Frequently Asked Questions

This Frequently Asked Question portion of our website has been created as a supplement to the Salina Journal's "Ask A Professional" sections.  We will be posting the questions and answers to each monthly question here, as well as additional information on certain topics.  Please select a topic from the list below.

Cost of a Funeral
Importance of a Funeral Director
Immediate Actions After Death

Cost of a Funeral

Q: What does an average funeral cost here in Kansas?
 
A: According to the National Funeral Director's Assocation in 2001, the average funeral cost in the state of Kansas was $6168.00.  Keep in mind that that figure includes the cost of the casket, outer burial container (if required), funeral service and other merchandise, but does not include the cost of a cemetery plot, cemetery charges or a burial marker.  Considering that funeral costs often double every 10-15 years, it is wise to fund most of these costs through Roselawn, so you can be guaranteed it to not cost you more in the future.  Pre-funding and pre-planning can and will save your family money, and more importantly stress. back to top

Importance of a Funeral Director  

Q: What makes the role of a funeral director so important?  Can't family members handle almost all of the funeral planning themselves?

A: Ask any event planner and they will admit to the extensive "behind-the-scenes" work that is done to make any special event happen, often completely unknown to everyone.  When someone has passed, there is not only the planning of the funeral, but many legal ramifications as well.  Few families are equipped to deal with all of these stresses at a time of such heightened emotion.  A family's role is, and should always be, to take the time necessary to make the funeral a personalized and meaningful tribute to the one they loved.  This level of family participation is easier when a trained professional is there to handle all other details.  The bottom line is that when you are faced with the death of a loved one and develop a relationship with a funeral director you will wonder why anyone would ever try to do without. back to top

Immediate Actions After Death
 
Q: What has to happen immediately after someone dies?  What must happen within the first 24 hours?
  
A: Immediately after someone passes, there is the urgency to transport their body from where ever they passed away (i.e. nursing home, hospital, residence, etc.).  At that time, it is also very important to decide whether or not to have the person's body embalmed.  The State of Kansas requires that one of four things happen within 24 hours of someone's death.  The body must be either; 1) embalmed, 2) cremated, 3) buried o,r 4) placed in refrigeration. (Burial and cremation can both happen after embalming without worry of a strict timeline).  This decision is one that can be decided upon in advance through pre-planning, but a funeral director should always verify with the next-of-kin at the time of death how to proceed on that matter.  It is federal law that the next-of-kin or appointed agent of the deceased give at least verbal permission for embalming before it takes place.

In addition, various publications list 80 to more than 120 items that must be completed by the survivors of the deceased.  Many of these things must be handled within the first few days.  The staff here at Roselawn are here to make that list seem less daunting and has the knowledge and resources to do take care of these requirements.

Below is a list of funeral details that must be handled by the survivor.  As we have said before, some lists contain more than others.  This is a list we have found to be fairly complete, but not filled with too many seldom used items.
(Note: A "*" denotes that these details can be planned or pre-paid ahead of time.)

Secure Vital Statistics: (Required for Death Certificate)
*1. Name, Home Address, Telephone Number
*2. How Long a State Resident?
*3. Name of Business/Industry, Length of Employment
*4. Occupational and Title
*5. Social Security Number
*6. Armed Forces Serial Number (If Veteran)
*7. Date of Birth
*8. Place of Birth
*9. Father's Name
*10. Mother's Maiden Name
*11. Religious Name (If Any)
  
B) Pay Some or All of the Following:
*12. Family Burial Estate
*13. Memorials
*14. Funeral Director
*15. Interment Service
*16. Clergy
*17. Florist
18. Clothing
19. Transportation
20. Telephone and Telegraph
*21. Food
22. Doctors
23. Nurses
24. Hospitals and Ambulance
25. Medicine and Drugs
26. Other current and Urgent Bills (Mortgage Rent, Taxes, Installment Payments)
 
C) Collect Documents:  (Required to Establish Rights for Insurance, Pensions, Social Security, Ownership, Relationship, etc.)
*27. Will
*28. Legal Proof of Age or Birth Certificate
*29. Social Security Card or Number
*30. Marriage License
*31. Citizenship Papers
*32. Insurance Policies (Life, Health and Accident, Property)
*33. Bank Acounts
*34. Deeds to Property
*35. Bill of Sale of Car
*36. Income Tax Returns, Receipts or Cancelled Checks
*37. Veterens Discharge Certificate (DD-214)
*38. Disability Claims
*39. Memorial Park Certificate of Ownership

D) Decide and Arrange Within a Few Hours:
back to top