How much does it cost to meet with a funeral director?

At a Pitman-Richman Funeral Home , there is no fee to meet with a funeral director. Whether we speak on the phone, meet at the funeral home or meet at your home, there is no fee. We are here to answer all of your questions.

How does someone become a funeral director?

Indiana law requires an associate’s degree in Funeral Service Education or an equivalent certificate at a specific training school. After one completes their educational requirements, they are able to sit for the National Board. The National Board is a six hour exam covering our education. Upon completion of the National Board, the applicant can apply for a Funeral Director Intern license. After the intern has served for a year with a licensed Indiana funeral home, they are able to sit for their State Board. This test is shorter than the National Board and is specific to Indiana Law. Upon completion, the intern may apply for a Funeral Director’s License.

Funeral Directors in Indiana are licensed for two year terms. Funeral directors are required to obtain 10 hours of continuing education covering Indiana law and other topics every two years.

Who has the authority to make funeral arrangements after a person dies?

The next-of-kin will have the authority to make decisions about funeral services. There are situations where the Power-of-Attorney may have the authority over the next-of-kin, but this is only granted in specific legal documents. If there are several children who are the direct next-of-kin, all the children have equal authority. In the event of a disagreement between the children, the majority opinion will prevail.

What cemeteries can you service?

Pitman-Richman Funeral Homes can arrange and supervise burials in any Indiana cemetery. We may also arrange burials outside of Indiana. However, we must contact a local funeral home with a license specific to the state in which the burial occurs to supervise the burial.

I have prearrangements with another funeral home but I have changed my mind. Am I able to switch to a different funeral home?

Yes. If you have a prepaid funeral contract with a funeral home, you may move that contract to any funeral home in Indiana without incurring a fee from either funeral home. Furthermore, your new funeral home may not change your contract unless specifically instructed by you.

Is embalming required by law?

No. There is no law in Indiana that requires embalming. However, a funeral home may require embalming depending on the services that you select. For example, a funeral home may require embalming if there will be a public service with the body present, or if they family requests a delayed burial or cremation. If you do not wish to purchase an embalming, you have the right to select services that do not require this service.

I want to be buried on my own property. Can this happen?

If your property is in Indiana, the answer is no.   In Indiana, burials of human remains must be made in an organized cemetery.  However, cremated remains may be scattered on public or private property.  When cremains are scattered on private property, it must be recorded with the county recorder. The applicable documents may be obtained from your funeral home.

I was told it is against the law to scatter cremains in our local river. Is this true?

No. Cremains may be scatter on any public land or waterway. This means any property under the control of the state of Indiana or local government.

Do I have to buy a casket from your funeral home?

No. You are not required to purchase any specific merchandise from a funeral home. If you purchase merchandise from a business other than the funeral home (such as a casket) the funeral home may request you be present for the delivery so you can inspect and sign for the merchandise you ordered.

Due to the circumstances of my loved one’s death, I am worried that we cannot see them one last time. What can the funeral home do?

Our funeral directors and embalmers are highly trained in restorative art. We take pride in making someone presentable for their family. We will do our best to give the opportunity for family and friends to say their goodbyes. Generally, the cost for restorative work is included in our funeral package price.

Is there a difference between preplanning and prepaying my funeral?

There is a tremendous difference. Preplanning your funeral tells your family what your wishes would be. Prepayment gives them the financial ability to fulfil those wishes without the burden of paying for them.

What are the advantages of preplanning?

The advantages of preplanning are endless. First, you have the ability to select the funeral home of your choice. Second, you will remove the burden of selecting funeral services and merchandise on the worst day of someone you love’s life. Probably the most important reason, however, is that your family will never have to wonder what you really wanted. At a Pitman-Richman Funeral Home, you will meet with a licensed funeral director and make selections regarding funerals, memorial services, burials and cremations. All your wishes can be noted in advance, when there is no pressure of emotional or time constraints.

What are the advantages of prepaying?

In Indiana, any prepaid funeral services or merchandise is “guaranteed”. Specifically, at the time that you choose to prepay, the current day prices are charged. In time, the funeral home’s charges will increase. However, funeral homes in Indiana are prohibited from charging extra for prepaid items (funeral services and merchandise), so your family never pays more for those items. The only exclusion to this guarantee are charges for “cash advance” items. Cash advance items are fees generated from outside the funeral home. Some examples of “cash advance” items are obituaries, death certificates, and flowers.

Why should I prepay if I have life insurance?

There are many advantages to prepaying your funeral, even if you have life insurance.  Some reasons may include:

  • Decreased purchasing power:  30 years ago, if one purchased a $5,000 policy, there would have been ample funds to pay for a funeral, all the related expenses, and have some money left for the family. Today, that is simply not the case. Inflation has decreased the value of that life insurance.
  • Medicaid Exemption:  Only funds placed in an irrevocably assigned funeral trust are exempt from Medicaid. This trust will not jeopardize Medicaid eligibility and will be left intact to pay for funeral services.
  • Readily available for funeral expenses: Many times, life insurance companies will not provide immediate information. They may not tell you what the death benefit is, or even who is the beneficiary. In addition, your beneficiary is under no legal obligation to pay for your funeral. If a trip to the Bahamas or a new car seems like a better use of those funds, there is nothing that can be done. Most importantly, life insurance can take weeks, if not months to collect. Who will be responsible for paying for your funeral at the time of death, and waiting until the life insurance is collected?

What happens if I die without a plan in place?

Your next-of-kin will decide on a funeral home and provide the funeral director with instructions as well as enough information for the director to perform their duties.

I have my arrangements made. Can my next-of-kin make changes to the plan I have in place?

Yes. The next-of-kin has the authority to make any changes to a preplanned funeral. However, if a next-of-kin chooses to downgrade the services and merchandise that are a part of a prepaid funeral contract, they are not entitled to receive any excess funds payable to the funeral home.

What is the difference between a funeral and a memorial service?

A memorial service is a service without the body present. A funeral service will have the deceased present.

I don’t have a church home or a minister. Does a minister have to speak at my funeral?

No. There is no requirement on who gives a eulogy. Your funeral director can help you build a service to fit your individual needs.

Still Have Questions?