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Here are answers to some of the more commonly asked questions. Don’t see an answer here to the question that you have? Please contact us—we’re here to help!

Cremation

What is Cremation?

Cremation involves placing the deceased in a special chamber in a building called a crematorium and incinerating the body at high temperatures for several hours until it is reduced to a fine white powder. Because of its simplicity, dignity and affordability, cremation is the most popular option to the traditional funeral and burial.

How Prevalent is it?

Cremation has seen a steady rise in acceptance in the US over the past four decades among people of all backgrounds and faiths. In 1960 cremation accounted for less than 4% of American final arrangements, but today the rate is over 25%. By the year 2010 cremation will account for 40% of arrangements.

Do I Need a Casket if I'm Being Cremated?

With cremation, neither a casket nor embalming is generally required. However, you can always choose to be embalmed, and have a casket, full service and viewing hours. Cremation can be performed without a service or done before or after a funeral service. Cremated remains may be scattered, kept at home, buried in a cemetery, or kept in a columbarium, a structure containing niches into which urns are placed.

Why is Cremation Becoming More Popular?

One factor is our increased mobility. People often live away from family and would prefer to have their remains “closer to home,” where they have a stronger attachment, and where family and friends may visit. Many retirees who don't feel a strong attachment to Florida, for example, would just as soon reside in an easy-to-ship, easy-to-store urn back in Michigan. The options with cremation are also continually expanding. Perhaps a person would like to be remembered in two places at once, or have their remains encased in molten glass objets d'art, or crafted into jewelry. Some people are even having their cremated remains launched into space. Literally, the sky's the limit.

Mausoleums

​​Why Choose a Mausoleum?

Mausoleums provide the prestige, dignity and serenity of above ground burial that includes a clean, dry, ventilated entombment. Indoor mausoleums provide a relaxing and comfortable environment for families to visit their loved ones regardless of the weather.

What Makes Mausoleum Entombment the Wise Financial Choice?

Above ground burial compares favorably with the cost of in-ground burial by eliminating the need for lots, vaults, monuments and memorials. In one indoor, above ground space, the concrete vault is sealed and the casket is protected from the elements.

Elmwood offers low down payments, interest-free financing and special savings on companion crypts, making the choice of mausoleum entombment even more affordable.

How Will I Feel, Visiting a Mausoleum?

The atmosphere of a mausoleum is reverent, peaceful and inspiring. Consider Elmwood’s Mausoleum Plaza Complex where the crypts are within rooms with peaked glass entry and skylights. The soft colors of the rich marble and the abundance of natural light creates a pleasing space. The complex is entered over a bridge and is framed by the creek and a hillside leading up to the historic chapel.

When Can Friends and Family Visit Mausoleum Crypts?

All year-round, in any weather, you can pay homage to the memory of departed loved ones in a beautiful, inspirational setting.

Is Embalming Necessary When Selecting a Crypt?

The rules and regulations of Elmwood require embalming when selecting above ground entombment.

Traditional Burials

Is There a Time Limit After a Death for a Person to be Buried?

States have different laws, some limit the maximum time before final disposition. Things that must be considered: securing official permits and authorizations, notifying friends and family, preparation of the burial site and religious requirements. Your funeral director will be well versed on these and other regulations.

What About Embalming—Is It Required?

No. Embalming is a matter of choice. Your decision will be influenced by several factors: 1. length of time between death and burial; 2. the deceased's appearance in an open casket for public viewing or private viewing by family members; 3. transportation of the body by plane or train.

What Are "Opening and Closing Fees?"

Fees for "Opening and Closing" cover the cost of many separate services performed by cemetery personnel. They include administering and permanent record keeping which encompasses the determination of ownership, obtaining necessary permission and completing all other necessary documents, including entering the interment details in the interment register and maintaining all legal files. The fees also include actually opening and closing the grave. We locate and lay out the boundaries of the grave, excavate and fill the space. We also install and remove the lowering device, place and remove artificial grass at the grave site, level, tamp, re-grade and seed the grave site, and level and re-seed it again if the earth settles.

What is a Burial Vault?

A burial vault is the outside container into which the casket itself is placed. It is designed to protect the casket and keep the grave surface from sinking. Burial vaults vary and can be built of one or more of the following materials: concrete, stainless steel, galvanized steel, copper, bronze, plastic and fiberglass. Elmwood Cemetery requires the use of a burial vault.

May I Make the Necessary Arrangements in Advance?

Yes. You can make all arrangements in advance. Planning ahead lets you consider the options you prefer and make the decisions about your funeral, your cemetery arrangements and memorial. They will be meaningful decisions that will give you peace of mind, knowing that you have relieved your loved ones of the emotional and financial burden of having to make decisions in their time of grief. It's also a wise economic choice, because you purchase at today's prices, free from future inflationary pressures.

What Happens if I Buy Property at Elmwood in Advance, and Then Move Somewhere Else?

The professional staff at Elmwood can assist you in evaluating several options for the disposition of your graves, crypts or niches. They can also provide you with information on cemeteries in your new city of residence. The options range from structuring a donation of your graves to Elmwood, to assisting you in handling a resale of the spaces on your behalf, to actually re-purchasing the graves, crypts, or niches from you.

When I Buy a Grave, Do I Receive a Deed?

No. The purchase of a grave is really a purchase of the right to designate who may be buried in that grave, and what kind of memorial you want, subject to what the cemetery's rules permit. You're not really purchasing the land or the actual grave. They remain the property and responsibility of the cemetery.

What is Endowment Care?

Endowment care income, a portion of the purchase price contributed to a special fund, provides for regular care and maintenance of the cemetery, which can include mowing, regrading, planting and maintaining trees, roads, drainage and more. The minimum amount that can be contributed to the endowment care fund is usually legally mandated.

Preplanning

Why should I preplan a memorialization?

You probably have already taken steps to prepare for a death in the family by making a will and taking out a life insurance policy. Preplanning your memorialization is simply the next step to completing your plans. By preplanning, you are making the wise decision to ensure that all of the emotional and financial details are in order for your burial. You relieve your family of a difficult decision in their time of grief and save a substantial amount of money by taking advantage of today’s prices.

What does preplanning involve?

Preplanning allows you to arrange and pay for burial needs in advance, providing you with the opportunity to make the choices that are right for you. You make the important decision regarding traditional burial, above ground entombment or cremation. You choose the location. And you can control the cost, spending as much or as little as you deem necessary.

Will preplanning really make it easier on my family?

Definitely! Your family will not be faced with the uncertainty of whether or not they are carrying out your wishes. Preplanning also helps avoid “emotional overspending,” an expensive situation many families face when they need to make immediate decisions at a highly stressful time.

How do I know the cemetery will be here when my family needs it?

15% of your grave, crypt or niche purchase is placed in an endowment fund that pays for the perpetual maintenance of the cemetery.

Why is it important to have a memorial in a cemetery?

A memorial serves as a tribute, honoring past generations, acknowledging history and remembering one’s life and passing. We believe that it’s vital to provide a permanent tribute so that future generations may remember our ancestors who have passed on and reflect upon our history.

I’m planning on cremation. Do I still need a burial plan?

Cremation is a popular choice for its simplicity, dignity and affordability. Yet there are still many decisions. Cremated remains may be placed in a traditional burial plot or above ground in a mausoleum niche.

Isn’t a memorial something my family is supposed to take care of? Should it really be up to me to decide?

A memorial is a personal reflection of one’s life. Preplanning gives you and your family the time to think about and discuss the memorialization that will be most meaningful.