What should I do if a death occurs while away from home? Just call us, we’ll assist you wherever your location is at the time.
Can I have a viewing if I select cremation? Absolutely. You can have a full traditional service, with viewing, and a funeral service in the funeral home or church. The cremation will then take place the following day. You can also have a viewing even if you aren’t going to have any services, to say your last goodbyes. It is important to us that you have a chance to do this.
Why are funerals so expensive? When compared to other major life events, like births and weddings, funerals are not expensive, but because it is not a happy event, and can come at an unexpected time, costs are usually criticized. A funeral home is a 24-hour, labor-intensive business. Contrary to popular belief, funeral homes are largely family-owned with a modest profit margin.
Is embalming required by law? No. However, embalming will be necessary if you select certain funeral arrangements such as viewing during visitation. If you do not want embalming, you have the right to choose an arrangement that would not require it, such as closed casket services or cremation prior to your services.
Can a pre-arrangement be transferred to Gilman & Valade Funeral Homes? Yes. We do welcome pre-arrangement transfers. If you have an existing pre-arrangement and would like to use our funeral home, you may bring the papers you have and talk with our funeral directors about the transfer.
What is pre-arranging a funeral? Pre-arranging is a way of making informed decisions ahead of time, so your true wishes about your funeral can be expressed and made with your family and friends. It also spares your family difficult decisions at a difficult time by eliminating doubt about what you wanted, whether it be burial or cremation, a service in church or in the funeral home, calling hours, etc.
Why should I pre-fund a funeral? Since death is an inevitable event, it is important that we are prepared, so we eliminate potential financial stress for our survivors. Pre-funding is essentially a savings account for your funeral; the money you use to pay for your funeral does not come to the funeral home; however, it is set up in an irrevocable trust account where it accumulates interest designed to keep up with inflation. It also guarantees the services you choose at today’s prices, even if the interest doesn’t match the inflation rate at the time of death.
What makes funerals meaningful? A meaningful funeral is made up of several parts, that when combined, make an experience that captures the importance of your loved one’s life. This could include playing a favorite song, bringing memorabilia to set up in the funeral home, wearing ties your deceased relative once wore or beaded necklaces your grandmother once wore, reading a poem, wearing their favorite color, or anything that is special to you.
How can I make sure I am getting the right cremated remains back? Not only does your loved one never leave our care because we operate Windham County’s only crematory, we also use two separate identification methods: one at the funeral home and one at the crematory. In addition, the Park Tribute Center is used exclusively for Gilman & Valade families.
What do I bring to the arrangements? There is a list of things to bring under the “To Do List” which you will find under the “Helpful Info” tab.
Can I put something in the casket? Yes. You are more than welcome to place something in the casket, provided it fits. Some items people like to put in are: pictures, notes, small trinkets, and/or a favorite blanket.
What should I bring for clothes for the deceased? Bring something your loved one would have typically worn, whether it be a suit, dress pants and a button down shirt, jeans, a dress, or skirt, etc. Also include undergarments: an undershirt, stockings, a slip, or anything they would have typically worn with that outfit.
Can I bring clothes even if they are being cremated? Yes. We will dress your loved one and then they will be cremated with those clothes on.
Should I notify life insurance, Social Security, etc.? Not so fast, we can help you with that. Our goal is to make this as easy for you as possible. We will notify Social Security, fill out your life insurance papers, and even help you assign them to the funeral home for payment, if you’d like. This makes everything a little bit easier and we will make sure you receive the life insurance balance.
Can you cremate people with medical parts (hips, knees, teeth, implants)? Yes. After the cremation is complete, we carefully remove the remaining medical parts. We then send them to a medical recycling company and they are able to melt them down and use the material to make new medical parts.