Funeral Home
46 S Winchester St.
Swanzey, NH 03446
(603) 357-2980

Funeral Chapel
44 Maple Ave
Keene, NH 03431
(603) 357-2980

Questions, Answers to Common Questions

About Funerals
Funeral and Cremation Services
What to do when death occurs

Should children attend the funeral?  top
The death of a loved one can be a very confusing and bewildering experience for children. Attendance at the funeral may be helpful for a child to realize the finality of death, and also allows the child to share in the emotional experience with the family. However, you should not insist that they attend. Let the children express sorrow in their own way and do not force ideas on them, such as grieving or funeral attendance. Talk with younger children. If they want to attend the funeral, prepare them for the experience and answer any questions they may have. Many funeral homes have brochures or helpful videos that can help provide answers to questions children might have.

How much do funerals cost? top
Most funeral homes offer funerals from simple to elaborate, with pricing to match. Stating an average cost can be somewhat misleading. With a vast number of options from which to choose, you would benefit greatly by taking time to visit the funeral facility, meeting the staff, and allowing the staff to help you determine what best meets your needs.

According to Federal Law, all funeral homes must give price information over the phone. In addition, funeral homes must provide you with their current General Price List, which should itemize the costs associated with funerals.

Funeral costs can generally be put into four categories:

  • the merchandise purchased for the funeral, such as caskets, vaults, flowers, register books and memorial folders

  • the professional services of the funeral director and staff

  • the transportation required for the funeral

  • cash advance items. Cash advance items are third party charges that the funeral home includes on their bill as a courtesy to the family. Some of the most common cash advance items are death certificates, newspaper notices, musicians, and hair dresser.

It is important to realize that within each of these categories, there are choices you may make based on your wishes for the funeral and your budget.

What are the payment options? top
Preplanning and prepaying for funerals enables you to make decisions and financial arrangements more calmly than your family may be able to at the time of your death. If a funeral has not been prepaid, most funeral homes will request payment prior to the service or require an assignment of insurance proceeds large enough to cover the funeral bill. If an individual has good credit, some funeral homes will allow the payment to be deferred for 30 days, but a substantial down payment is usually required.

Today more and more people are paying for funerals in advance because funeral homes are able to freeze the cost. With studies showing that funeral costs tend to double every ten years , you can have peace of mind in knowing that the cost of the prearranged funeral will not increase.

Many families choose to make one single payment for their prearranged funeral, while others choose to pay over time. If paying over time, look for a plan that does not have a finance charge. Some funeral homes offer time payment plans with insurance protection. If death occurs before all payments are completed, the insurance will cover the remaining balance.

Regardless of which plan is selected, the cost will remain frozen. This ensures that your family will not have to worry about cost at a most difficult time.

What are "funeral trust accounts"? top
Funeral trust accounts are supervised by a state agency to ensure safety. When you establish a funeral trust account with a funeral home licensed to offer them, under State law, 100% percent of the funds you deposit are placed in a trust account. Over time the interest income from the investments will increase the account to offset inflation. Interest earned is subject to income tax.

Funeral homes arranging trust accounts will meet with you to estimate the funds needed to provide the services you desire, and to help you establish an account to provide those funds. They will also place your plan on file so that you may change it at any time.
Fore more specific information regarding funeral trust accounts and other valubale pre-arrangement options, including other approved investment vehicles, please contact one of our professionals.

What are the advantages of preplanning funerals? top
By preplanning and filing a funeral plan with Cheshire Family Funeral Home, you provide several major courtesies for your survivors. Your family will know for sure what your wishes are, as most people discuss the plan once it is completed. Your survivors will more than likely follow your wishes, unless extenuating circumstances prevent it. If you have set money aside to pay for services, you will have also saved your family from the financial burden of funeral expenses during an emotional time in their lives.

There are dozens of separate decisions and choices to be made when death occurs. Most of these can be made in advance and kept on record at the funeral home. The funeral director can show you a complete list of services and merchandise available as well as current pricing. You can also decide about visitation or wake plans, and how and where the funeral is to be held. Some people select their casket, vault, memorial folders, and prayer cards in advance. Each individual can decide how many decisions about their funeral they wish to make in advance.

Prepaying is also helpful in preventing inflation. Most prearrangements made with funeral homes either guarantee the final expense or make provisions for growth in the account.

Answers to Questions about Cremation
What are the typical cremation services? top
There are several preplanning decisions to consider it choosing cremation. Will there be a service for viewing the deceased before cremation? A wake or visitation hours can be arranged with a funeral home just as they are for earth burial or entombment. Although a casket is not required for cremation, if a viewing is chosen before the cremation, a casket can be rented or one that is combustible can be purchased for the cremation. Few crematories will accept plastic or fiberglass caskets.

Cremation can be considered as an end in itself, and Tennessee laws make no specific requirements for the disposition of cremated remains after the process is complete. Nevertheless, most families feel the remains should have a final resting place that can be identified with names and dates. This is called memorialization. Many urns are available for permanent containment of the cremated remains. The urn can be placed in a columbarium, which is a building or structure for cremated remains, where single niche spaces or family units may be purchased for burial. Many cemeteries have specially designated areas, called urn gardens, for this purpose. Scattering the remains is also an option, and can be legally done in most areas.

Some cemeteries have scattering gardens. These allow the deceased's wishes to be carried out, yet allow the family some form of memorialization because they are assured the site chosen will not be developed for another use at a later time. Often, these scattering gardens have the option of personal memorials.

Our staff will be happy to explain the many options available to families who choose cremation.

What do cremation services cost? top
Because there are so many service options available with cremation, precise estimates are difficult to make. The family has the option to select as much, or as little, as they wish with cremation.

Several factors, however, can influence the cost of the cremation. If a wake or church service is planned before the cremation, a casket is needed. Most crematories require a rigid, combustible container and usually will not accept plastic or fiberglass. If a non-combustible casket is chosen for viewing, an alternative container would need to be purchased for the cremation, increasing the cost. However, in such situations, it is often possible to rent a casket for viewing, at about half the cost of purchasing the casket. If a wake or viewing is not chosen, and if economy and simplicity are a concern, there are many types of containers acceptable for cremation. Containers can be made from pine, plywood and pressboard. The least expensive containers are typically labeled "alternative containers." These alternative containers are generally made of heavy cardboard and fulfill the crematory requirements.

The final resting place of the remains is also a factor in the cost of cremation. There are various costs associated with the cremation process itself, including advance payment before the cremation occurs. Other costs include the purchase of an urn for permanent containment and a final resting place for the remains such as a columbarium: a building or structure for cremated remains where single niche spaces or family units can be selected or where a burial lot may be purchased.

The extent and the content of the cremation service is up to the family, and helps to determine the costs.

What are the advantages of preplanning cremation services? top
If a person wishes to be cremated, it is recommended they have their choice for the service legally documented. By selecting the services in advance, an individual will have had a chance to research all their options and make a well thought out decision. In addition, preplanning can take the decision-making process out of the hands of the family during an emotional time. Generally, the family will be more likely to follow the deceased's wishes. When cremation is chosen, it is also recommended to inform family members of the decision. There can be differences of opinion among survivors as to the desirability of cremation. Pre-purchasing of property for cremated remains is also an option. Generally, the cremation property that is pre-purchased will not go up in price.

Benefits from the Veteran's Administration are available to any honorably discharged individual, surviving spouse, and children of the veteran. These benefits include an American flag, a grave marker, and in some cases military honors. If a veteran and spouse are buried in a national cemetery, they will also receive a grave space and the minimum outer burial container, called a grave liner.

For more information, contact one of our professionals. We are pleased to offer these services to you as part of our professional commitment to your family. Call or email us today!


Cheshire Family Funeral Chapel
44 Maple Ave.
Keene, NH 03431

Cheshire Family Funeral Home
46 South Winchester S.
PO Box 19
West Swanzey, NH 03469

Cheshire Family Crematory
23 Quarry Rd
Troy NH. 03465



Mary A. Jacobs June 15, 2017
Shelby R Miller June 5, 2017
William J. Snyder March 30, 2017
Clyde F. Hildreth May 29, 2017
Elizabeth A. Bosworth May 10, 2017
Jane P. Rice May 1, 2017

Kelly J. Lawrence May 26, 2017
Marilyn L. White November 20, 2016
Frederick Z. Grasewicz May 25, 2017
Beverly Budzik May 8, 2017
William J. Snyder March 30, 2017
Leo A. Deyo May 2, 2017


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