Frequently Asked Questions
Pre-arranging one’s own funeral or for that of a loved one saves the survivors a rather trying burden at the time of a death. In an at-need situation, there are many decisions that must be made in a short period of time. Pre-arrangement assures that those decisions have been in advance, thus lessening the burden to the survivors.
Pre-arrangement of funeral services: I am constantly amazed at the number of people in their 70s and 80s who have no funeral plans in place. I suppose that the fact that we live a death-denying society is the reason for this. We obviously do not wish to consider the death of our loved ones, or our own death, so this is something that is out of sight, out of mind. We prepare for so many other events in our lives, such as saving for a home, saving for college or planning for retirement. Since death will visit us all, preparation for such an event should be of paramount importance. At the very least, one should determine the final disposition- be it ground burial or cremation. If ground burial is desired, take the first step and select grave spaces, and pay for them now. The price is going to go up, not down, over the years.
We offer a comprehensive pre-planning program to assist you. You can easily and comfortably make all funeral arrangements and merchandise selections in advance, before the need arises. Funding of funeral pre-plans are through banks, or life insurance policies. We can assign existing life insurance to the funeral home with no money out of your pocket; or, you can pay for funeral expenses at today’s prices through a separate insurance product to lock in the costs for the funeral of the future. We offer lump-sum funding or monthly payments over one, three, five, or ten years. Call us at any time to set an appointment to meet with you here or at your own residence. Of course, there is no obligation; we will be happy to explain all the options to you, whether it is a Medicaid preparation situation, or if you wish to transfer your pre-arrangements from a corporately-owned funeral home to our family-owned funeral home. It is a simple process, and we are glad to be of service.
Why pay in advance?
Paying for funeral services in advance guarantees the price of today’s funeral expenses. The funds are deposited in an interest-bearing bank account or dividend-rich insurance policy that increases in value over the years. When the death occurs, the account will be fully funded to cover any price increases over the years. Funeral expenses can be paid in a lump sum, which is the best scenario for preparing an individual for Medicaid admittance. There are also insurance policies that can be paid off in increments of 1 year, 3 years, 5 years, and 10 year pay plans. We can also transfer ownership and/or beneficiary status of existing life insurance policies to make the funeral home the new beneficiary, therefore saving the individual any cash outlay.
How much do funerals cost?
All funeral homes in the area have a professional service charge, which details all required and optional services a family may desire. At The Webster Funeral Home, our professional service charge for complete traditional funeral services is $3,995.00. These services are as follows: Service of the funeral director and staff; removal of deceased from place of death, embalming, other care of the deceased, such as cosmetics, hair dressing, etc., Visitation (night before or same day) and funeral service at the funeral home or other location, casket coach (hearse), and flower car to cemetery. When traditional services are desired, we offer funeral service packages, including the casket of your choice, starting at $4,495.00. This package includes a 20 ga. steel casket available in four colors.
What are the other considerations I should know about?
Most cemeteries in the area require an outer container, which can be a concrete box or a protective burial vault. A concrete box and a burial vault are two different items. A concrete box, which some cemeteries do not allow, is similar to a large shoebox made of concrete and has no sealant or protective properties. It is merely a grave liner. A burial vault is resistant to the entrance of grave elements, such as air and water, and is much heavier to withstand the weight of the earth. There are cemeteries in the area that are actively selling vaults that are stored outdoors in the elements and are stacked on top of each other, therefore becoming damaged as they are being stored. A vault provided by The Webster Funeral Home is manufactured the day of the order and delivered and installed by professionals.
Can pre-arrangements be transferred to Webster Funeral Home?
Yes. All pre-funded funerals and its contract belong to people, not funeral homes. At any time, an individual can transfer their pre-need contract to Webster Funeral Home, and more than likely, will receive a refund when the death occurs, because our prices are so much lower that other funeral homes in the area.
What about third-party sellers?
Internet casket sales are an area for the consumer to be concerned with, due to the questionable delivery options. I dealt with a family recently that had purchased a casket on-line previous to the death. I was happy to handle things with this family, and called to arrange for the delivery of the on-line casket. Unfortunately, the casket was in a warehouse in Oakland, California, and the shipping cost for two-day delivery was over $600.00. Luckily for the family, I had access to the exact same casket from a local company, and the casket was even less from me, with no delivery charge. The family was able to cancel the previous sale and everyone was happy. The point to ponder is: Internet casket sellers must not be telling families the whole story when it comes to delivery of the merchandise when needed. Most funeral homes can acquire the exact same casket at a better price and have it delivered normally, with no extra charge. The adage holds true: if it sounds too good to be true, then it probably isn’t.
Many area cemeteries are selling caskets and vaults. After researching the situation, I have discovered that cemeteries are charging a premium price for caskets. Check with a funeral home before making such a purchase. Cemetery vaults are stored outside exposed to the elements, and stacked one on top of the other until needed. A vault purchased from me is made that day and delivered and installed in the cemetery by professional vault craftsmen. Again, speak with me before making such a purchase.