Frequently Asked Questions About Funeral Planning in California

Callaghan Mortuary & Livermore Crematory Answers Common Questions

Funeral planning at a time of loss requires making a lot of decisions at a delicate time. These decisions feel less overwhelming for those equipped with helpful information. Our funeral directors have compiled a list of the most frequently asked questions we receive below. The accompanying answers we provide can help guide you when planning a funeral in California. We hope you find this information useful and welcome you to contact us with any additional questions you may have.

What Are the Steps Involved in Planning a Funeral?

When you begin planning a funeral, it is important to first discuss certain considerations with key family members. These discussions should involve what the deceased wanted in a funeral service as well as any financial considerations that may arise.

You will then want to contact a funeral director to discuss how best to conduct the memorial service. Together, you will need to decide:

  • Will you be embalming or cremating the body?
  • Will there be a casket?
  • If there is a casket, will it be open or closed?
  • What should the deceased wear for burial?
  • Where will the burial site be?
  • How do I transport the deceased to the burial site?
  • If cremated, will you scatter the ashes or place them in an urn?
  • What type of funeral service is appropriate?
  • At what date and time will the service be?
  • Who should lead the funeral service?
  • Will there be food or beverages available during or after the funeral service?

Once you have made these decisions, you will want to notify friends and family of the deceased about the funeral services. You may want to plan flower arrangements and other displays. We recommend including photographs, memorabilia and music to a funeral service to add a sense of comfort.

What Do Funeral Directors Do?

In addition to helping you make funeral planning decisions, funeral directors handle all the logistics following a death. This will include filling out necessary legal paperwork and preparing the obituary. The funeral director will also organize and execute the memorial service according to the family’s wishes and religious customs. They will embalm, dress and prepare the body within the casket or prepare the urn for viewing. They will also arrange for transportation of the body from the funeral home to the burial site. This person will also be up-to-date on any laws or procedures surrounding funeral planning in California.

Is Embalming Required by Law?

Embalming is not required by law in California. However, embalming helps to preserve the physical appearance of a body. Selecting this procedure is a good idea for open-casket memorial services. The alternative to embalming is to slow the decomposing process down through refrigeration.

How Do I Plan a Funeral for a Loved One Who Underwent Cremation?

Funeral planning in California can include a memorial service regardless of whether you choose a casket viewing or a cremation service. The purpose of a memorial service is to allow friends and family a chance to gather together in honor of the deceased. The biggest difference in funeral planning between a casket or cremation ceremony will involve the type of funeral container needed and the final resting place. You can transport cremated remains to the desired resting place of your choosing in accordance with state and federal laws.

How Do I Plan a Funeral for a Loved One Who Passed Away Out of Town?

First, you will want to contact a local funeral director and inform them of the situation. They can contact the appropriate authorities and coordinate with other funeral directors to transport your loved one home.

How Much Does a Funeral Cost?

The costs associated with funeral planning in California depend on the services requested. Your funeral director can supply you with a general price list to give you an idea of what various services will cost. Costs generally vary depending on whether you embalm or cremate, the type of burial container needed and the type of memorial service selected. Transportation and use of the funeral home facility will factor into the final cost. Your funeral director will be able to navigate you through the funeral planning process with your financial concerns in mind.

Is It Possible to Plan a Funeral in Advance?

It is possible to plan a funeral in advance, and quite beneficial to do so for a few reasons. Planning ahead will take this burden off of your loved ones in the future. It will also allow you to choose what your memorial service will include, while also cutting some of the costs. To learn more about planning ahead, visit our frequently asked questions about planning ahead page.

Callaghan Mortuary & Livermore Crematory Is Proud to Honor Your Loved One’s Final Wishes

Our funeral directors are proud to serve grieving families as they pay their final respects to lost loved ones. To do this, we uphold the memorial and burial requests of all faiths, creeds and customs. Our staff attends annual trainings so that we can perform the tasks and duties asked of us when commemorating your loved one. If you have any questions about the funeral planning process, contact us today at (925) 660-7098. We are more than happy to answer any questions you may have in a free consultation.