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We can guide you through the many options and considerations to help you determine the arrangements that best suite your needs.   We will help you find a balance between the emotional, spiritual and financial needs of your surviving loved ones after you have gone. The following are brief descriptions of some good things to know when arranging or pre-planning a funeral.


Prearrangements: Meeting with a funeral director to discuss options for a person's final disposition before death. This meeting often includes providing biographical information and learning about the costs of services and merchandise. It can also include pre-paying the cost of a funeral. In New York State, funeral homes are not required to guarantee the price of a pre-paid funeral. Monies paid on pre-arranged funerals are kept in an interest-bearing account (in the person's name) and interest income helps defray future price increases.

Irrevocable Prearrangement Accounts: A legal document signed by a person (or his/her Power of Attorney) verifying that designated funds have been deposited in a pre-paid funeral account that will only be used for future funeral expenses. The amount of funds may not exceed the total listed on an itemized funeral statement at the time of pre-arrangements. Once established, these funds may be transferred, but not be used for other purposes.

Final Disposition: The manner in which a person's body will be legally taken care of after death (burial, cremation, entombment or anatomical gift).

Traditional Funeral: A funeral that generally includes calling hours (wake/visitation) followed by a funeral ceremony or rite before final disposition on the same or next day. Interment: Earth burial in a cemetery.

Entombment: Burial above ground in a cemetery lawn crypt or family or community mausoleum.

Cremation: A body and outer receptacle are consumed by direct flame and cremated remains are pulverized, packaged, and returned to a family.

Embalming: The process of disinfecting and preserving bodily remains using specialized chemicals and procedures. Embalming is not required in New York State; however many funeral homes require embalming if a family requests viewing or calling hours/visitation. Without viewing or public visitation, embalming is not needed.

 Funeral Itemization: A statement prepared by a licensed funeral director at the time of funeral arrangements that outlines the projected costs of professional services, merchandise, and anticipated cash advances of a funeral.

 Cash Advances: The cost of funeral expenses that are generally paid in advance or on the day of a funeral by the funeral home on behalf of the family. Cash advance items may include: grave opening, cremation and cemetery fees, clergy honoraria, organist and/or soloist stipends, and certified copies of death certificates.

 Certified copies of death certificate: Copies of death certificate provided (for a fee) by a Registrar of Vital Statistics and Town or City Clerk. Certified copies may contain a verifying statement and official seal and are used to legally redeem, transfer, or divest monies, property or other assets from a deceased person's ownership.