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Whether or not you choose East Texas Funeral Home to provide mortuary services, please consider the following suggestions:
- Take a friend along to the funeral home. This should be someone who will ask pointed questions about prices and services. It is best if this is a trusted friend who is mature and not related to the deceased.
- If choosing a burial service, ask to see the least expensive caskets and consider what the deceased may have requested regarding burial expenses.
- Remember that embalming is not required for certain arrangements such as direct burial (without viewing) and cremation.
- Don't be taken in by long-term casket warranties. The human body is 90% water and will decay, no matter what. This is nature's way and it cannot be changed. Embalming is mostly for cosmetic purposes and preserves the body only for a very short time.
- If choosing cremation, a paper container is sufficient for the cremation process unless there will be viewing beforehand.
- Vaults and grave liners are another possible expense to consider. Although not required by the state, they may possibly be required by the local cemetery to prevent the casket from sinking, or as in the case of the 1993 Midwest floods, prevent it from being carried away. A grave liner, though not watertight, is designed to support the weight of the earth above the grave after the casket has deteriorated. This prevents the grave site from sinking in later years as well as preventing damage by motorized digging equipment at an adjacent grave site. A vault is designed to be a dry enclosure. If either is required by the local cemetery, usually the least expensive will be appropriate.
The following is the normal sequence of events for handling a death.
- Contact local law enforcement official if the death was unattended.
- Death must be pronounced by a coroner, medical examiner or attending physician.
- Contact relatives.
- Locate deceased's letter of direction, prepaid funeral contract, insurance policy or will.
- Contact funeral director.
- When a death occurs out of state or country, it is advisable that you immediately contact a funeral director in your local area who will know the requirements that must be met, as well as helping to prevent duplication of service costs.