Frequently Asked Questions

We have heard thousands of questions, and chosen to provide you with the answers to some of the more common questions relating to a funeral, a funeral service and funeral homes.

- What is a funeral?
The funeral is a ceremony of proven worth and value for those who mourn. It provides an opportunity for the survivors and others who share in the loss to express their love, respect and grief. It permits facing openly and realistically the crisis that death may present. Through the funeral, the bereaved take that first step towards emotional adjustment to their loss.

- What type of service should I have?
Only you can answer that question. The type of service conducted for the deceased, if not noted in a pre-plan, is decided by the family. The service is usually held at a place of worship or at the funeral home. The service may vary in ritual according to religious denomination or the wishes of the family. The presence of friends at this time is an acknowledgment of friendship and support. A private service is by invitation only where selected relatives and a few close friends attend the funeral service. A memorial service is usually a service without the body present and can vary in ceremony and procedures according to the family's community and religious affiliations.

- Why do we need an obituary notice?
It is helpful to friends and the community to have an obituary notice published announcing the death and type of service to be held. A notice can be placed in a local newspaper, or on the Internet.

- What do direct disposers do?
Direct Disposers are both caregivers and administrators. In their administrative duties, they make the arrangements for transportation of the body, complete all necessary paperwork, and implement the choices made by the family regarding the final disposition of the body. As caregivers, direct disposers are listeners, advisors and supporters. They have experience assisting the bereaved in coping with death. Direct Disposers are trained to answer questions about grief, recognize when a person is having difficulty coping, and recommend sources of professional help. They can also link survivors with support groups in the community.

- What should I do if the death occurs in the middle of the night or on the weekend?
We are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. All you need to do is place a call to us at . If you request immediate assistance, one of our professionals will be there within the hour. If the family wishes to spend a short time with the deceased to say good bye, it's acceptable. Then they will come when your time is right.

- What is the purpose of embalming?
Embalming sanitizes and preserves the body, retards the decomposition process, and enhances the appearance of a body disfigured by traumatic death or illness. It makes it possible to lengthen the time between death and the final disposition, thus allowing family members time to arrange and participate in the type of service most comforting to them. Embalming the body enables mourners to view the deceased if they wish. The emotional benefits of viewing the deceased are enormous, particularly to those having difficulty dealing with the death.

- Is embalming mandatory by law?
No. But, certain factors of time, health and possible legal requirements might make embalming either appropriate or necessary. Please note that embalming may be required if the deceased is being transported by air to another country where local laws need be observed.

- Is cremation a substitute for a funeral?
No, cremation is an alternative to earth burial or entombment for the body's final disposition.

- Is cremation as a means of disposition increasing?
Yes, but not dramatically.

- Has this cost increased significantly?
Funeral costs have increased no faster than the consumer price index for other consumer items.

- Why are funerals so expensive?
In some respects, funerals are a lot like weddings or birthday celebrations. The type and cost will vary according to the tastes and budget of the consumer. Not only that, a funeral home is a 24-hour, labor-intensive business, with extensive facilities (viewing rooms, chapels, limousines, hearses, etc.), these expenses must be factored into the cost of a funeral. Moreover, the cost of a funeral includes not only merchandise, like caskets, but the services of a funeral director in making arrangements; filing appropriate forms; dealing with doctors, ministers, florists, newspapers and others; and seeing to all the necessary details. Contrary to popular belief, funeral homes are largely family-owned with a modest profit margin. Our Cremation Center does nothing but direct cremations with no services or visitations.

- Why is the Cremation Center so inexpensive?
Cremation Center of the Nature Coast only does direct cremations. Our office is simple and lacks the overhead expenses mentioned in the question above.

- What recourse does a consumer have for poor service or overcharging?
While most funeral homes provide outstanding services, sometimes things can go wrong. Funeral service is regulated by the Federal Trade Commission and state licensing boards. In most cases, the consumer should discuss problems with the funeral director first. If the dispute cannot be solved by talking with the funeral director, the consumer may wish to contact the FTC by contacting the Consumer Response Center by phone, toll-free, at 1-877-FTC-HELP (382-4357); TDD: 1-866-653-4261; by mail: Consumer Response Center, Federal Trade Commission, 600 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20580; or on the Internet at www.ftc.gov, using the online complaint form. You may also choose to contact the local Better Business Bureau, or your state consumer protection office.

- Who pays for funerals for the indigent?
Florida Counties do have indigent programs available to those in need. Each county is different in its requirements so each case is unique and questions are answered accordingly.

Cemetery Common Questions

The answers below are here because these are the most commonly-asked questions. If yours isn't listed, we invite you to call us. We're here to provide the information you need, when you need it.

- Are there vaults for cremated remains?
Yes, we offer urn vaults, designed for in-ground burial of cremated remains.

- Can two cremations be performed at once?
Never. Not only is it illegal to do so, most modern cremation chambers are not of sufficient size to accommodate more than one adult. Thus it would be a practical impossibility to conduct multiple cremations simultaneously.

- Can the family witness the cremation?
Yes, for a nominal fee. Our state-of-the-art cremation facility is set up to allow family members to be present when the body is placed into the cremation chamber. In fact, some religious groups include this as part of their funeral custom.

- Does a body have to be embalmed before it is buried or cremated?
No, embalming is not required by law. It is always your choice. Your decision may depend on such factors as whether the family selected a service with a public viewing of the body with an open casket; or to enhance the deceased's appearance for a private family viewing; or if the body is going to be transported by air or rail, or because of the length of time prior to the burial.

- What is a columbarium?
A columbarium, often located within a mausoleum, chapel or in a garden setting, is constructed with numerous small compartments (niches) designed to hold urns containing cremated remains.