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Home Funerals

Although a home funeral, sometimes called a family directed funeral, may sound like something new and strange, an increasing number of families are choosing to care for their own dead. A home funeral is one more choice in the type of funeral that a family may want for a loved one.

Even though it is not very many years ago that most of us died in a hospital, many of us are now dying at home cared for by family with the help of hospice. Caring for a relative after death at home is a natural extension of this practice. Caring for a dying family member is probably much harder than caring for him or her after death.

Home funerals were the usual practice in this country not only in colonial times, but also well into the twentieth century. Home funerals are not really so strange after you realize that they are a return to a traditional American practice. Many senior citizens remember such funerals when they were growing up.

Home funerals are harder to arrange in New York than in some states, because this state is one of only seven that restrict the right of a family to care for its own dead. Nevertheless, with the help of a funeral director, it can be done.

New York requires that a funeral director sign and file the death certificate, obtain the transit and burial permits and, if cremation is chosen, must sign the authorization for cremation form. A funeral director must also be present at the final point of disposition. The body must be transported in a rigid container that is concealed from view from outside of the vehicle. At this time, if death occurs in a New York hospital, to avoid problems, either have the funeral director pick up the body or have him arrange with the hospital in advance for removal by the family.

To request our pamphlet, Home Funerals in New York, as well as current prices and information about cooperating funeral directors, send us a stamped self-addressed #10 envelope. You may download the pamphlet by clicking here.