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When a loved one dies, grieving family members and friends often are confronted with dozens of decisions about the funeral arrangements in California – all of which must be made quickly and often under great emotional duress.
What kind of funeral should it be? What funeral provider in California should you use? Should you bury or cremate the body, or donate it to science? What are you legally required to buy? What other arrangements should you plan in California? And, as callous as it may sound, how much is it all going to cost?
Planning California Funeral Arrangements
Here you can learn what to do if a friend or loved one in California has just died or if death is expected sometime soon. The following California funeral arrangements guide will take you through the steps of arranging a funeral from making the first call when someone dies to the various arrangements to be made following the funeral.
1. First Call
The deceased is still at the place of death and a ‘first call’ needs to be made to arrange for transportation of the deceased to a funeral home or other funeral service facility in California
2. Deceased Transportation
The First Call results in an initial transfer of the deceased from the place of death to a funeral home or other facility in California. In some cases, a second transfer may be required either – locally to another funeral home – or to another city for ceremonies and burial.
3. Funeral Services in California
Planning a funeral involves making many decisions concerning funeral ceremonies, funeral products and final disposition of the body. For assistance in arranging funerals people usually turn to California funeral directors.
4. California Cemetery Arrangements
If cemetery property has not already been purchased, it will be necessary to meet with a cemetery representative in California to purchase a burial or entombment space. In some cases, the funeral director can make these arrangements on behalf of a family.
5. Funeral and Memorial Products available in California
There are various options for purchasing caskets, grave markers, and other funeral merchandise in California. These products are available through a funeral home, cemetery, monument company, or other retailer.
6. Estate, Financial and Administrative Matters
Following the funeral, the affairs of the deceased must be put in order. These matters range from sending death notices to filing death benefit claims to changing title of the California deceased’s belongings.
The Seven Rules For Effective Funeral Planning in California
1. Shop around in advance. Compare prices from at least two funeral homes in California. Remember that you can supply your own casket or urn.
2. Ask for a price list. The law requires funeral homes to give you written price lists for products and services in California.
3. Resist pressure to buy goods and services you don’t really want or need.
4. Avoid emotional overspending. It’s not necessary to have the fanciest casket or the most elaborate funeral to properly honor a loved one.
5. Recognize your rights. Laws regarding funerals and burials vary from state to state. It’s a smart move to know which goods or services the law requires you to purchase and which are optional in California.
6. Apply the same smart shopping techniques you use for other major purchases. You can cut costs by limiting the viewing to one day or one hour before the funeral, and by dressing your loved one in a favorite outfit instead of costly burial clothing.
7. Plan ahead. It allows you to comparison shop in California without time constraints, creates an opportunity for family discussion, and lifts some of the burden from your family.