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When one comes in to arrange a funeral, three basic areas are discussed. First we will write down information to fill out a death certificate. Second, we can help you to compose an obituary. And lastly, we will go over all the selections for each individual funeral. This arrangement meeting usually takes between 60 and 90 minutes.

Information for the Death Certificate

The first item we discuss in arranging a funeral is to gather statistical information in order to complete the death certificate. We will ask for the deceased's full name, birth date and birthplace, social security number, occupation and for what kind of business or industry, the highest grade of education the deceased has completed, their parents’ names and birthplaces, and their mother’s maiden name. We will additionally ask for the name and address of the person providing this information. Lastly, we will ask for the deceased's Hebrew name. This is used by the officiating clergy member during the service.

For a Veteran

We will ask if your loved one was a veteran. If they were, we will then ask for a copy of their DD214, their military discharge papers. We use the discharge papers to obtain an American flag to drape the casket. This flag is folded and presented to the family during the burial service, either by our staff or a military contingent. The discharge papers can also be used to apply for a veteran’s footstone to be placed at the gravesite if the cemetery of your choice allows for such a marker.

For a Surviving Spouse

If there is a surviving spouse, we will also take their information to help them with social security. We will gather the surviving spouse’s birthdate, birthplace, and social security number. We will ask for their date and place of marriage. We will then contact social security on your behalf. With this information, social security can tell us what, if any, forms are needed to be filled out.

Composing an Obituary

Next would come the writing of the obituary. Although not legally required, most families choose to publicize a death through an obituary. We can place an obituary for you in any newspaper worldwide. When writing an obituary, take into account that many newspapers have a per line charge. An obituary can say as much or as little information as you would like. It can start with where and when the deceased was born, and to whom, followed by information about where they lived, their schooling, their work history, and any groups or organizations they belonged to. Lastly would be predeceased and surviving relatives, the where and when of the funeral, any mention of local shiva, and any mention of memorial contributions. Some families choose to include a picture to be printed with the obituary as well. This is only a beginning for composing an obituary. We can help you create an obituary that is right for you.

Funeral Selections

Lastly, we would review the specific selections for your loved one’s funeral. Most items are straight forward and simple, but there are a few selections that you would have to make. A decision needs to be made as to where the funeral would be held; either at the funeral home, a temple, solely a graveside service, or at another location. Second, how would you like to be transported during the service? Would you like to use your own cars or be driven by a limousine? Third would be the selection of a casket. We have pictures of all the caskets available for you to see. We will also review all the associated costs of all the selections of the funeral you have chosen. At this time we would also discuss what items are not included from the funeral home; such items as the cemetery expense, the headstone, and the mourner’s meal. We would discuss who the pallbearers could be. Lastly, we will ask you if you have any special requests that we can help you include in the funeral service, and how to go about doing them, to make the funeral service more meaningful for you, your family, and friends.

Funeral Schedule

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For over 60 years

The Ascher-Zimmerman Funeral Home continues to strive to provide caring and compassionate service to the families we serve. Contact us by calling at (413) 734-5229 or by sending us a message. Click on the link below to get started.