Frequently Asked Funeral Questions
- What purpose does a funeral serve?
It is the customary way to recognize death and its finality. Funerals are a recognized way for the living to show respect for the dead and to help survivors begin the grief process.
- What do funeral directors do? Funeral directors 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 body. 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 at the funeral home or in the community.
- Why are funerals so expensive? A funeral home is a 24-hour, labor-intensive business, with extensive facilities including viewing rooms, chapels, limousines, hearses, etc. These expenses must be factored into the cost of a funeral. Moreover, the cost of a funeral includes not only the caskets, but the services of a funeral director in making arrangements, filing appropriate forms, making arrangements with doctors, ministers, florists, newspapers and others and seeing to all the necessary details.
- What is the purpose of embalming? Embalming sanitizes and preserves the body, retards the decomposition process, and enhances the appearance of a body disfigured by traumatic death or illness. Embalming makes it possible to lengthen the time between death and the final disposition, allowing family members time to arrange the type of service most comforting to them.
- Does a dead body have to be embalmed, according to law? No. Most states, however, require embalming when death was caused by a reportable contagious disease, when remains are to be transported from one state to another by common carrier, if final disposition is not to be made within a prescribed number of hours or if there is to be a public viewing.
- Why do I have to use a vault? Is it required by law? Texas law does not require a vault or outer burial container. However, many perpetual care cemeteries require an outer burial container or vault to prevent the ground from collapsing.