Thursday, April 28, 2011



 What Does a Funeral home STAFF do? and Ladies and Gentlemen, they probably do it all!
  • Removal and transferring the deceased from place of death to Funeral Home.
  • Professional care of the deceased, which may include sanitary washing,  dressing, hairdressing, casketing and cosmetology. (Embalming is only authorized by a licensed embalmer)
  • Conduct a complete consultation with family members to gather necessary information and discuss specific arrangements for a funeral.
  • File all certificates, permits, affidavits, and authorizations, as may be required.
  • Acquire a requested amount of certified copies of the death certificate needed to settle the estate of the deceased.
  • Compile an obituary and place in newspapers of family’s choice.
  • Make arrangements with a family’s choice of clergy person, church, music, etc.
  • Make arrangements with cemetery, crematory, or other place of disposition.
  • The providing of a register book, prayer cards, funeral folders, and acknowledgments, as requested by a family.
  • Offer the assistance of notifying relative and friends.
  • Arrange for clergy honorariums, music, flowers, death certificates, obituaries, additional transportation, etc.
  • Care and arrangement of floral pieces and the post funeral distribution as directed by a family.
  • Arrange for pallbearers, automobiles, and special services (fraternal or military) as requested by a family.
  • Care and preservation of all floral cards, mass cards, or other memorial contributions presented to the funeral home.
  • Your funeral director, with his/her staff personnel, will direct the funeral in a most professional manner, and be in complete charge of the funeral procession to the cemetery or other place of disposition.
  • Assist a family with social security, veterans insurance, and other death-related claims.
  • A post funeral meeting, by the funeral director, with a family, to deliver such things as the register book, floral and mass cards, and to ascertain whether or not he/she can be of further assistance.

    Now, as for the funeral director, they are responsible for signing the contract,  embalming and any restorative arts if needed, and if they own the buisness, spending the money.

    Here at Avenidas Funeral Chapel have a wonderful staff to serve you, and yes, on that staff we employ a very much appreciated funeral director/embalmer. We also have very good assistant, administrator, gardener and so on, and to include me, the owner, who shows up every morning  and starts out by vacuuming and taking out the trash, and I have no problem cleaning the bathroom either.

    The point is, the Funeral Director, as educated as they are with their associates degree in mortuary science are just as much a part of the team at any funeral home, unless they choose not to be.

    My observation is that many choose not to be and refuse to take out the trash... or sweep the floor.

    Now granted, I understand that the funeral home could not run without their license, but as a funeral home owner it is nice to see that we have a funeral director on our staff that is just as humble as the rest of us.

    Don't be fooled, with a good staff and a small ego, it's not that hard and does not cost that much to provide these services.

    Semper Fi


    Saturday, April 2, 2011


    According to the National Funeral Directors Association, back in 2009 it was broken down just like this. I think you will be surprised in comparison to my charges. These are Basic charges for the basic necessities to have a basic funeral. No bells or whistles, just the basics. No flowers, no cemetery charges. Nothing else than what you would find essential to have a service.

    REMEMBER! These are charges you will pay at the Funeral Home ONLY! (funeral home services)

    In the greater Phoenix area there is a cemetery were you can purchase a  plot for $3,100. This price includes the opening and closing and a grave box.

    That's another topic and the cemetery price is not included in the funeral home charges I am presenting here.

    Please review, the first column, this pricing was obtained from the General price list of over 3,000 questionnaires sent to various funeral homes by the NFDA to get the input required from their General Price lists. The prices reflected are "Averages" on a 95% return rate from the survey. This survey is TWO years old.

    The second column is from Avenidas  Funeral Chapel General Price list. Please review the difference in pricing at the bottom of each column.

    Amazing isnt it?

    Again, I remind you that those prices presented by the NFDA were as of 5 years ago, I could not get my hands on package breakdowns for 2009. Only the total cost. Avenidas pricing is as of today, 2011.

                                                                                                        NFDA Survey Avenidas 

    Basic Service of the Funeral Director and staff
    Transfer of Deceased to Funeral home
    Dressing, Casketing and cosmetics
    Use of Facilities and staff for a viewing
    Use of Facilities and staff for a ceremony
    Use of Hearse
    Use of service car
    Basic Memorial Printing Package
    metal casket, 20 gauge non-gasketed

    Last year, as of 2010, the NFDA funeral estimate is a whopping  $5,360

    This years the cost of a funeral is estimated to be about $7,250 if we follow the trends presented by the NFDA graph thru 2011.

    So there you have it, in a nutshell. This is not just some "disgruntled" funeral home owner sharing his personal views on funeral pricing. (I have been called that on more than one occasion)  Just a guy bringing you the averages of approximately 3,000 funeral homes on a survey conducted by the National Funeral Directors Association formal survey in 2009. Now it may be 2 years old but I also provide the same funeral package estimate at today's prices from the NFDA.

    You figure it out and decide if you want to pay that difference of  $2,665.

    That is ALMOST the cost of a second service with us here at Avenidas Funeral Chapel.

    For more information on your options to pay for a funeral , click on the blue link and read: "How are we going to pay for this funeral?"