Frequently Asked Questions

We have heard thousands of questions, and chosen to provide you with the answers to some of the more common questions relating to a funeral, a funeral service and funeral homes.

- What is a funeral?
The funeral is a ceremony of worth and value for many who mourn. It provides an opportunity for the survivors and others who share in the loss to express their love, respect and grief. It permits facing openly and realistically the crisis that death may present. Through the funeral, the bereaved take that first step towards emotional adjustment to their loss.

- What type of service should I have?
Only you can answer that question. The type of service conducted for the deceased, if not noted in a prearranged plan, is decided by the family. The service is usually held at a place of worship, the funeral home, or another place that is significant to the family or the deceased. The service may vary in ritual according to religious denomination or the wishes of the family. The presence of friends at this time is an acknowledgment of friendship and support. A private service is by invitation only where selected relatives and a few close friends are informed of the date and time of the funeral service. A memorial service is usually a service without the body present and can vary in ceremony and procedures according to the family's community and religious affiliations.

- Can I personalize my funeral service?
Absolutely, in fact, we recommend it. After all, the funeral is a celebration of life. Funeral directors are happy to discuss all options and ensure your service is tailored to your wishes. It may be personalized in many unique ways. Contact us at to explore the options.... after all, the service is for the living.

- Why should we have a public viewing?
Viewing the deceased is part of many cultural and ethnic traditions, and many grief specialists believe that viewing aids the grief process, by helping the bereaved recognize the reality of death. Viewing is even encouraged for children, as long as it is their desire to do so, and the process is explained well.  It is not necessary to have or participate in a public viewing.

- Why do we need an obituary notice?
An obituary notice is not required or necessary.  It can be helpful to friends and the community to have an obituary notice published announcing the death and any service information. A notice can be placed in a newspaper, on the internet, or on TV.

- What do funeral directors do?
Funeral directors are both caregivers and administrators. In their administrative duties, they make the arrangements for transportation of the body, complete all necessary paperwork, implement the choices made by the family regarding the funeral and final disposition of the body, coordinate those assisting in the service, and making sure state and federal laws are followed. As caregivers, funeral directors are listeners, advisors and supporters. They have experience assisting the bereaved in coping with death and walking families through many types of final paperwork. Funeral directors answer questions about grief and can also link survivors with support groups available in the area.

- What should I do if the death occurs in the middle of the night or on the weekend?
We are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week for immediate deaths. All you need to do is place a call to us at 989-892-3923 . If you request an immediate phone call, one of our professionals are happy to contact you.  Please disable any "call blocking" feature on your phone so our call can get through to you. If the family wishes to spend a short time with the deceased to say good bye, it's more than acceptable.  We will be happy to schedule a mutually convenient time to take your loved on into our care.

- What should I do if a death occurs while away from home?
Your funeral director can assist you if a death occurs anywhere on the globe. Contact us immediately so we can coordinate the arrangements for the return of your loved one to our care.

- What is the purpose of embalming?
Embalming sanitizes and preserves the body, slows the decomposition process, and enhances the appearance of a body disfigured by traumatic death or illness. It makes it possible to lengthen the time between death and the final disposition, thus allowing family members time to arrange and participate in the type of service most comforting to them.  Many find emotional benefits in viewing the deceased.

- Is embalming mandatory by law?
Not normally, however, certain factors of time, health and possible legal requirements might make embalming either appropriate or necessary. Please note that embalming may be required if the deceased died of an infectious disease or is being transported by air or on a common carrier.

- Is cremation a substitute for a funeral?
No, cremation is an alternative to earth burial or entombment for the body's final disposition and can follow a traditional funeral service. We can assist you with the necessary information about cremation following a funeral, cremation followed by a memorial service, or direct cremation without any service.

- Can I have a visitation period and a funeral service if cremation is chosen?
Yes. Cremation does not preclude having a visitation period and a funeral service. Cremation is simply one option for final disposition of the body.

- Are more families choosing cremation increasing?
Yes, in the State of Michigan, approximately 50%-60% of all deaths end with cremation.

- Is it possible to have a traditional funeral if someone dies of communicable disease?
Yes, a person who dies of a communicable disease is normally able to have the same service options afforded to anyone else.  There are however, some disease processes, such as EBOLA, which at this time, would not offer the same options.

- How much does a funeral cost?
Funerals costs vary greatly between providers. Direct disposition includes registering the death, a basic cremation container, and transporting the deceased to the crematory, and is less costly than a 'traditional" visitation with viewing. For an adult full-service funeral, consumers, on average spend an average of $5000. This includes all professional services, transfer-of remains, embalming & and other preparation, use of viewing facilities for visitation and the ceremony; hearse, and basic casket.

- Has this cost increased significantly?
Funeral costs have increased no faster than the consumer price index for other consumer items.

- Why are funerals so expensive?
In some respects, funerals are a lot like other family events that are celebrated.The type and cost will vary according to the tastes and budget of the consumer. Not only that, a funeral home is a 24-hour, labor-intensive business, with extensive facilities (viewing rooms, chapels, hearses,  administrative personnel, and staff that are expected to be available throughout nights and holidays).  These expenses are all factored into the cost of a funeral. Moreover, the cost of a funeral includes not only merchandise, like caskets, but the services of a funeral director in making arrangements; filing appropriate forms; dealing with doctors, ministers, florists, newspapers and others; and seeing to all the necessary details. Many funeral service providers are family owned and provide a great deal of very personalized care.

- Who pays for funerals for the indigent?
Family, friends, state welfare programs, some charitable organizations such as Hospices may provide some assistance.  We are familiar with funding sources and can provide direction and advice with applications for assistance.