Frequently Asked Questions


1.Do you only handle cremations?

No.  Advantage is a licensed funeral home with the ability to handle burials as well as cremations.  We can facilitate public visitations and services for both cremated and full casketed remains.

2.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.

 

3.Can the family witness the cremation?


Yes. Our 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.

 

4.What is the significance of a funeral service?

From the beginning of recorded history, societies have honored those who died with a ceremony. According to beliefs at that time, the purpose of the ritual was to send the deceased on his or her journey into the afterlife.

Today, however, many experts agree that the benefits of a service are for those who are left behind after aA "closure" of sorts must occur to help survivors adjust to their loss and recognize that a death has occurred.  A funeral service provides the opportunity for friends and family to celebrate the life that was lived and allow the healing process to begin.

5.  How much does a funeral cost?

Funeral costs vary depending on the funeral home and type of service and merchandise selected.  At Advantage Funeral & Cremation Services, it is our promise to provide professional and dignified services at the “Lowest Price Guaranteed”

6. Can I make my funeral arrangements before I die?

Yes.  Today, pre-arrangement and pre-payment of funerals are becoming more common. Pre-arranging will provide you with more time to review your options and give you a choice in your own funeral service. Pre-arrangement will provide you with the

peace of mind that everything has been taken care of, relieving your family of the emotional and financial burden that often comes with making arrangements when a loved one passes away. Oftentimes, making arrangements in advance also guarantees a service and funeral at today's prices, free from inflation.  Please contact us to assist you with your pre-arrangements or answer any further questions.

7. Can a funeral home assist me with social security benefits and veteran death benefits?

Yes. In fact, we will do more than just assist you with securing these benefits. Our staff is trained to complete all necessary paperwork to begin the benefits process and ensure that the benefits are secured in a timely manner.

8. What is involved in the cremation process?

Before cremation occurs, the death certificate must be completed and signed by the attending physician or medical examiner, and all civil and medical authorities must have issued all required permits. In addition, necessary authorizations to cremate must be obtained from the next of kin or authorizing person and no objections to the cremation can be raised. The cremation process then occurs and the cremated remains are placed in the designated container or urn selected for final disposition.

9. Are the services held before or after cremation?

Services are held at the discretion of the family. Many choose to have a traditional service first, followed by the cremation.

10. What happens to the cremated remains?

There are many options to consider with a cremation. A family can choose to bury the remains in a cemetery, store and display them at home in an urn, or scatter them in a place special to the deceased. It is advisable to check local restrictions on scattering remains on public property and obtain permission for private property.

11. I have already made arrangements and funded my funeral in advance. What if I move or want to use another funeral home?

By making arrangements and funding your funeral in advance, you were able to express your own wishes and relieve this emotional and financial burden from your family. Usually, these arrangements can be reestablished with another funeral home and nearly all funding vehicles are transferable by the owner.


Funeral Etiquette

What is the difference between a funeral & a memorial service?

A funeral and memorial service both serve the same purpose – to honor and celebrate the life of your loved one with friends and family. The term "funeral service" refers to a gathering where the body of your loved one is present, giving guests and family the opportunity to say a final goodbye in person. This service is normally held within a week of the death.

A "memorial service" is held without the body present, and can be held at any point after the death. Memorial services can be held after cremation takes place, or after burial takes place in a private ceremony. Sometimes more than one memorial service is held if a large number of family members or friends live out-of-state, or if the deceased had special ties to another community.

 

Why should I have a ceremony at all?

A ceremony is a time for family and friends to gather and pay tribute to your loved one. While nothing can take away the pain of your loss, it can be comforting to see the impact that your loved one had on friends, classmates, co-workers, and others in the community. In difficult times, it can be consoling to rely on traditional expressions of grief and loss that a funeral provides. Watching the memorial video and listening to speakers and special music allows you to focus on your loved one’s life, rather than their death.

It is It is often said that the funeral service is really for the living. A ceremony serves not as a clichéd point of closure, but as a milestone in your life after the passing of your loved one.

 

What do I do at a visitation?

A formal visitation provides a time and place for you to offer the family your expression of sorrow and sympathy. Visitation is typically held at the funeral home, and the deceased is typically present so that you can pay your last respects.

When you arrive, go to the family and express your sympathy. If you were an acquaintance of the deceased, but not well-known to the family, immediately introduce yourself. Conversation about the deceased is natural, as is crying.

If offered by the family, it is customary, but not mandatory, to show your respects by viewing the deceased and, if you desire, spending a few moments in silent prayer.

Always sign the guest book using your full name, and if you were a business associate of the deceased, note your company affiliation.

 

Should children attend funerals?

Children who were close to the deceased should be given the option to attend visitation and the funeral service. Death has become somewhat of a taboo subject in our society and there is a tendency to not talk about it. Often, because we know the pain and sadness, we want to protect our children, sometimes to the point that we don't tell them about a death.

But, there is no question that a death disrupts a family’s life, and all family members are affected. Children can sense that something is wrong and they will experience grief one way or another. Attending the funeral or having the funeral process described to them by a parent or close family member involves them in what the rest of the family is experiencing. Most children can understand that a funeral is a time to say good-bye.

If a child attends a funeral, an explanation of what will happen before, during, and after the ceremony is important. Children should also be made aware that they will see people expressing a wide range of emotions in expressing their feelings.

 

What does it mean when the funeral is “private”?

This type of service is generally held for family members and close friends, and is by invitation only. Sometimes a visitation is held for friends and other associates to come and pay their respects. Cards and other expressions of sympathy are always appreciated, and should be sent to the funeral home or the family’s home.

 

How long should I stay at a visitation?

The amount of time you spend at a visitation is discretionary. Once you have expressed your sympathy to each member of the family and spoken a few moments to those you know well, it is acceptable to leave, although you may wish to stay longer.

 

What is appropriate dress for visitations and funerals?

It is no longer necessary to wear black when you go to a funeral. Dress should be conservative and should be selected to indicate dignity and respect for the family and the deceased.

 

 

Veterans

Military funeral honors

Every eligible veteran is entitled to a military funeral honors ceremony at their funeral or memorial service. The ceremony serves as a final tribute and thank-you from a grateful nation for the veteran’s service.

The military funeral honors ceremony is conducted by two or more uniformed military persons, with at least one member of the veteran’s branch of service. The service includes folding and presenting the United States burial flag to a surviving family member and the playing of Taps.

Our funeral directors will assist you with arranging this special ceremony through a local veteran’s organization. Please click the links below for more information.

Applying for veterans benefits

In recognition of their service and dedication to our country, burial and cemetery benefits are available for each eligible veteran.

These benefits include a military funeral honors ceremony at a funeral or memorial service, a burial flag, burial at a national veterans' cemetery or a monetary benefit towards burial at a private cemetery, and a veterans' cemetery marker.  Our staff will work with the Veterans Administration to assist you in obtaining these benefits. If you would like more information, please click the links below.

 

 

 

Veterans cemetery markers

The Department of Veterans Affairs provides a government headstone or marker for any eligible veteran at no cost.

Flat bronze, marble and granite markers are available, along with granite or marble upright monuments and bronze plaques to mark the inurnment of cremated remains. The style of marker selected must meet with the approval of the cemetery in which it is placed. Our staff will assist the family with ordering the marker and placing it in the cemetery of their choice.

 

Presidential Memorial Certificate

The family of an honorably discharged veteran may receive special Presidential Memorial Certificates in honor of their loved one’s service.

The engraved certificate is signed by the current President to honor the service and memory of the veteran.

 

A certificate can be ordered for each family member. Our funeral directors will work with the Department of Veterans Affairs to obtain the certificates.

 

The Veterans History Project

The Veterans History Project was established in 2000, and is run by the American Folklife Center of the Library of Congress. It was created to collect, preserve and make accessible the personal accounts of American war veterans, to help future generations of Americans better understand the realities of war and hear directly from veterans who experienced them.

 

The Project collects audio and video-taped interviews, written memoirs, photographs, correspondence and artwork to tell the story of veterans and citizens who were actively involved in war efforts from World War I to conflicts today.

We believe that the memories of each veteran are a precious treasure, and encourage the families of veterans to record their stories and preserve their memorabilia with the Veterans History Project.

Veterans History Project website
Download a brochure





When A Death occurs

What to bring with you to the funeral home

 

There are a number of items that you will need to bring to the funeral home in the days before the funeral service. Bringing as much as possible with you to the arrangement conference will help with the planning process.

 

  • A photo of your loved one to use in their online obituary.
  • Paperwork:

 

  • General information about the deceased (birth date, city and state of birth, Social Security number, parent’s names, educational institutions, marital status)
  • Copies of life insurance policies
  • Military discharge papers (DD 214 form) if applicable
  • Cemetery paperwork if applicable
  • Funeral prearrangement paperwork if applicable

 

  • Personal effects:

 

  • Clothing, undergarments, shoes, glasses (if applicable) and jewelry for your loved one

 

What to expect at the funeral arrangement conference:

The funeral arrangement conference is the primary planning session for the funeral services for your loved one. Our staff will be in communication with you during the days leading up to your services, to finalize many details, but the majority of decisions will be made at this conference.

You can expect to be at the arrangement conference for approximately one and a half to two hours. During this time we will assist you in creating a service that truly reflects and honors the life of your loved one. We will also help you with selecting merchandise and developing an online memorial to your loved one. Finally, we will discuss your wishes regarding cemetery property and a marker or monument.

Some families choose to have one or two family representatives attend the conference, while other families prefer that everyone be present. We can accommodate whatever meets your needs. If you plan to have more than six family members attending, please let us know in advance so we will be prepared for your arrival.

Many of the details covered in the arrangement conference can be taken care of in advance. Our staff is available to sit down and discuss your wishes ahead of time, whenever is convenient for you. Often, when a death is considered to be imminent by medical professionals, a family will come in to the funeral home and make their selections, reducing the number of decisions that need to be made after the death occurs. For more information, please see our advance planning section.

Applying for benefits

 

Our staff will file a notice with Social Security that your loved one has died. Please provide your funeral director with your loved one’s Social Security number to begin the process. After the notification, you should contact Social Security to discuss benefits for you and your family. They can be reached at 1-800-772-1213. To speak with a representative, please be sure to call between 7 a.m. and 7 p.m., Monday through Friday.

Benefits vary by a number of conditions, including the age and relation of the surviving family members, and can also change over time. Please review the information and instructions at the Social Security website, www.SocialSecurity.gov for the most up-to-date information.

Veterans, please see our veteran’s benefits page

Filing paperwork with banks, utilities and more.

After the death of a loved one, many families are surprised by the number of individuals and organizations that must be notified in order to claim benefits, change billing addresses or end services

Some of these entities include your loved one’s bank, credit card provider, church, accountant, attorney, estate executor, home, life and health insurance providers, utility companies, phone company, home maintenance providers, physician, dentist, newspaper and magazine subscription offices and government agencies such as the Social Security Administration, the Department of Motor Vehicles, the US Postal Service, Veterans Administration and the voters’ registration office, and many others.

This can be an overwhelming task, and it can be difficult to know where to start. Our staff can provide you with a Resource Guide with sample letters to all of these entities to assist you in the notifications. The Guide is available in paper or CD format. It will help you work through all of the notifications in an orderly manner, streamlining the process.

You will need a certified copy of your loved one’s death certificate in order to make many of these notifications. Our staff will take care of ordering the certificates from the Office of Vital Statistics and notify you when they are ready. A photo copy of the certificate is often enough for many organizations, but we recommend obtaining several certified copies as a precaution. We can also order more copies to you in the future if necessary.

Debbie Harney and Family

"Kevin & Staff, Thank you for all your help with the arrangements for Aunt Juliette.  It was greatly appreciated.  We will never be able to thank you enough.  I would highly reccomend your services to others.  It was great to have someone hold my Mothers hand threw the proce... Read more...

Sarah Brier

"Kevin ~ There are really no words to thank you for all that you did regarding the passing away of my mother... You covered every possible thing and took care of every detail.  I would have been lost without your support and professional expertise. Your cal and kind demeanor brought me comfort a... Read more...

Nancy

Kevin, Thank you very much for your kindness and help at this most difficult time.                                     ... Read more...

Lorraine Jackson & Family

"We all would like to thank you very, very much for all you've done for us!  Thanks again for the great service you gave us!" Lorraine Jackson & Family... Read more...

Gooldrup Family

In Loving Memory Of James I Gooldrup 1/9/69 to 2/04/13; When my husband died I've been a wreck and I didn't know the first thing about funerals and my life is a tornado out of control and I was scared of the whole thing and then I met Kevin @ Advantage Funeral Home.  He was so laid back and... Read more...