Planning for a Funeral or a Cremation

Human remains can be buried, entombed, cremated, or donated for scientific study. This articles explores some of the frequently asked questions about these methods and processes.

What is meant by immediate disposition?

Immediate disposition is the interment, entombment, or cremation of the remains without ceremonies. Immediate disposition usually includes transfer of the remains to the funeral home, merchandise as selected, filing of the necessary documents and transportation to the cemetery or the crematory.

Can a body be cremated immediately following death?

No. The authorization form is signed by the next of kin. (i.e. the state of Oklahoma requires a special permit from the State Medical Examiner before a body can be cremated). Requirements vary from state to state.

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What is done with cremated remains?

Cremated remains may be disposed of in a number of ways: buried in a cemetery, placed in a niche in a columbarium, kept by the family in their home, or scattered on private land with the consent of the property owner.

Can a family bury its own dead without using a licensed funeral director?

Yes. See 59 O.S. §396.19 for additional information. The family would be responsible to see that a death certificate is completed and filed at the health department.

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Can a family bury on their own property?

Generally, local ordinances, zoning laws, or deed restrictions prohibit burials outside a cemetery within city limits. If you anticipate burial on private property, contact your attorney for guidance. The requirements to establish a cemetery are found in 8 O.S. §181.

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How do people select a funeral home?

Visit the funeral home, tour their facilities, and understand the ways in which your needs will be served.

Prices for service, facilities and merchandise may vary significantly from one funeral home to another. Inquire about the terms of payment. Most funeral homes require payment in full before the funeral service, some may accept insurance assignments or take credit cards.

Selecting a funeral home before the need occurs will relieve you of the emotional pressure present when a death has occurred.

How can I tell who owns a funeral home?

The name of the establishment, location, owner and Funeral Director In Charge all appear on the establishments license displayed in the funeral home.

Over time funeral homes may change ownership, prices may change, and levels of service may change although the name of the firm remains the same and the former owner may continue to be employed there. Even if your family has used a funeral home for many years, it is a good idea to re-examine your choice from time to time

How can I learn about funeral costs?

Inquire by telephone or visit the funeral home in person. Any consumer entering a funeral home making inquiries is entitled to receive the General Price List itemizing the costs of funeral services and the merchandise for sale.

What Should Be Done When A Death Occurs?

Step 1

Make an appointment with G.C. Williams Funeral Home Inc. Our winning team will help coordinate arrangements with the cemetery. Some information to complete the State vital statistic requirements is listed below:

  • Birth Date
  • Birthplace
  • Father’s Name
  • Mother’s Name
  • Social Security Number
  • Veteran’s Discharge or Claim Number
  • Education
  • Marital Status

Step 2

Contact your Minister, the funeral home will assist if none is available. Decide on time and place of funeral or memorial service.

Step 3

The funeral home will assist you in determining the number of copies of death certificates you will be needing and can order them for you.

Step 4

Make a list of immediate family, close friends and employer or business colleagues. Notify each by phone.

Step 5

Decide on appropriate memorial to which gifts may be made (church, hospice, library, charity or school).

Step 6

Gather obituary information including age, place of birth, cause of death, occupation, college degrees, memberships held, military service, outstanding work, list survivors in immediate family. The funeral home will normally make arrangements to run obituary in the newspaper.

Step 7

Arrange for members of family or close friends to take turns answering door or phone, keeping careful record of calls.

Step 8

If Social Security checks are automatic deposit, notify the bank of the death.

Step 9

Coordinate the supplying of food for the next several days.

Step 10

Arrange for child care, if necessary.

Step 11

Select pallbearers and notify the funeral home. (Avoid anyone with heart or back difficulties, or make them honorary pallbearers).

Step 12

Plan for disposition of flowers after funeral (church, hospital or rest home).

Step 13

Prepare list of distant persons to be notified by letter and/or printed notice, and decide which to send to each.

Step 14

Prepare list of persons to receive acknowledgments of flowers, calls, etc. Send appropriate acknowledgments (can be a written note, printed acknowledgments, or some of each). Include “thank you” notes to those who have given their time as well.

Step 15

Notify insurance companies.

Step 16

Locate the will and notify lawyer and executor.

Step 17

Check carefully all life and casualty insurance and death benefits, including Social Security, credit union, trade union, fraternal, and military. Check also on income for survivors from these sources.

Step 18

Check promptly on all debts and installment payments, including credit cards. Some may carry insurance clauses that will cancel them. If there is to be a delay in meeting payments, consult with creditors and ask for more time before the payments are due.

Step 19

If deceased was living alone, notify utilities and landlord and tell post office where to send mail.

Step 20

The Funeral Director will assist you with the preparation of the Social Security Form SSA 721. Check with Social Security Office to see that the SS number is retired.

Do You Have More Questions? Contact us at any time.

G.C. Williams Funeral Home Inc. 1935 W. Broadway Louisville, KY 40203-3549

Phone: (502) 772-3123 FAX: (502) 772-5433

In this section


Military & Veterans Memorial Planning

Planning for a Funeral or a Cremation

Next Steps

Pre-Arrangements Form

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