It is important to remember that funerals are for the living. Having a funeral or memorial service is an important aspect in the grief process. It allows family and friends a time to remember and honor the life lived by a loved one. Funerals also provide others the opportunity to offer their support, a chance to share pictures, stories, and memories, and to say a last goodbye.
When comparing funerals to other life events such as a birth or a wedding, funerals aren’t as expensive. A wedding can cost many times more, but because it is a celebration of a happy time, wedding costs are rarely criticized. Funeral homes are a 24-hour, 7-day-a-week, labor intensive business with facility, vehicle, personnel, and other expenses that must be factored into funeral costs. Along with merchandise such as caskets/urns, the services of a licensed funeral director and other funeral home staff to make arrangements, complete and file required documents, coordinate all areas of a service with clergy, florists, newspapers, and others and to be present at the visitation and/or service must all be considered as well into costs. A funeral statement may also include costs not associated with a funeral home such as: honorariums for clergy, organist, and soloist; cemetery costs; a luncheon; obituaries; and grave markers.
Selecting cremation as the form of final disposition will not limit your options in deciding what kind of funeral to have. In fact, it opens a wide array of choices. You may wish to have a casketed service with a public visitation and funeral with cremation following; or to have a funeral service with an urn present; or a memorial service without the presence of an urn. Having a funeral service, a memorial gathering, or a celebration of one's life is an important aspect in the grief process. It allows family and friends a time to come together and recognize a loved one's life, to remember and share stories, and to say a last goodbye.
Cremation can be a less expensive choice compared to having an earth burial of a casket. However, when choosing cremation, there are many, many options and variables to consider. The answer is not always so cut and dry. Is there going to visitation/service? If so where? Is there going to be burial of the cremated remains? What type of urn is going to be used? Will there be a public viewing prior to cremation? If a memorial service is planned, most of the same costs associated with “traditional” Funeral Service are the same: coordination of services, funeral home staff, church honorariums, cemetery, etc. The only difference is, instead of a casket, we have an urn. Merchandise and cemetery costs are less, but most other areas of the funeral statement remain. When families choose to have less involvement by funeral home staff, costs become less. There are price points to start from, but every families wish and request vary.
No, by law, all crematories in Wisconsin must be operated by a licensed funeral home establishment which must be staffed with a licensed funeral director. Not all funeral homes operate their own crematory; therefore, they must use a third party funeral home to perform their cremations. Here at Evergreen Funeral Home, we operate our own on-site crematory and undergo annual inspections by the City of Eau Claire to renew our operating license.
Before cremation can take place, we are required by the State of Wisconsin to: wait 48 hours from time of death; have the Coroner/M.E. from the county in which the death occurred view the body/issue a cremation permit; and have a Cremation Authorization(s) Form signed by the next of kin or authorizing agent. If cremated remains are to be present for a service, please keep in mind all these requirements must be met and could delay the cremation process beyond the 48 hours. Operating our own crematory at Evergreen Funeral Home allows us to perform the cremation as soon as all requirements are met.
Any provider of cremation/funeral services (or crematory) must be a licensed funeral home by the State of Wisconsin. Evergreen Funeral Home and Crematory is a licensed full service funeral home. Some “societies” or “memorial” groups require a paid membership to be entitled to use their services. Some “memorial” groups are simply just a concierge service (help members find a funeral home/crematory) and not a licensed funeral home at all.
NO! No one is ever required to “register” or “sign up” in advance with any type of funeral provider (society and/or memorial group) for cremation - or any type of service for that matter. We bring this up because we have been asked if there is a national register or group that needs to be pre-notified if cremation has been selected. Again, the answer is NO. The only type of “Final Disposition” which requires pre-notification/registration is when you choose to donate your body to a Medical Institution for research.
However, choosing to visit with Evergreen Funeral Home to discuss options regarding pre-planning your final wishes is a helpful process to complete for you and your family. We will talk about your final wishes, costs, and pre-funding options.
To Learn more see Advance Planning.
Jeff is a licensed funeral director in both Wisconsin and Minnesota, so no, you do not. Being licensed in both allows him to conduct funerals and make removals from hospitals, nursing homes, or residences in either state.