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Making Funeral Pre-Arrangements in Gainesville

Making arrangements following the death of a loved one can be a terrible and difficult experience. Unfortunately, it is a necessity that some of us will have to endure. However, the professionals at Signature Memorial Funeral and Cremation Services can ease your burden and help you plan funeral arrangements. 

If you are getting ready to plan the funeral of a deceased family member or friend in Florida, this article will provide you with helpful tips and advice on how to properly arrange a burial and take care of all the details involved with a funeral.

Steps to Take After a Loved One Has Passed

After the passing of a beloved family member or friend, there are several steps that must be taken in beginning the funeral process. Making sure to take care of these important details will help make planning a funeral easier and prevent complications or surprises from arising. 

First Calls First

Upon discovery of the deceased, it is important to make calls to the appropriate parties first. If the death was not expected, attended, or due to unknown circumstances, your “first call” should be to local law enforcement. If you have already contacted law enforcement or law enforcement does not need to be involved, your next calls should go as follows:

  1. Attending Physician, Coroner, or Medical Examiner: This is necessary to have a medical professional officially pronounce the death. However, this should already be taken care of if the death occurs in a hospital or other care facility.

  2. Family Members or Legal Representatives: A close family member or legal representative should be one of your first calls if there is reason to believe the deceased may have had pre-arranged funeral plans. This will provide a guideline on how to proceed with the funeral arrangements.

  3. Funeral Director: It is important to contact the funeral director you plan on hiring for funeral arrangements. They can arrange transportation of the deceased to the funeral home or other care facility as well as help plan other funeral arrangements.

Secure Transportation for the Deceased 

If the deceased has already arranged to be taken to a specific funeral home or you know the local funeral home you wish to hire, it is important to arrange transportation of the deceased with the funeral director for that facility. A local funeral director can also help you arrange to have the deceased transferred to a funeral home or facility in another city or state if needed.

Look for Pre-Arrangements

If the deceased had previously arranged funeral plans, make sure to confirm those plans first. This will help you determine the funeral service provider the deceased has already selected and give you a guide on how to plan funeral arrangements.

Plan Funeral Arrangements

Once a funeral service provider has been selected, it is time to meet with the funeral director to plan funeral arrangements. The funeral director will be able to help you determine how the deceased will be cared for, whether you will be organizing a burial or cremation, and plan the type of ceremony you plan on holding. 

Affirm Cemetery Arrangements

The next step is to secure cemetery property in which the remains of the deceased will be laid to rest if this has not been previously taken care of. You will need to meet with officials from the cemetery you wish to have the deceased placed and purchase internment property such as:

  • Grave plot

  • Crypt

  • Niche for an urn

A funeral director can often help make these arrangements on behalf of the deceased. 

Choose Personalized Funeral And Memorial Products

As you work to plan funeral arrangements, you will want to select funeral or memorial products associated with the ceremony you intend on holding. This can include items such as:

  • Urns

  • Caskets

  • Burial vaults

  • Grave markers

  • Funeral stationery

  • Online memorial

Finalize Estate, Financial, and Administrative Matters

The last step to properly arranging the funeral of a loved one is to put their affairs in order. This means handling any legal, estate, financial, or administrative matters that need to be taken care of. Some items that may need to be addressed include:

  • Sending out death notices

  • Filing death benefit claims

  • Changing the title of the deceased’s assets

How to Make Arrangements When Death Is Imminent

If you know the death of a loved one is imminent, planning funeral arrangements in advance can help ease the burden of taking care of these steps while you are grieving. Choosing a funeral home and director to work with and making arrangements ahead of time can allow a seriously ill family member or friend to have a say in their funeral plans and gives time to compare options.

Signature Memorial Funeral and Cremation Services in Gainesville, Florida can help you and your family plan funeral arrangements ahead of time. We will guide you through every step of the process, allowing you more time to spend with your family and friends.

Understanding Funeral Costs and Pricing

It is important to understand the costs and pricing associated with funeral services when you are shopping for your options. All funeral homes are mandated by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to have an itemized list of all costs for goods and services they offer, known as a General Price List, available to the customers. Another stipulation to this law is it permits customers to purchase only the goods and services they are looking for without having to buy a whole package.

Basic Service Fees

Almost all funeral homes employ a basic service fee. A basic service fee should incorporate all of the general costs associated with hiring a funeral home including:

  • Use of the funeral home

  • The services of the funeral director and funeral home attendants

  • Coordination of funeral arrangements with a cemetery or other third parties

  • Securing permits and death certificates

Optional Service Fees

Most funeral homes will offer services above and beyond the basic funeral services expected. These services are optional and can help make the ceremony of your loved ones more personalized and lavish. Optional services provided can include:

  • Transporting the body

  • Embalming 

  • Burial containers

  • Cremation

  • Internment 

  • Use of the funeral home for viewing (wakes)

  • Use of a hearse or limousine

Cash Disbursements

A cash disbursement is a fee that allows the funeral home or director to purchase goods and services from other vendors on your behalf and with your consent. There may be an additional service fee for arranging these purchases with third-party vendors. Items purchased with cash disbursements can include:

  • Clergy services

  • Flower arrangements

  • Pallbearers

  • Musicians 

  • Caterers

  • Obituary notices

What to Do After a Funeral

Once you have taken care of all of the funeral arrangements and your loved one has been properly memorialized and laid to rest, it is time to handle a few other items that were allowed to wait. Closing the final affairs of the deceased can involve:

  • Acquiring 10-15 copies of the death certificate

  • Informing banks, financial advisors, and mortgage companies of the death

  • Filing life insurance claim or claims

  • Canceling coverage for car insurance, homeowners insurance, or other policies

  • Closing credit card accounts and notifying credit reporting agencies

  • Canceling the deceased’s driver license

  • Applying for survivor benefits from social security

  • Contact medicare for benefits if this is not handled by your social security officer

  • Close or memorialize social media accounts

It is important to get multiple copies of the death certificate as many of these actions will require a death certificate and can only be performed by the executor of the estate.

Need Help? Speak to the Professionals at Signature Memorial

If you have recently lost a loved one or would like to plan funeral arrangements in advance in Gainesville, Florida let the professionals at Signature Memorial Funeral and Cremation Services be your guide. Signature Memorial offers all the funeral and cremation services to properly celebrate the life of the dearly departed and help ease them into their final resting place.

Take all the worry and concern out of your funeral planning by giving us a call today at (352) 286-0966 or schedule your consultation online today. We look forward to giving you and your loved ones peace of mind.

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