“If I am paying for a casket, why do I have to buy a burial vault?” Most cemeteries in Indiana require an outer burial container or vault for good reason. Ever walked through an old country cemetery or a really old cemetery on the east coast of the U.S.? The ground is uneven and the markers are crooked because they did not require outer burial containers way back when. The casket eventually deteriorated and collapsed and the ground settled. So, for better maintenance of the grounds, safety, and appearance, cemeteries now require them. But prices vary, so compare the price at the funeral home to the one at the cemetery.
“Why does it take so long to get a death certificate?” The next of kin of the deceased provides the biographical information to the funeral director, who then enters that info into the Indiana Death Registration System online and submits it electronically to the physician for completion. Sometimes the physician does not get to it right away; busy with patients or time off with his or her family (yes, doctors have private lives too!) or could be some confusion over which physician will sign (not unusual). But it often is not promptly signed by the physician. When completed, the funeral home is notified online and then sends a representative to the health department in the county of death to complete the filing and obtain certified copies of the death certificate for the family. If the county coroner is completing and signing the death certificate, this can be lengthy due to the wait for toxicology and autopsy results.
“Why does it take so long for a cremation to be performed?” There are three requirements according to Indiana law before a cremation can take place. 1.) Cremation cannot take place until more than 48 hours after the death. 2.) The legal next of kin (may be more than one person) must sign the cremation authorization. 3.) The death certificate must be signed and filed and as we just discussed, that sometimes does not happen promptly. County coroner’s will often issue a “coroner’s release to cremate” if the process is going to be lengthy.
“Is there really that much difference between funeral homes?” Prices and service levels can vary by hundreds or thousands of dollars. Always best to visit and price shop several of your top choices before making a decision.
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