Riverside Funeral Directors

          Brian D. Kuratko





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Frequently Asked Questions


Why have a funeral?

The funeral ceremony is a customary way to recognize death and its finality. Funerals are recognized rituals for the living to show respect for the deceased and to help survivors begin the grieving process. Funerals are for the living - a way to celebrate the life well lived!


What do funeral directors do?

Funeral directors are listeners, advisors and supporters, caregivers and administrators. They make the arrangements for transportation of the body, complete all necessary paperwork, and implement the choices made by the family regarding the funeral and final disposition of the body. Funeral directors are commonly cross-trained as embalmers and maintain the natural presentation of the deceased. They have experience assisting the bereaved in coping with death. Funeral directors are trained to answer questions about grief, recognize when a person is having difficulty coping, and recommend sources of professional help. Funeral directors also link survivors with support groups at the funeral home or in the community.


Do you have to have a funeral director to bury the dead?

Yes, although in some states, family members may bury their own dead. Regulations vary. However, most people find it very difficult to be solely responsible for arranging the details and legal matters surrounding a death.


Why have a public viewing/visitation?

Viewing is part of many cultural and ethnic traditions. Many grief specialists believe that viewing aids the grief process by helping the bereaved recognize the reality of death. Viewing is encouraged for children, as long as the process is explained and the activity voluntary. Ask your funeral director for details.


What is the purpose of embalming?

Embalming sanitizes and preserves the body, slows the decomposition process, and enhances the appearance of a body disfigured by traumatic death or illness. Embalming affords the opportunity to lengthen the time between death and the final disposition, thus allowing family members adequate time to arrange and participate in the type of service most comforting to them.


Does a dead body have to be embalmed, according to law?

No. Most states, however, require embalming when death was caused by a reportable contagious disease, when remains are to be transported from one state to another by common carrier, if final disposition is not to be made within a prescribed number of hours, or if a public visitation is requested by the family.


Is cremation a substitute for a funeral?

No, cremation is an alternative to earth burial or entombment for the decedent's final disposition and often follows a traditional funeral service. Full memorialization is still encouraged.


Why are funerals so expensive?

When compared to other major life cycle events, like births and weddings, funerals are not expensive. A wedding costs at least three times as much; but because it is a happy event, wedding costs are rarely criticized. A funeral home is a 24-hour, labor-intensive business, with extensive facilities (viewing rooms, chapels, limousines, hearses, etc.), these expenses must be factored into the cost of a funeral. Moreover, the cost of a funeral includes not only merchandise, like caskets and flowers, but the services of a funeral director in making arrangements; filing appropriate forms; handling doctors, ministers, florists, newspapers and others; and seeing to all the necessary details 24 hours a day!


What should I do if the death occurs in the middle of the night or on the weekend?

We are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. We are the third generation of the Kuratko family to be involved in the funeral business. We understand that you may need us on the weekends or in the middle of the night. Please feel free to call us at any time.


Will someone come right away?

If you request immediate assistance, yes. If the family wishes to spend a short time with the deceased to say good bye, that is also acceptable. We will come when the time is right. Usually our personnel can be on scene within 45 minutes to two hours from receiving your call.


If a loved one dies out of state, can Riverside Funeral Directors still help?

Absolutely!. We can assist you with out-of-state arrangements, either to transfer the remains to another state or from another state. As your "hometown" funeral director, call us first so that no additional "fees" from an out-of-state funeral home are incurred.


So, I've decided on cremation. Can I still have a funeral or a viewing?

Yes, very often some sort of viewing precedes the actual cremation. We at Riverside Funeral Directors can assist you with the necessary information for a funeral with a cremation following or a memorial service.


What government agencies help defray final expenses?

Usually, funeral directors will help gather the necessary information to apply for financial assistance from Social Security, the Veterans Administration, pensions, or any additional resources.

  © 2007 - Riverside Funeral Directors