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

Answers to Questions about Cemeteries
Why do we need a cemetery? top
A cemetery is a place where a loved one may be buried. Many people choose to have a burial plot in a cemetery because it provides a physical place for family and friends to gather in memory of a deceased loved one. The most common cemetery sites are privately owned cemeteries, churchyard or synagogue cemeteries, and municipal cemeteries.

If a cemetery is needed, in most cases you will need to contact either a funeral director or a cemetery manager. They are the people who make all of the arrangements, such as time of burial, and will provide information on the particular policies of that cemetery.

One policy that most cemeteries require to prevent the ground from settling after burial is the use of either a grave liner, or a vault. Another item that is needed for burial in a cemetery is a marker for the grave. The style and type chosen will determine the marker's price. As with any purchase, investigate the full range of options before making a decision.

What services do cemeteries provide? top
Cemeteries generally provide several kinds of services, including earth burial. Cemeteries usually give you the choice of single or double occupancy of the grave, or above the ground burial in a garden or in indoor mausoleums.

Many cemeteries also offer earth burial for cremated remains, often in specially designed gardens. Also available are above ground placement of cremated remains in a garden or in indoor columbariums. A Columbarium is a structure of vaults lined with recesses for urns.

When selecting a cemetery, remember you will be entrusting it with a precious part of your heritage and dealing with it for many years. You may wish to look for well-maintained grounds; friendly, confident, and knowledgeable staff; and a willingness to show and discuss with you a wide range of options and prices. In addition you might want to seek recommendations from such sources as neighbors, the Better Business Bureau and other consumer groups.

Do we need a vault? top
Most cemeteries require a grave liner or a vault. A burial vault is a structure that is placed underground to hold the casket. It provides protection for the casket and prevents the ground from sinking at the grave site.

Burial vaults are constructed from various materials including concrete, plastic, and metal. The burial vault is often lined with a material which provides additional reinforcement, as well as a permanent seal for the casket. The highest quality of liners are non-corrosive metals such as bronze, copper, or stainless steel. Like caskets, burial vaults are available in a range of models and prices. To find out if burial vaults are required at your family's cemetery, contact the cemetery office.

For additional information on burial vaults, please visit or contact us today.

What do cemetery services cost? top
The choice of cemeteries today is not as great as it once was. Many of the small church cemeteries have no spaces left to be sold. As the supply of cemetery spaces decreases, prices increase. Due to this fact, buying cemetery property in advance can give peace of mind and the savings can be great.

Ground burial spaces are the least expensive. Price depends on location and how many spaces are left in the development.

The opening and closing fees have increased to as much as $1000. Some larger cemeteries offer burial spaces which include the outer container. These burial spaces are called Lawn Crypts. If this type of space is purchased, the family could save money since an outer container does not have to be purchased from the funeral home.

Above ground mausoleums are more expensive than ground spaces, but like the Lawn Crypts, an outer container does not have to be purchased from he funeral home. There are few cemeteries that have an indoor mausoleum.

Other burial sites include private estates and spaces especially designed for cremains. The better cemeteries will have many options in price and many payment plans to meet your needs.

What are the advantages of preplanning cemetery services? top
Prearranging cemetery wishes and expenses is an integral part of estate planning, and a major courtesy to survivors. Just as we prepare a will to spare our family the grief and disruption of being forced to decide how our assets and possessions should be divided, we can show the same consideration by making plans for the cemetery arrangements we think important. In the planning process you can research your options and make a well thought out decision.

By selecting cemetery property and services in advance and filing the plan with the cemetery office, several major courtesies are provided for your survivors. They will know for sure what your wishes are, as most people discuss the purchase and their planning with their family when it is complete. Your survivors will be more likely to follow your wishes unless extenuating circumstances prevent it. Finally, if you have set money aside to pay for the services, you will have saved your family from a difficult problem. They will not be burdened by the expenses nor will they overspend in the hurry and emotion of the circumstance.

Pre-purchase is also an absolute hedge against inflation. The cemetery property you already own can not go up in price.

Answers to Other General Questions
What should I do when a death occurs? top
If the death occurs in a hospital or nursing home, the nursing staff will assist you in contacting Cheshire Family Funeral Home. It is not necessary for family members to wait on the funeral home staff to arrive, but it is critical that the next of kin contact the funeral home as soon as possible due to the state law that requires the funeral home to obtain permission before embalming. In addition, a time will need to be agreed upon for the family to come to the funeral home to make arrangements.

If the death occurs at home and the deceased was under the care of one of the local hospital hospice programs, the hospice nurse should be contacted for assistance in contacting the funeral home.

If the death occurs at home and the deceased was not under the care of hospice, you should contact the police and the funeral home. An officer will come to your home and will release the deceased to the funeral home. In some counties, the deceased must be taken to an emergency room so that a doctor can examine and pronounce the person dead.
If death is imminent, it is helpful to contact the funeral home in advance of the death.

Regardless of where the death occurs, remember that it is critical that the next of kin call the funeral home to discuss embalming and to discuss a time to come to the funeral home to make arrangements.

For more information on what to do when a death occurs, contact us at Cheshire Family Funeral Homes: (603)357-2980 or email us today!

How do I handle death benefits? top
When a loved one dies, survivors may be eligible for benefits from Social Security or the Veterans Administration.

The qualifications for Social Security benefits depend on age, marital status, number of dependents, and whether the deceased contributed to Social Security. It is important to remember that the payment of Social Security benefits is not automatic; survivors must apply for benefits through the Social Security Administration.

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!

Can you help me record my memories in an autobiography? top
One of the most valuable gifts you can give your children and grandchildren is your memories. After all, your life story is the beginning of their life story as well - especially the origins of your family values and traditions.

But how do you get started on your informal autobiography? A new guide helps you organize your thoughts and put the first words down on paper. Prepared by the Southeast Florida Center on Aging, Florida International University , for the Hospice Foundation of America, the guide consists of an introductory book and five workbooks.

Although it was created for the terminally and chronically ill, the guide can be used easily by anyone who wants to share information that helps descendants see themselves as part of a larger family and community. Using a series of "questions for reflection," the workbooks help you discuss your family, growing up, your adult life and growing older. There's also a workbook where you can record your reflections on your life.

What memories should you share with your family? Some suggestions include information about your parents and siblings, the neighborhood where you grew up, and how new inventions--like television--and world events affected your life.

Here are more tips from the Hospice Foundation for telling your life story:

  • Don't be critical of yourself.

  • Try to include names, dates, and as many historical facts as you can remember.

For information about purchasing the Guide for Recalling and Telling Your Life Story , contact the Hospice Foundation of America at 1-800-854-3402.

(The above content has been sampled and altered from other informational on-line sources regarding funeral services and adheres to the fair use qualifier/exception outlined by the Library of Congress pertaining to Copyright Law.)




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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