QUESTIONS ABOUT ATTENDING SERVICES
Q: I have never been to a visitation or funeral before, what should I do?
By arranging to have a time for visitation, the family has invited you to share this time with them. Be yourself and feel free to share stories, memories, or just a few kind words of the deceased with the family.
Q: Should I attend the services?
Unless there is a notation in the obituary stating that services are private, family and friends are welcome to attend the services. If the time and location of the services are included in the funeral invitation, it is considered an invitation for the public to attend.
Q: Should I send flowers or make a donation?
Unless otherwise requested, it is appropriate to send flowers to the funeral home. Some families and individuals prefer that donations, in memory of their loved one, be made to a charity or charities designated by the deceased or their family. Information about the family’s preference for flowers or donations will be listed in the newspaper obituary, for families that we are serving, under our obituaries link. You may also choose to send flowers to the family residence. This can be done either before the funeral service or in the days and weeks following the service.
QUESTIONS ABOUT PLANNING
Q: Can you arrange for military honors to be accorded to the deceased?
Yes. If the deceased is an honorably discharged veteran, we can make arrangements for the attendance of a military honor guard at the funeral services. We can also assist the family with making arrangements for veteran’s memorials, burial in veteran’s cemeteries and other veteran’s benefits for which the deceased is qualified.
Q: What should I do if I receive a phone call from someone who wants to sell me a casket, vault or some sort of other merchandise?
Be cautious about any unsolicited phone calls that you may receive from third parties who want to sell you something. You should never feel pressured to make a quick decision. If you have questions about merchandise or services, please take the time to call us. The cost of merchandise from third party sellers may be substantially higher than the cost of similar merchandise that can be purchased from an independent funeral home. We do not use pressure tactics and we do not make unsolicited phone calls. Please note that in Pennsylvania only licensed funeral directors can sell funeral services. Laws in other states may vary.
Q: Who may serve the duties of being a pallbearer?
Pallbearing, also referred to as casket bearing, is considered to be an honor. Families may choose close family members or friends to serve as pallbearers for the deceased. Sometimes families do not have enough people to serve as pallbearers; in these cases the funeral home will provide as many pallbearers as needed.
Q: Why should I consider funding pre-arrangements?
Funding pre-arrangements allows you to pay for a future funeral at today’s costs. This eliminates a financial burden for family and relieves them of thinking about finances at an emotionally difficult time. We guarantee that our charges and merchandise will not cost anymore in the future.
Q: Why should I consider pre-planning a funeral?
Making pre-arrangements may help to ease the emotional stress of dealing with the loss of a loved one. Pre-arranging a funeral also allows you to make inform decisions about the type of service. Knowing that a funeral reflects the wishes of a loved one can be a source of comfort for families and friends.
QUESTIONS ABOUT CREMATION
Q: Can family and friends go along to the crematory?
Yes. If your family chooses, after the public visitation and funeral service either at the funeral home or church, family and friends may proceed to the crematory, just as they would to a cemetery. When they arrive at the crematory, family and friends may proceed inside and the pallbearers may carry the casket into the crematory. They clergy may then officiate with a brief committal service, just as they would during a traditional burial service. If the family chooses, they may observe the casket being placed into the retort.
Q: Can I scatter the cremated remains in a stream or in a park?
It is not legal to distribute cremains on private property without the permission of the owner. In order to scatter cremains on public property, you will need to contact the local municipal government to determine if it is legal to do so.
Q: Can I still have a viewing or service if I choose cremation?
Yes. Choosing cremation in no way limits your choices with respect to services prior to the cremation. The only difference between a funeral followed by burial and one followed by cremation is that the deceased is taken to the crematory after the service instead of to a cemetery.
Q: Do I need to purchase an urn or urn vault with cremation?
No. However, if you prefer to have the cremains placed in a container, you may choose an urn from the wide selection that we offer at the funeral home, or you can provide a suitable container into which we will place the cremains.
Q: Must I purchase a casket if I have a visitation prior to cremation?
No, it is not necessary to purchase a casket if you choose to have a visitation prior to cremation. We have an attractive hardwood rental casket with an enclosed cremation unit available for use during the viewing and funeral service. Following the service, the body remains in the cremation unit, which is then removed from the rental casket and transported to the crematory. The interior of the rental casket is then replaced with another cremation unit for future use.
Q: What can be done with the cremains?
The cremains can be inurned in a cemetery or scattered in a scattering garden, which is a specially designated area of a cemetery. The cremains can also be placed in a niche in a mausoleum. You may choose to scatter or bury the cremains on your own property or on another person’s property, provided that you have first obtained his or her permission. If scattering is chosen, we have a selection of urns specifically designed for the scattering process available at the funeral home.
Q: Am I required to buy a burial vault (outer burial container)?
You are not required by law to purchase a burial vault. However, most cemeteries do require that you purchase an outer burial container in order to be buried properly. These cemeteries have established this requirement because vaults help to maintain the integrity of the grave by preventing the ground from sinking. We can assist you in determining whether or not the cemetery that you have selected requires an outer burial container.
Q: How much does a funeral cost?
Our licensed funeral directors are available to discuss with you the options and the costs involved with the particular services that you select. Since options and prices vary, we feel that you will be better served by discussing your unique needs with one of our licensed professionals. We invite you to make an appointment to discuss your funeral service needs – there is never any pressure or obligation.
Q: I have relocated to the Kutztown/ Topton Area; however, my home is in another state and I want to have my final disposition take place in my home state. Do I need to make funeral arrangements here?
Yes. Because the death occurred in Pennsylvania there are documents and permits. The death certificate must be filed in the state in which the death occurs. If you wish to have funeral services conducted here, you should make arrangements here. We can arrange for the deceased to be shipped to your hometown for additional funeral services and final disposition.
Q: Is embalming of the body required by law?
Except in special cases, embalming is not required by law. Embalming may be necessary or preferable if you select certain funeral arrangements, such as a funeral with a public visitation.
Q: What should I do if a death occurs out of town?
First thing you need to do is to contact us here at the Ludwick Funeral Homes, Inc. We are part of a professional network of funeral homes i.e. Selected Independent Funeral Directors, National Funeral Directors Association, Pennsylvania Funeral Directors Association, and our local associations, so matter where the death occurs, we are able to make arrangements for the transportation of your loved one and take care of all the necessary details.