Some frequently asked funeral questions:

Whether you're arranging funeral services for yourself or a loved one, we realize that you may have questions. Please feel free to contact us to discuss the many alternatives... all of them practical, dignified, and affordable.

What do I do when death Occurs?
Death at home:
1. If there has been Hospice care, call Hospice.
2. If Hospice was not involved, call the local emergency number and state the type of emergency. They will consult the medical examiner.
3. Call us after the doctor or medical examiner has released the body.
Death at hospital or nursing home:
1. Check with the nurse to see if the body is released. When it is, call us and we will come and get them.

What do i do if death occurs out of state?
If no viewing or visitation is to take place out of state, call your local  Funeral Home (Memorial Alternatives is a Funeral Home) in your home state. (Do this after the doctor or medical examiner has released the body.) Your local Funeral Director can arrange for transportation and other necessary things at less cost than if you contacted an out of state Funeral Director.

How are Funeral Arrangements made?
First you need to contact a funeral home (Memorial Alternatives is a Funeral home).  When death occurs, your chosen Funeral Home begins helping you immediately.  The staff is prepared to take your call 24 hours a day seven days a week 365 days a year.  The first duty of the Funeral Home staff is to transfer the deceased to the Funeral home.  The Funeral Home staff are professionals and will provide you with expert guidance during this very difficult time.  The Funeral Director's primary function is to assist you in determining the details of the service.  The first thing that must be done is to set up a meeting to acquire the necessary information needed for the paperwork that needs to be completed (this can be done on our web site saving you time) Other details are: providing for preparations and burial or cremation of the body; helping to determine the date, time, structure and all the details of the funeral services composing and placing the obituary in the newspaper helping you select the appropriate merchandise, depending on the cemetery requirements, obtaining and completing the necessary paperwork including the death certificate, arranging for transportation of the deceased, and professional guidance through all of your options.

What do I need to bring to the Funeral Home?
When the Funeral Home is preparing for a funeral there are several items that you will need to provide.  It helps if you can bring these items in ahead of time:  Clothing, jewelry and other personal items to be placed with the deceased, information for the death certificate, Discharge papers, a recent photograph.

How can the services be personalized?
Pictures of the deceased from as young a age as possible to very recent displayed on poster board are a very effective way to personalize the service.  They show important events in their lives.  If the deceased had a hobby bring in something related to that hobby to be displayed during the visitation.  Music the individuals favorite music can be played during the visitation or a song can be played during the service itself.

Are there any other charges related to this funeral service?
Some outside charges that you may incur are: certified copies of the death certificate; obituary notices; clergy honorarium; musician fees; flowers; cemetery expenses (cost of the grave and opening and closing of the grave), grave marker and base, and vault setting fee.

Is embalming necessary?
Only if you select a service that involves viewing the deceased or if  burial/cremation can not take place within 48 hours.

Can I have a viewing with cremation?
Yes, time to say good-bye is very important. There are several options. Please see cremation options.

Can I just take the cremains home?

I have already made my funeral arrangements with another funeral home. Can I change my plan and work with you?
Yes. Under Michigan law you can change Funeral Homes anytime.

May I pay for these services ahead of time?
Yes. You receive a lifetime guarantee that this is all you will ever pay for your funeral arrangements. (unless additional items are requested). See our Pre-Arrangement page for details and the required forms.

If I want additional visitation is that available?
Yes, additional time to say good-bye to a loved one is often necessary. It is available any day or evening Monday through Friday. Please contact us for further information.

I like the packages, but I want a better casket or vault.
You can always upgrade any of the merchandise.

What if I want something else?
We offer several options which include both burial and cremation. We will work with you to find a funeral arrangement that is a suitable tribute to yourself or a loved one.


Cremation Authorization Form
Basic Information Form

Funeral FAQs
Arranging for Burial
Arranging for Cremation
FAQs About Cremains
Options for Veterans

The advantages of making arrangements in advance make good sense.
How and Why to Pre-Plan
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Memorial Alternatives - A Grand Rapids, Michigan Funeral Home Providing Low Cost Cremation and Burial Services.