If it is your desire to donate your body to science, it is a good idea to pre-register with a Medical University. The medical school will reimburse the funeral home representative for transporting the remains to the medical school and will also take charge of cremating the remains and returning the ashes to the family, all at no charge. However, services provided by the funeral home representative must be paid for by the family.
If the deceased is a beneficiary of an asset, remember to change the beneficiary designation of that asset promptly. This will avoid problems in the future.
In Massachusetts, a cremation may not take place until at least 48 hours after death. Our establishment has been using the Linwood Crematory in Haverhill, MA for cremations since the mid-seventies. The legal next of kin must sign a form authorizing the cremation. This form will be provided by the funeral home. Before the cremation can take place, a State Medical Examiner needs to view the remains and sign documents provided by the funeral home.
Ashes may be returned to the family or buried in a cemetery lot. Ashes of a veteran and or the spouse may be scattered at sea by the U. S. Coast Guard at no charge. Families may also opt to have ashes scattered at sea. Please visit New England Burials at Sea or visit Compass Rose Yacht Charters for more information.
Cemeteries charge for the burial of ashes and may also require an outer burial container or a durable urn. The fees and regulations are set by each cemetery.
If you are interested in purchasing a cemetery lot or requesting information regarding burials, your funeral home representative can assist you in contacting the appropriate party.
Families will need to provide certain information to the funeral home representative in order to complete and file the originial death certificate with the appropriate Town Official. For information required, you can view and print the Form.
Certified copies of Death Certificates are required to obtain executorship or to transfer or liquidate assets of a deceased individual.
In Massachusetts, Certified Death Certificates are obtained from the Town Clerk in the town where the individual died or the town of legal residence. The fees per copy vary by town, but are usually between $5.00 and $15.00 per copy.
New Hampshire death certificates are $15.00 for the first copy and $12.00 for each additional copy regardless of the town of death and copies may be obtained from any town that is on-line with Vital Records in Concord, NH.
Our funeral home will request the certified copies for families at the time we file the original death certificate (usually 1-3 days after death). In many cases, the copies can be issued immediately, while in other cases the copies will be mailed from the town clerk's office to the next of kin. Additional copies may later be purchased from the town clerk's office.
To qualify for Medicaid an individual's assets must be reduced to no more than $2,000.00 (referred to "spend down of assets"). To help assist spending the assets, irrevocable pre-need funeral accounts may be established with a funeral home. Services and burial expenses are determined at current prices and the funds can be paid to the funeral home for placement into a pre-need trust where the funds remain in place until the funeral services are actually provided.
MONUMENTS & INSCRIPTIONS
Please visit our webpage Monument Companies for a list of the monument companies in our area. They will be able to assist you with purchasing a monument, completing inscriptions or cleaning monuments.
Your funeral home representative will compose an obituary based on information (see the Form) provided by the family of the deceased. Some families prefer to write the obituary themselves. Most newspapers require that obituaries be submitted by a funeral home for publication in the newspaper.
Try to keep obituaries as concise as possible as most newspapers now have a charge. The longer the obituary the more it will cost.
POWER OF ATTORNEY
A Power of Attorney ceases upon death and therefore funds of a decedent can not be accessed with the signature of a power of attorney.
PRE-NEED BURIAL ACCOUNTS
Pre-need irrevocable Burial Accounts can be established with our funeral home and is simply a matter of setting up a meeting with a funeral director. At this meeting information will be collected regarding the individual together with the kind of funeral services desired in order to calculate the total cost for the selected services. Once the funds are received to cover the cost of the services, they are invested in an Insurance Trust where they remain until such time that the services are performed.
If you have an insurance policy or policies to use towards the cost of the burial account, you will need to contact your insurance company and request: 1. Change of Ownership form and 2. Change of Beneficiary Form. This is especially important if the policy has a cash value. Spending down assets is a necessary step for approval of state-funded care such as medicaid or long-term care.
Please note that pre-need accounts are transferable to another funeral home in the event of relocating.
If you are interested in setting up a Pre-need Account, please call one of our 4 locations to set up an appointment.
Also see our "Pre-Planning and Bereavement Guide"
The funeral home reports all deaths to the Social Security Office. A $255.00 death benefit may be provided if there is a surviving spouse. There are other situations where Social Security benefits may apply (i.e. minor children or college-age dependents). It is best to confer with the Social Security Office if you feel there may be benefits due. For more information, please visit the official site of Social Security
Any deceased individual with military service will be entitled to a burial flag which will be provided by the U. S. Government thru your funeral home representative.
Veterans will also be entitled to a military honors service at the time of the funeral service or burial. If desired, this request will be made by the funeral home representative.
In some cases, veterans may be eligible for Veterans burial benefits. This amount may vary depending on disability and income. Your funeral home representative or the Veterans' Agent of the town of residency may assist you with these applications.
Veterans and their spouses may be buried in a National Cemetery and the grave and outer burial container are provided by the Government at no cost to the family.
Some town cemeteries reserve a section of the cemetery for veterans and will provide a grave at no charge. However the family will be responsible to pay for the cost of opening the grave and for purchasing an outer burial container. Some cemeteries will allow for the spouse. Guidelines for qualifying are set by the town cemetery.
Veterans are entitled to a government issued grave marker. Although there is no cost for the marker, most private and town-operated cemeteries charge for installing the marker at the burial site.
Families should make every effort to locate the Military Discharge Form #DD214 as this form will be required to apply for any of the veterans benefits outlined above. If the form cannot be located, please visit the official site of the National Archives
For more information on Veterans benefits, visit the official site of the Veterans Administration