Q:What do I need to bring when making cremation or burial arrangements? - Back to Top
A:We hope you will find the following list helpful as you prepare to meet with one of our trained cremation counselors. These are some of the areas and details you will want to be prepared to discuss as we review the arrangement process and finalize the honoring of your loved one.
- Biographical Information of your loved one including:
- Father's name and Mother's name (including maiden)
- Social Security card of your loved one
- Clothes for viewing prior to cremation
- Military Discharge Papers (DD214 Form) for Veterans
- Photos for display at Memorial Service and for Video production
Q:What do I need to know when selecting a cremation provider? - Back to Top
A:The choice to cremate accounts for 26% of all final disposition arrangements in the United States today. There are many cremation service providers to choose from, and we encourage you to carefully research and consider your options. You will want to consider the crematory's location, ownership, operational and witnessing procedures. Some questions to ask are:
It is an honor and privilege for us at LocalCremation.com to assist you during this important time in your life. Should you choose to entrust us with the details of your loved one's memory, we are so certain that you will be pleased with our services that we will reduce or remove our fee if you are dissatisfied in any way.
- Can I inspect the facilities before signing any agreement?
- Can family choose to witness the beginning of the cremation process?
- Is the crematory owned and operated onsite?
- Can I get a General Price List (GPL) of services offered and their costs, plus a cremation casket and urn price list?
Q:Why is ownership of the crematory important to me? - Back to Top
A:Many funeral homes and cremation service providers must contract cremation services to a third-party crematory. However, at LocalCremation.com we operate our own crematory with the most modern, efficient and secure processing available today and, as a result, can offer simple, dignified and affordable cremations. LocalCremation.com, a division of Rest Haven Crematory, is a member of the Cremation Society of North America, the Better Business Bureau, and is licensed by the Texas Funeral Service Commission.
Today, many cremation providers are not only corporately owned, but also must contract out to other crematories for the actual cremation service. At LocalCremation.com, however, we own and operate our own crematory. This enables us to provide you complete and personalized cremation arrangement service from the moment you walk through our door. Our crematory houses a state of the art cremation unit, and is operated by highly trained crematory operators, who are also licensed funeral directors. We can guarantee that each and every detail of your cremation arrangement will be handled by our own professional and compassionate staff.
When considering cremation, you are entitled to have complete knowledge of the process and to feel completely comfortable with the crematory that you choose. Should you choose LocalCremation.com, we are confident that we can provide you with a level of service that exceeds your expectation.
Q:What standards should I expect when choosing a Cremation Service Provider: - Back to Top
A:It is our hope that you will entrust us to handle your cremation arrangements. However, no matter who you choose, below are some important standards that all Cremation Service Providers should meet.
- Up-Front Pricing: The Federal Trade Commission requires that consumers be given a General Price List as soon as there is any discussion about services. It is your right to ask for a General Price List, and any reputable Cremation Service Provider should be glad to provide one.
- Crematory Location: The crematory should be located in a facility that accepts visitors and allows for public inspection. A trustworthy Cremation Service Provider welcomes this accountability to, and compliance with, the regulatory guidelines set by the State of Texas.
- Affiliations: In the funeral industry it is common for one company to own and operate several mortuary/crematory centers under different names. So, it is important to ask if all of the companies affiliated with the Cremation Service Provider are members of the Cremation Association of North America and the Better Business Bureau. Both of these are voluntary associations that show good faith and practice. Also, all affiliated companies and certain employees should be in good standing with the Texas Funeral Service Commission.
- Policies and Procedures: Since cremation is an irreversible process, a reputable Cremation Service Provider will have written policies and procedures to ensure that you and your loved one will be cared for properly and treated with dignity. In addition, a family member should be offered the opportunity to make a positive identification of the deceased before the cremation process begins.
- Inspection: You have the right to inspect everything listed in the first four items. If inspection is denied, or even offered hesitantly, that could be cause for concern.
- Witnessed Cremation: Witnessing the beginning of the cremation process offers closure for some people. Any family member desiring to witness this process should feel welcome to do so. The crematory in no way should discourage you from doing so.
- Guarantee: Your peace of mind should be guaranteed based on the items outlined above. If a Cremation Service Provider cannot live up to these 7 Standards, avoid the potential for abuse and keep looking for a Cremation Service Provider that can. Furthermore, if you are dissatisfied with any aspect of service, that charge should be reduced or eliminated.
Q:Why do we ask you to identify your loved one? - Back to Top
A:We do encourage at least one representative from the family make a positive identification before the cremation actually takes place. We have found that this often provides families not only a sense of closure, but also peace of mind as you make that final visual contact with your cherished loved one. We will take thoughtful, careful measures when we prepare your loved one for viewing so that process of identification is carried out with dignity, respect, and great sensitivity for you and your family. A final viewing can be attended by as many as five family members and can be scheduled at an appropriate time.
Q:Why should LocalCremation.com direct the Memorial Service? - Back to Top
A:You will appreciate our many years of experience in planning and conducting a memorial service that reflects the dignity and beauty of the life remembered. Our expertise will help to relieve the sometimes overwhelming burden of details and organization at this very stressful, emotional time. We will:
- Oversee the receipt and display of flowers
- Provide ushers to facilitate seating arrangements
- Coordinate with clergy, musicians and other service participants
- Greet and direct guests as they enter
- Provide beautiful choices on printed items for service
- Create memorable photo displays
Q:What are the burial/niche allowances provided by the Veteran's Administration? - Back to Top
A:Veteran's Administration Burial Allowances are partial reimbursements of an eligible veteran's burial and funeral costs. When the cause of death is not service related, the reimbursements generally include two payments:
Additionally, Veterans are entitled to a free burial plot or cremation niche and a marker (headstone) at any National Cemetery. This free burial plot or cremation niche is for the veteran, the veteran's spouse and any adult disabled children still living with the veteran.
- a burial (including cremated remains) and funeral expense allowance
- a plot, niche or interment allowance
Q:Who is eligible for Veteran's Administration allowances? - Back to Top
A:Survivors of a veteran may be eligible for a Veteran's Administration burial allowance if:
You may be paid for a veteran's burial or funeral, AND you have not been reimbursed by another government agency or some other source, such as the deceased veteran's employer, AND the veteran was discharged under conditions other than dishonorable.
In addition, at least ONE of the following conditions must be met:
The veteran died because of a service-related disability, OR the veteran was receiving Veteran's Administration pension or compensation at the time of death, OR the veteran was entitled to receive Veteran's Administration pension or compensation, but decided not to reduce his/her military retirement or disability pay, OR the veteran died while hospitalized by the Veteran's Administration, or while receiving care under Veteran's Administration contract at a non-Veteran's Administration facility, OR the veteran died while traveling under proper authorization and at Veteran's Administration expense to or from a specified place for the purpose of examination, treatment, or care, OR the veteran had an original or reopened claim pending at the time of death and has been found entitled to compensation or pension from a date prior to the date of death, OR the veteran died after October 9, 1996, while a patient at a Veteran's Administration-approved state nursing home.
Q:How much does the Veteran's Administration pay? - Back to Top
A:Service-Related Death The Veteran's Administration will pay up to $2000 toward burial expenses for deaths after September 11, 2001. If the veteran is buried in a Veteran's Administration National Cemetery, some or all of the cost of transporting the deceased may be reimbursed.
Non Service-Related Death The Veteran's Administration will pay up to $300 toward burial and funeral expenses and a $300 plot interment allowance for deaths after December 1, 2001. If the death happened while the veteran was in a Veteran's Administration hospital or under Veteran's Administration contracted nursing home care, some or all of the costs for transporting the veteran's remains may be reimbursed.
The Veteran's Administration can only Reimburse the family and not the Funeral Home or Crematory
Q:How Can I Apply for Veteran's Administration allowances? - Back to Top
A:You can apply by filling our VA Form 21-530, Application for Burial Benefits. You should attach a copy of the veteran's military discharge document (DD214 or equivalent), death certificate, funeral and burial bills. You may download this form at http://www.va.gov/vaforms/