and more research has been
done on death and dying than in the past century.
We now know that there are particular stages that every one goes through to cope with
The main reason for us establishing this Internet site, was to educate people in the areas
of death and dying. We have put together some Commonly Asked Questions here, but
if you have a question that is not listed, please feel free to call or e-mail us. No question
is too "stupid" to ask, so please ask away. This is our sole purpose on this site. If you
use our e-mail to ask, all confidentiality will be respected.
Funeral & Burial Questions
1. What purpose does a funeral serve?
It is the customary way to recognize death and its finality. Funerals are recognized
rituals for the living to show respect for the dead and to help survivors begin the grief
2. What do funeral directors do?
Funeral directors are caregivers and administrators. They make the arrangements for
transportation of the body, complete all necessary paperwork, and implement the
choices made by the family regarding the funeral and final disposition of the decedent.
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 in
3. I've never arranged a funeral before. What do I need to know?
At some time in our lives, most of us will make or assist in making funeral
arrangements. This will not be an easy time, but we offer these tips for smart planning:
* Be an informed consumer and ask questions
* Choose an independent funeral home and a licensed funeral director
* Discuss all service and payment options during the funeral arrangements
* Make sure you receive a copy of the funeral home's General Price List
* Be prepared and make decisions and organize details in advance of need
* Plan a personalized and meaningful ceremony to help you begin healing
4. Why have a public viewing?
Viewing is part of many cultural and ethnic traditions. 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
5. 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 decedent 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
decedent will be buried or cremated.
6. What is the purpose of embalming?
Embalming sanitizes and preserves the decedent, retards the decomposition process,
and enhances the appearance of a decedent disfigured by traumatic death or illness.
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.
7. Is embalming required by law?
No. Most states, however, require embalming when death was caused by a reportable
contagious disease, or when the decedent is to be transported from one state to another
by common carrier, or if final disposition is not to be made within a prescribed number
At New Beginnings Funeral Service, Inc., embalming is required if final disposition is
after 48 hours.
8. Is it possible to have a traditional funeral if someone dies of AIDS?
Yes, A person who dies of an AIDS-related illness is entitled to the same service
options afforded to anyone else. If public viewing is consistent with local or personal
customs, that option is encouraged. Touching the deceased's face or hands is perfectly
Because the grief experienced by survivors may include a variety of feelings, survivors
may need even more support than survivors of non-AIDS-related deaths.
9. Is cremation a substitute for a funeral?
No, cremation is an alternative to earth burial or entombment for the decedent's final
disposition and often follows a traditional funeral service.
As more people are choosing cremation, funeral service professionals are striving to
give consumers a true sense of what their many options are for a funeral service. Often
funeral directors find that people have a preconception that they have fewer choices for
a ceremony when selecting cremation for themselves or a loved one. Therefore, they
request direct cremation and deny the surviving friends and family an opportunity to
honor them with a memorial service. In actuality, cremation is only part of the
commemorative experience. In fact, cremation can actually increase your options when
planning a funeral. Cremation gives people the flexibility to search for types of tributes
that reflect the life being honored. But this doesn't mean that aspects of traditional
funeral services have to be discarded. Even with cremation, a meaningful memorial that
is personalized to reflect the life of the deceased could include:
* A visitation prior to the service
* An open or closed casket
* Special music
* A ceremony at the funeral chapel, your place of worship or other special location
* Participation by friends and family
Commonly, the cremated decedent is placed in an urn and committed to an indoor or
outdoor mausoleum; interred in a family burial plot; or included in a special urn garden.
Cremation also gives families the option to scatter the decedent. This can be done in a
designated cemetery garden or at a place that was special to the person. Today,
cremated remains can even become part of an ocean reef or made into diamonds.
10. Where can I get more information on cremation?
We can assist you with the necessary information for a funeral or memorial service with
Funeral Cost Questions
11. What does the average funeral cost?
In 2006 the average charge for an adult, full service funeral was $5,771.73. This
includes a professional service charge, transfer of deceased, embalming, other
preparation, use of viewing facilities, use of facilities for ceremony, hearse, limousine,
and casket. The casket included in this price was an 18 gauge steel casket with velvet
interior which may or may not be the most common casket chosen. Vault, cemetery and
monument charges are additional. (Source: 2006 NFDA Survey of Funeral Home
What To Do If Death Occurs
12. What should I do if a death occurs at home?
Today, more people with terminal illnesses are electing to die at home under the care of
hospice. In this situation, you just need to notify Hospice that New Beginnings Funeral
Service, Inc. is the funeral home of your choice, they will then take care of all necessary
13. What should I do for an unanticipated death at home or elsewhere?
In these situations, immediately call 911. The police and emergency medical personnel
will then determine the appropriate steps to be taken. When death occurs, New
Beginnings Funeral Service, Inc. personnel are available to assist you at any hour, seven
days a week. Call (252) 826-0282 for assistance. We will help coordinate
arrangements with the cemetery, church and clergy.
14. What should I do if a death occurs in an Institution?
When the death occurs at a hospital or nursing home, the medical staff should take care
of all necessary legal steps. You just need to notify the medical staff that New
Beginnings Funeral Service, Inc. is the funeral home handling arrangements so they can
have you sign any necessary release paperwork.
15. If a loved one dies out of state, can the local funeral home still help?
When death occurs away from home, New Beginnings Funeral Service, Inc can assist
you with out-of-state arrangements and transfer the deceased to a preferred location.
Call (252) 826-0282 for assistance
16. Will someone come right away?
If you request immediate assistance, yes. If the family wishes to spend a short time with
the deceased to say good bye, that is also acceptable. New Beginnings Funeral
Service, Inc. staff will come when the time is right for you.
|New Beginnings Funeral Service, Inc.
109 W. 5th Street
Scotland Neck, NC 27874