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Frequently Asked Questions

We are happy to answer any and all questions which come our way – and we hear some over and over again. Those are the ones we’ve included in this section of the website.

However, if you’re question isn’t listed, don’t hesitate to email us. If yours is an urgent need, please call.

1. What is a funeral?
 
2. What is the purpose of a funeral?
 
3. How much does a funeral cost?
 
4. What determines the cost of a funeral?
 
5. Is the charge for opening and closing the grave included in the cost of the funeral?
 
6. What role does the funeral director fill?
 
7. How do I make funeral arrangements?
 
8. Is it possible to plan a funeral in advance?
 
9. What is a pre-arranged funeral?
 
10. Can I transfer my or my loved one's pre-arrangements from one funeral home to another?
 
11. How do I make funeral arrangements?
 
12. What type of funeral service should I have?
 
13. Can I personalize my funeral service?
 
14. Why should we have a public viewing?
 
15. What should I do if a death occurs in the middle of the night or on the weekend?
 
16. What should I do if a death occurs while away from home?
 
17. What if death occurs out of town or out of state?
 
18. Who Makes The Call To The Funeral Home When Death Occurs Locally or Out of Town?
 
19. What will I need to bring to the funeral home when making funeral arrangements?
 
20. What happens if I have a problem with how a funeral was handled?
 
21. Why do we need an obituary notice?
 
22. What is included in an obituary?
 
23. What is embalming?
 
24. Is embalming necessary?
 
25. Is Embalming Required?
 
26. What is involved in cremation?
 
27. Do I need a casket if I choose cremation?
 
28. Are all caskets waterproof?
 
29. Can I have a visitation period and a funeral service if cremation is chosen?
 
30. What can be done with the cremated remains?
 
31. How long does it take to receive a certified death certificate?
 
32. What is the amount paid from Social Security for funeral expenses?
 

Question #1What is a funeral?
Answer:A funeral is a time when friends and family gather to celebrate a life and mourn the loss of a loved one. They occur in cultures and societies around the world, and have deep personal and social significance. We know a funeral is the starting point of the recovery process and the first step toward healing.

Question #2What is the purpose of a funeral?
Answer:Funerals are an important step in the grieving process, as well as an opportunity to honor a life lived. They offer surviving family members and friends a caring, supportive environment in which to share thoughts and feelings about the death. Often funerals are the first step in the healing process.

Question #3How much does a funeral cost?
Answer:The cost of a funeral depends entirely on your wishes for the funeral. Funeral costs are made up of professional services, charges for transporting the body and presentation of the body, casket costs, vehicle charges, and fees for the doctor, minister, or cremation. Personalizing a funeral is also a factor in the cost. While we have many options to help you memorialize your loved one in a meaningful way, those options all have costs attached.

Question #4What determines the cost of a funeral?
Answer:You and your family do. A funeral can be as extravagant or as simple as you desire. Preplanning your funeral can help control costs. By making decisions ahead of time, you avoid making choices at a time when your emotions are heightened. It also provides an opportunity to set aside funds that can be used to pay for part or all of the future service.

Question #5Is the charge for opening and closing the grave included in the cost of the funeral?
Answer:Yes. The charge will appear under the cash advances section of the statement. Cash advance charges are for services, such as clergy honorarium, hairdresser, date cutting on monument and certified death certificates that are included in the statement of goods and services as a convenience to the family.

Question #6What role does the funeral director fill?
Answer:Funeral directors are there to help you through a very difficult time in your life. They are listeners and counselors, tribute planners and crisis managers. Through discussions with you, based on information you share about your wishes and details about your loved one, they are able to offer guidance and help you coordinate a very personal tribute that honors the life of your loved one. Your funeral director can guide you through planning the service; complete necessary paperwork; and coordinate doctors, ministers, florists, newspapers and other vendors to make your funeral experience as seamless as possible. But they also listen to your stories about your loved one, answer your questions on grief, link you to support groups and recommend sources of professional help. By acting as an experienced source for support and guidance, a professional, ethical funeral director can provide you with relief during one of your greatest times of need.

Question #7How do I make funeral arrangements?
Answer:You can call a funeral director to make an appointment or plan it online. We offer this service free of charge, and without obligation.

Question #8Is it possible to plan a funeral in advance?
Answer:NFDA recommends that everyone preplan his or her own funeral. Doing so can offer emotional and financial security for both you and your family. By preplanning a funeral you will get the kind of service you want and your family will be unburdened from making decisions at a stressful time.

Question #9What is a pre-arranged funeral?
Answer:A pre-arranged funeral is a funeral arrangement made prior to death. You can pre-arrange your own funeral or you can pre-arrange a funeral for a loved one. Pre-arrangement is a way for you to make sure your life is celebrated in a way that is meaningful to you. It also relieves your loved ones of the burden of arranging a funeral for you.

Question #10Can I transfer my or my loved one's pre-arrangements from one funeral home to another?
Answer:Yes. This can be done anytime including at the time of death. The pre-arrangements are owned by families, not funeral homes. This is a frequent occurrence and only requires completing a simple form.

Question #11How do I make funeral arrangements?
Answer:You can call a funeral director to make an appointment or plan it online. We offer this service free of charge.

Question #12What type of funeral service should I have?
Answer:The answer to that question is very personal – how would you like it to be? A funeral service can be open to the public or accessible by invitation only. You can choose a large service or a small one. And, if you’re deeply religious, you can follow the liturgy of your faith.

Perhaps you want something completely out-of-the-ordinary, and that’s possible too. Our funeral directors are trained to provide you with support and guidance to help you plan a funeral that truly reflects your needs and desires.

Question #13Can I personalize my funeral service?
Answer:In a word, yes. We believe that each funeral should reflect the life of the deceased – and no two people are the same. We invite – no, we encourage –you to let us know exactly how you want you or your loved one to be remembered, and we will do our best to create a ceremony that will truly celebrate the life lived.

Question #14Why should we have a public viewing?
Answer:Not every tradition encourages a public viewing, but we believe that they serve a purpose. In making a viewing part of your funeral service, you provide a certain amount of closure to all in attendance. This isn’t just our opinion; studies show that viewing the body helps everyone recognize the reality of death which is an important stepping stone in the grieving process.

Question #15What should I do if a death occurs in the middle of the night or on the weekend?
Answer:It’s simple: call us. We are available 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. If you need immediate assistance, one of our funeral directors will be there.

Question #16What should I do if a death occurs while away from home?
Answer:It’s comforting to know that our funeral directors can help you no matter where a death has occurred.  We’ll take care of everything from bringing your loved one back home; to helping you arrange the service. All you need to do is call us. We’ll take care of the rest.

Question #17What if death occurs out of town or out of state?
Answer:Contact the funeral home where funeral services will be held. Do not make the mistake of contacting a funeral home in the area where death occurred if they will not be holding the funeral services. This can unnecessarily lead to two sets of charges. The funeral director of the funeral home of choice will make the necessary arrangements in the area of death.

Question #18Who Makes The Call To The Funeral Home When Death Occurs Locally or Out of Town?
Answer:Usually a staff member of the hospital, nursing home or hospice nurse will contact the funeral home. The funeral director will then start the process of making the funeral arrangements with the family.

Question #19What will I need to bring to the funeral home when making funeral arrangements?
Answer:It is important to bring vital statistic information, information for the obituary, a recent photograph of the deceased and full clothing (including glasses, jewelry, undergarments and dentures). Vital statistics include the decedent's social security number, date and place of birth, parent's names, including mother's maiden and level of education. If the deceased was a veteran, bring in a copy of any discharge papers, commonly known as a DD-214.

Question #20What happens if I have a problem with how a funeral was handled?
Answer:If you’re not satisfied with how we attempt to resolve the issue, then you can reach out to the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) and/or our state licensing board.

Consumer Response Center, Federal Trade Commission
600 Pennsylvania Avenue NW
Washington, DC  20580

www.ftc.gov

1-877-FTC-HELP (382-4357).

Question #21Why do we need an obituary notice?
Answer:An obituary notice is helpful for friends and family of the deceased. It informs them that a death has occurred and gives them information about the service.  Obituaries can be placed in newspapers and online.

Question #22What is included in an obituary?
Answer:"Funeral arrangements are being made by the funeral home and will be announced at a later date."

You may wish to add additional details, such as the names of any children, grandchildren and great-grandchildren, parents, other close relatives or special friends. You may wish to write about the deceased’s life, accomplishments and legacy. You may suggest preferred charities for memorial contributions and let people know if you would rather not receive flowers.

Question #23What is embalming?
Answer:Embalming is the temporary disinfection, preservation, and restoration of the body. During the embalming process, the body is washed and dressed and cosmetics are applied.

Question #24Is embalming necessary?
Answer:If the body has to be transported to a country that requires embalming, then yes, it is necessary. Otherwise the decision is up to you. Some religious traditions forbid embalming. If your religion allows it, we recommend embalming if there is a long wait before burial or cremation.

Question #25Is Embalming Required?
Answer:Embalming is not required by California law EXCEPT if burial or cremation does not take place within 48 hours of death or if the deceased had certain communicable diseases. Further, a funeral home normally requires and has the right to require embalming if a public visitation is planned.

Question #26What is involved in cremation?
Answer:The casket or container is placed in the cremation chamber where the temperature reaches 1,400-1,800 degrees Fahrenheit. After approximately 2.5 hours, all organic material is consumed by heat and evaporation, and the bone fragments are left behind. These are known as the cremated remains, which are then carefully removed from the chamber and processed into fine particles to be placed in a container or urn for the family.

Question #27Do I need a casket if I choose cremation?
Answer:No, you do not need to purchase a traditional casket. But, for sanitary reasons, crematories usually require a combustible, leak-proof, covered container. Commonly, a relatively-inexpensive cardboard cremation container is all you need to purchase. However there are other, more elegant options available as well. Visit our online cremation container showroom to explore your options.

Question #28Are all caskets waterproof?
Answer:No. All of the hardwood caskets are not waterproof. A vault is an outside container that is waterproof by an air seal or top seal. A concrete box or metal grave liner are other outside containers that are not waterproof.

Question #29Can I have a visitation period and a funeral service if cremation is chosen?
Answer:By all means, yes. We encourage families to have a gathering – whether it’s a simple visitation, or a more elaborate funeral or memorial service – to support the bereaved and begin to mend the social fabric, torn by the loss of a member of the community.

Question #30What can be done with the cremated remains?
Answer:The cremated remains can be interred in a cemetery plot or retained by a family member -- usually in an urn, scattered on private property or at a place that was important to the deceased. The cremated remains can be scattered at sea, or the skies above a special, well-loved place. You can also incorporate the remains into an artificial reef, to be lowered onto the sea floor. There, your loved one provides sanctuary for sea life for years to come.

There are also elegant ways to memorialize a loved one using small amounts of the cremated remains, including art glass, oil paintings, and man-made diamonds. Or you can take a small amount of the cremated remains to include in a piece of cremation jewelry. Please view our online cremation keepsakes and jewelry selection for inspiration.

Question #31How long does it take to receive a certified death certificate?
Answer:If the death occurs locally, we usually can have death certificates for you by the time funeral services are completed. If death occurs out of town it usually takes approximately a week to ten days.

Question #32What is the amount paid from Social Security for funeral expenses?
Answer:A death benefit of $255.00 is paid directly to a surviving spouse or dependent child. No death benefit is paid for a person that is single at the time of death. The funeral home files a Statement of Death Form SSA-721 to the Social Security Administration on each person at the time of death. The phone number for Social Security is 800-555-1234 for general information.

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Weekly Email Tips to Support a Grieving Friend

It's hard to know what to say when someone experiences loss. Our free weekly newsletter provides insights, quotes and messages on how to help during the first year.

Book of Memories

The pinnacle of memorialization, any family member or friends can take advantage of this free services by creating an account and a book to memorialize their loved one.

Immediate Need

If you have immediate need of our services, we're available for you 24 hours a day.

Obituaries & Tributes

It is not always possible to pay respects in person, so we hope that this small token will help.

Pre-Arrangement

Dying is one of the few events in life that's certain to occur, yet one we rarely plan for. Should we spend more time preparing for a two week vacation than we do our last days on Earth?

Expressions of Sympathy

It can be difficult to find the right words, so we have hand-picked a collection of sympathy and remembrance gifts that will be cherished.

Order Flowers

Offer a gift of comfort and beauty to a family suffering from loss.

Proudly Serving the Communities of Murrieta, FD#1542 --Murrieta, Temecula, Lake Elsinore, Perris, Wildomar, Canyon Lake, and Riverside.
(951) 696-0626 Murrieta Valley Funeral Home
24651 Washington Ave.
Murrieta, CA 92562
Email: murrietavalleyfh@hotmail.com
(951) 674-3703 Options Funeral & Cremation Service
601 Crane Street, Suite D
Lake Elsinore, CA 92530
Email: optionsfcs@hotmail.com
(951) 696-0626 Murrieta Valley Funeral Home
24651 Washington Ave.
Murrieta, CA 92562
Email: murrietavalleyfh@hotmail.com
(951) 696-0626 Murrieta Valley Funeral Home
24651 Washington Ave.
Murrieta, CA 92562
Email: murrietavalleyfh@hotmail.com
(951) 696-0626 Murrieta Valley Funeral Home
24651 Washington Ave.
Murrieta, CA 92562
Email: murrietavalleyfh@hotmail.com