Frequently Asked Questions


  • What does embalming do?

    It is defined as the preservation, disinfection, and restoration of the body. In many cases embalming restores the deceased’s appearance to one reflective of how they appeared in life.

  • Is embalming required?

    Embalming is required if there is going to be a public viewing. However, even in cases where no viewing is planned, most states require embalming when a reportable contagious disease caused death or when transferring of the deceased occurs from one state to another.


  • Can vermin and weather get inside the casket?

    Caskets are available with varying amounts of protection. In addition, the use of a burial vault provides another layer of protection against the elements. Depending on the layer of protection provided, vermin and weather may or may not get in. No matter what protection, though, the body is going to naturally decompose.

  • What is a burial vault, and what does it do?

    The function of a burial vault is to protect the casketed body from the earth’s elements. As time goes on, the ground settles over a grave. A burial vault will serve two purposes, to protect the integrity of the casket and to prevent the ground from settling and sinking. A vault also protects the ground from sinking due to the great weight and impact of heavy cemetery maintenance equipment passing over the grave. The burial vault is one of the strongest, most lasting means of protection and long term security.

  • Is a burial vault necessary?

    Though not required by law, many cemeteries do require an outside container such as a burial vault. Check with the funeral director for details

  • How much does a burial vault cost?

    Burial vaults usually range in price from $775 to $12,300.


  • Who do you call when death occurs out of town?

    When death occurs away from home, Messinger Mortuaries serves as both your advisor and agent, working with other professionals long-distance, and coordinating the many services required. Call us first!

  • Can a deceased body be driven across state lines?

    Yes, but some states may require embalming and/or permits prior to transfer.

  • How long does it take to ship the deceased?

    Depending on where the death occurs will depend on how long the process will take. If a death occurs abroad, this process may take a few weeks, or even longer, depending in which country the death occurred. However, we will do everything possible to expedite the process.


  • What funeral arrangements can be made in advance?

    All arrangements for services including financial decisions may be done in advance. Call us at Messinger Mortuaries for more details.

  • Can you make prearrangements without pre-payment?

    Yes, there is no charge for making arrangements, and some families simply prefer to record this vital information for future use.

  • Where does the prepaid money go? Where is it held?

    The family may choose to purchase an insurance policy to be used for funeral expenses thhat will keep up with inflation.

  • Is a burial insurance policy reccommended when preplanning funeral arrangements?

    Though not a requirement, you may wish to invest in final expense insurance policy when making funeral arrangements. While most of us have life insurance or funds reserved for retirement, these are intended for the living, not to meet the cost of a funeral. In most situations, funds invested today will be sufficient to cover the total cost of the funeral at time of need. The interest earned by the account or policy will help offset the effects of inflation. Government regulations safeguard your investment so that funds will always be available for your family’s use.

  • Why is it better to pre-pay funeral services?

    When asked, the most often given reason by consumers for pre-paying funeral expenses is the peace of mind in knowing family members will not be inconvenienced with funeral costs at an already difficult time.

  • Why should I pre-arrange my funeral? Are there any benefits?

    Now more than ever, it is important to plan ahead. Our way of life is more complicated. Family members often live in different states, dealing with government agencies can be frustrating, and every household feels the impact of inflation. Family members making funeral arrangements immediately following a death often are confused and upset.

  • Can my family change my pre-arrangements?

    Yes. The law goes with the living so the family can change your pre-arrangements. However, in most states, there is documentation that can be signed, which would not allow changes to your preplanning arrangements.


  • Can there be a funeral with cremation?

    Yes, based on the needs of the family. A family can decide where in the funeral process they want the cremation to occur. Cremation can occur immediately with no visitation, after a private visitation, or after a traditional visitation.

  • Can the body be present at a funeral with cremation?

    Probably the biggest misconception about cremation is that there can be no funeral if cremation is chosen. Nothing could be further from the truth. In fact, most people choosing cremation prefer to have a funeral with cremation afterwards. Many experts in the field of psychology recommend a funeral service as a way of bringing closure to a life lived. They feel the process helps loved ones move ahead with their lives following a loss.

  • Do you need a casket for a cremation?

    When there is a funeral, a container is required to transport the deceased to the crematory. Your funeral director will explain your various casket and cremation container options for use in a funeral or memorial service.


  • How much do funerals cost?

    Your personal requirements and preferences might make the cost higher or lower than average. The total cost of a funeral is determined by three main considerations: the services that you select, the things that make your service unique, and any preplanning that you have done. Call any of our funeral directors at Messinger Mortuaries and we will discuss cost with you in more detail.

  • What does the funeral director do?

    Funeral directors serve as administrators and care givers. They make all the arrangements for the transportation of the deceased, see that the choices of the family regarding the funeral and final disposition of the body are followed through, and complete all of the necessary paperwork. As care givers, they are available to the family and friends as listeners, advisors, and supporters. With their experience serving others, they have the knowledge necessary to answer questions about grief, wisdom to help those who are having difficulty dealing with the loss, and can recommend other professional help if needed.