What if I die out of town?

Your survivors/travel companions should look online for the nearest Memorial Society.  A list of all societies is at www.funerals.org/affiliates-directory.  Call them and ask what services are available on a reciprocal basis.  Some groups are like our Society and have contracts with one or more local funeral directors.  Others simply offer recommendations and advice.  Flying a body on an airplane is expensive.  The airlines will, however, allow you to carry cremated remains with you.

I am interested in green burial. Where can I find information?

Green burial is an alternative burial practice that emphasizes simplicity and environmental sustainability. The body is neither cremated nor prepared with chemicals such as embalming fluids. It is simply placed in a biodegradable coffin or shroud and interred without a concrete burial vault. The gravesite is allowed to return to nature.

There are over three hundred “green cemeteries” in North America, including four in Ohio— North Lawn Cemetery in Canton, Foxfield Preserve in Wilmot, Glen Forest Cemetery in Yellow Springs, and Preble Memorial Gardens in West Alexandria.  Traditional cemeteries in the U.S. require a vault which prevents the body from being placed directly in the ground, although some allow a grave liner which is open at the bottom.

More information about green burial can be found online at www.greenburialcouncil.org  and at http://www.funerals.org/publications-and-resources/cat_view/37-faq-pamphlets

Where I can I find more info on funeral/memorial planning?

The website of our national organization, The Funeral Consumers’ Alliance (www.funerals.org), is a font of information on many topics.  Their publications page, www.funerals.org/publications-and-resources/cat_view/37-faq-pamphlets has their pamphlets on funeral planning, cost-saving tips, and your consumer rights, in a printable format.

Where can I find a Living Will and Advance Directives?

Ohio Hospice and Palliative Care Organization website: http://www.hospicewr.org/wp-content/uploads/2011/07/Ohio-Advance-Directives.pdf
They offer Ohio’s Living Will; Ohio’s Living Will Declaration Form; Donor Registry Enrollment Form; Ohio’s Health Care Power of Attorney; Ohio’s Health Care Power of Attorney Form; Ohio’s Do-Not-Resuscitate Law; The Hospice Choice; Anatomical Gifts.

I would like to donate whatever part of my eyes can be used. How do I do that?

Eyebank http://www.clevelandeyebank.org/ (216-706-4223) has information on becoming an eye, organ, or tissue donor.

What about other organ donations?

Lifebanc (http://lifebanc.org or 216.752.LIFE (5433) Toll free: 888.558.LIFE (5433) has information about what can be donated, the donation process, total body donation (http://www.lifebanc.org/about-donation/total-body-donation.html), and living donation.

I want to donate my body. Whom do I contact?

Information on body donation can be obtained from either of the following:

Cleveland Clinic
Body Donation Program
9500 Euclid Ave. / NA22
Cleveland, OH 44195
Visit: www.clevelandclinic.org/bodydonation
Email: BodyDonation@ccf.org


Case Western Reserve University School of Medicine. Call 216-368-3430 to obtain an application form.

How easy is it to shop around for a funeral director?

Directors are required by Federal law to give you their “general price list” on request.  Usually that means that you have to visit the funeral home, but some will send it via mail or answer price questions over the phone.  But if you do visit the funeral home, you do not need to sit through a sales pitch, or even tell them your story.  If you want, just go in, say “please give me your current price list” and leave.  And if they do not give it to you, please let us know and we will investigate.

My mother passed away this morning. Can I sign her up now?

Sorry, no.  Our contracts with funeral directors are for pre-need only.  You can use our affordability tips and price comparison to help select a funeral home and the services that you need.

If I’m a memorial service member, can we use the funeral home for calling hours?

This is not part of the Memorial Society price, and would likely be quite expensive to add.

Is embalming required?

No it is not, and is not part of the Memorial Society contract.  Funeral Directors will sometimes require embalming when there is to be a viewing and/or an extended period before cremation or burial.

If I select cremation, what will be done with the ashes?

The funeral director will pick them up from the crematory and put them in a simple container (you can purchase a fancier container if you choose).  Your next of kin will need to pick up the ashes from the funeral home.

If I select burial rather than cremation, what additional fees are required?

You will need to purchase a burial plot at a cemetery.  The Memorial Society contract includes a simple coffin and transportation to the cemetery, but the cemetery will have additional charges for opening and closing the grave.  Many cemeteries will require a vault (concrete lining for the grave).  A headstone, if desired, is also additional.

As a member, can I display the coffin at my church for a funeral service?

This is not part of the Memorial Society price, and would likely be quite expensive to add.

Do I have to purchase the coffin from the funeral director?

For Memorial Society members, a simple coffin is included in the burial price but you can upgrade for an additional fee.  If you are not a member, purchasing from the funeral director is certainly the easiest way, but funeral directors are required by law to allow you to bring your own coffin.

No Pre-payment needed

With a one-time $25 fee, the Memorial Society provides access to reduced-fee funeral services, planning forms, newsletters and resources to assist you with the process. Join today. 

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