“Love is a portion of the soul itself, and it is of the same nature as the celestial breathing of the atmosphere of paradise.” ~Victor Hugo

Questions Answered

What do I do when death occurs?
The sooner you contact the funeral home, the sooner we can begin helping you.  Even if you are not ready for the funeral home to come to the place of death to transport the deceased, it is helpful to notify us so that we may be able to guide you through the next steps.

How long can a family wait to hold the funeral before the deceased can't have an open casket?
Every situation is unique, and the circumstances surrounding the death play an important role in determining the length of time a body can be held, however, as a general rule, the average deceased body can still be shown after one or two weeks have passed since the time of death, and perhaps even longer.

What if the funeral is local but the deceased wishes to be buried elsewhere? How do you transport the body?
We arrange for transportation to the final resting place.  This may include arranging for a flight, working with another out of state funeral home, or driving the deceased to the final resting place within Wisconsin.

What do I do if my loved one passed away while out of state?
Still contact the funeral home that you ultimately will be using for services.  We will arrange for a funeral home in that area to assist us with necessary arrangements.

Do you contact the newspaper about an obituary or do I?
Although a family can choose to take care of the obituary on their own, it is part of our service to assist in the writing and submitting of the obituary to the newspapers.

Can you tell me everything I need to do to plan the funeral?
Our funeral home’s staff is knowledgeable and prepared to help in this process.  Click here to see a list of common tasks in planning for a funeral.

How do I pick a good funeral home?
Ask other family members, friends, and clergy to recommend a funeral home.  If you know ahead of time that you will soon need the services of a funeral home, stop by and compare facilities, staff and prices.  Our staff is always willing to come to a home or other location to meet with families that are trying to make a decision.

How much does a funeral cost?
The cost of a funeral depends on what type of service is selected.  To give a general idea, a traditional service with a casket and vault ranges from $6,800+. A cremation memorial service ranges from $3,490+. This doesn’t include the outside expenses such as cemetery costs, obituary, luncheons, honorariums, flowers, and others.

How do I pay? Can I set up a payment plan?
At Brainard Funeral Home, we send a bill to families that is due thirty days following the service. We offer payment by credit card, life insurance assignment, or financing if eligible through a local finance company.

Has anyone ever had a funeral with viewing and then later cremated for final resting?
This is a common service in our area.  We offer caskets that can be used for viewing and later cremated, or a rental casket that can be used for this type of service.  We feel that viewing the deceased is a very important part of a service even if the ultimate disposition is cremation.  The funeral for this type of service is very similar to that of someone who chose to be buried. At the end of the service, instead of going to the cemetery, the deceased is brought back to the funeral home for cremation.

How does the cremation process work?
For cremation to take place, there is a series of paperwork that must be obtained prior to the cremation.  In our state, the body must be held for 48 hours following the death before cremation can occur.  During this time, the family must sign an authorization form provided by the funeral home.  The doctor must sign the death certificate, and the medical examiner from the county of death must sign an authorization.  The body is placed in a rigid container.

What is the difference in cost of receiving the cremains in an urn or burying the cremains in a cemetery plot?
The cost of plots and grave openings in cemeteries vary.  The requirements do as well.  Some cemeteries allow for an urn to be buried directly in the ground, others require an urn vault.  Some cemeteries allow for burial of an urn in the same grave as a casket is buried.  As a funeral home, we help families answer these questions and take care of the arrangements with the cemetery that they chose.

Will all of my loved one's ashes really fit in an urn?
Most cremated remains fit in an average size urn.  The typical deceased body reduces to about 9 pounds of ashes and usually fits in a standard size urn.  If there are ashes left that don’t fit, it is our policy to check with the family to see what they would like done with the remaining ashes.  Ideas include purchasing a keepsake urn, or possibly scattering the remaining ashes in a special place.  Occasionally families choose to bring in an urn of their own, and in that case should check with the funeral home regarding dimensions.

How can you guarantee that my loved one is cremated as an individual and not cremated with a group of people?
At Brainard Funeral Home, we have our own crematory on premises and only licensed funeral directors are involved with the process of cremation.  Under no circumstances are bodies cremated as a group. The retort is designed to only hold one individual, and the bodies and ashes are identified at all times throughout the process.  If a family wishes to have the ashes of family members commingled, we can do that only after both individuals are cremated separately.

How much can I personalize my memorial service at the funeral home?
We encourage families to make the service as personal as possible.  We accommodate families in making their service special in any way that we can within legal and ethical standards.  By bringing in meaningful items and creating ways to display the different aspects of a person’s life, the funeral home can be transformed to suit each service uniquely.  Our printed materials including the register book, memorial folders, and thank you cards are no longer the “cookie cutter” stock.  We are able to reflect the individual personality of the life being celebrated.

Can pets be buried with people?
In most circumstances yes, but this is dependent upon cemetery regulations.

Is the funeral home able to help with military burial benefits and a military service?
I know that all veterans are eligible for both, but family members do not always know how to handle the details and in many cases\may not even know they are eligible for burial benefits.

We handle all of the arrangements and details surrounding military honors, and supply each veteran’s family with a flag.  We also communicate with the Veterans Administration regarding every veteran that we serve.  They contact each family regarding benefits that they may be eligible for.

Are there any Federal, State or local laws that regulate funeral homes?
Funeral homes are governed by these federal agencies: FTC and OSHA.  State regulation is administered by the State Department of Regulation and Licensing, and the WI State Board of Funeral Directors.  The National & State Associations provide guidelines for ethical and legal practices of its member firms.