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Is embalming required by law?
Except in certain cases, embalming is not required by law. However, embalming may be necessary if you select certain funeral arrangements, such as a funeral with viewing.
Is a vault (outer burial container) required by law?
North Carolina law does not require a vault, however, most cemteries require either a graveliner or burial vault.
How much does a funeral cost?
The cost of a funeral depends on the type of service and merchandise that is selected. At the time, your funeral director will create a cost estimate which will show the various charges involved. Inflation makes it difficult to guarantee what anything will cost four or five years from now, but the funeral profession has done a wonderful job of keeping costs down.
If my family knows what I want, is that all I need to do in advance?
No. Just stating your wishes will not necessarily assure they will be honored. To assure your wishes will be honored and to prevent your survivors from having to make decisions and arrangements at the time of your death, you can choose a funeral home and prearrange your funeral. The funeral home can also keep the personal data and authorizations that will be required for your death certificate, so that your survivors will not have to be asked for this information during an emotional time. You may also prepay the expenses of your funeral.
What advantages would there be in prepaying my funeral costs?
There are two major advantages of prepayment. First, this financial advantage will prevent your survivors from having to pay for your last expenses at a time when circumstances, such as a catastrophic illness, might have reduced their ability to pay without hardship. The second advantage is not related to cost. It has to do with the desire that many people feel the necessity to be independent and to take care of their own needs without placing the burden on others who will be grieving the loss of a loved one. This consideration also applies to people who feel it is likely that at the time of death, they will have no family members to take care of their final arrangements.
Is my prearrangement transferable?
Yes. Many people move to another town or simply change their preference of funeral homes. North Carolina law allows for preneed transfers of bank funded and insurance funded trusts from one funeral home to another.
I understand that more and more people are choosing cremation. Is this because the cost is lower?
While it is true that the cost of cremation is about 20% that of body burial, surveys indicate many people are choosing cremation because of other factors. These include the simplicity and dignity of cremation services, environmental concerns, and the flexibility cremation offers in ceremony planning and in the disposition of the remains.
Does a body have to be embalmed before cremation?
Embalming is a practical necessity only if there is a public viewing or a funeral with the body present. Most states do not require embalming.
What happens to medical devices such as hip implants and pacemakers during a cremation?
Large fragments of metal that can readily be separated from the remains are removed prior to pulverization. Pacemakers and implanted measured dose dispensing devices have an explosive risk, and are removed prior to cremation. Donated organs are removed according to the guidelines established by the medical facility.
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