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August 2005

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Funeral Planning | Frequently Asked Questions and Information Regarding Cremation

Frequently Asked Questions Regarding Funeral Planning

How much does a funeral cost?
The cost of a funeral depends greatly on the exact requests or wishes of a family. When planning a funeral service, a family experiencing a loss needs to not only honor the requests of the deceased, but be true to the needs and wishes of those who survive. Funeral home costs can be separated into three different areas, service (i.e. funeral services, embalming, automobile usage, visitation, etc.), merchandise (i.e. casket selection, outer burial container selection, urn selection, monuments or markers, paper goods, etc.) and cash advances (i.e. cemetery expenses to open and close the grave, honoraria to ministers and musicians, obituary expenses, traffic escorts for the funeral procession, certified death certificate fees, taxes, etc.) The only way to accurately compare costs between one funeral home and another is to compare all of these items together. Additionally you may find that some funeral homes charge extra fees for services that other funeral homes do not charge for. These items can include, filing life insurance, insurance assignments to pay funeral expenses, forwarding money to the cemetery for opening and closing of the grave, filing for veteran's benefits, filing for SRS benefits, etc. It is important to note that Cochran Mortuary does not charge extra fees for any of the above mentioned items. When enquiring about funeral costs, always request a "General Price List". Under the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) Funeral Rule, a funeral home must upon request provide a copy of their General Price List itemizing all service charges available from the funeral home.

Do the funeral home charges I select cover all funeral expenses?
In some circumstances, can all funeral expenses be covered by selections at the funeral home. Unfortunately most of the time, the expenses for the purchase of cemetery property need to be handled directly with the cemetery selected. Cochran Mortuary's team of funeral directors will lead you in the right direction, whether we can cover all of the expenses or not.

If my grave space is in a cemetery owned by another funeral home, can Cochran Mortuary perform the funeral service and burial at no additional cost?
The simple answer is yes. In our free market society, any licensed funeral home can provide services and burial in any cemetery.

Can a family view the body if it is not embalmed?
A brief private family viewing period can be arranged in this instance if it is within a reasonable time after the death occurs. It is important to note that embalming is not a measure for preservation. It is a measure for sanitation.

I don't go to church. Can I have a religious service?
Cochran Mortuary employs a multi-denominational staff chaplain to assist any family.

Must I have a religious service?
There is no longer a community wide traditional service. What is tratitional is defined by each individual family. Some families nee traditional religious services. Some desire contemporary non-religious services. Our team of professional funeral directors will guide you through the decisions necessary to put together any funeral service you desire.

What about social security or veterans administration benefits?
Cochran Mortuary aids any family served with filing for and securing deserved benefits at no additional expense. (go to the links page for weblinks to the Social Security Administration, Veteran's Administration, Kansas Public Employee's Retirement System and Railroad Retirement Board websites)  Social security pays a lump sum death benefit of $225 directly to the surviving spouse or dependent child of an eligible person. Cochran Mortuary provides the completed forms and notifications for the family. Veteran's Benefits, in the last decade, have been reduced in most cases. The Veteran's Administration will still provide limited monetary reimbursement benefits for honorably discharged veterans who die in a Veteran's Administration Hospital, nursing home or VA contracted facility. All honorably discharged veterans and their spouses are entitled to burial in the closest National Cemetery accepting burials. Additionally, veteran's families can be provided a grave marker and a United States flag. Discharge papers (usually form DD214) should be submitted to the funeral home. Cochran Mortuary provides forms and assistance to all families served to file for any entitled Veteran's Administration benefits at no additional expense.

What about a monument or marker?
Cochran Mortuary custom designs monuments and markers available at costs generally less than cemeteries or other monument companies. Cochran Mortuary can assist any family in sorting through cemetery requirements in order to design the right monument or marker for your needs.


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