What is typically involved with making funeral arrangements?
At Falconer Funeral Home we furnish each family with our General Price List, Casket Price List and Outer Container Price List.  We then discuss the desired service requested by the family. We will then ask personal information about the deceased for the obituary, necessary legal forms that need to be completed, and compile a tentative schedule when the funeral or memorial service, visitation, religious or fraternal service will be held.  We will also discuss and estimate the various third party expenses, which usually include some of the following items; cemetery, crematory, obituary and newspaper notices, certified copies of death certificate, church/clergy honorarium, out of state shipping service/funeral director and airline transportation.
After funeral services an merchandise have been agreed upon we will provide the family with an Itemized Statement of Goods and Services which meets the Federal Trade Commission and New York State requirements.  We will also discuss the form of payment that will be used for the selected funeral arrangements.

What Kind of Payment Options do you offer?

Funeral arrangements can be a difficult task and one for which many are not well prepared. One of the ways we accommodate families in this regard is to offer different payment options for the expenses involved.  Each family needs to consider which option best suits its needs.
1.    We accept checks or cash as a family prefers.
2.    We accept Visa or Master Card for all or part  of the funeral home charges.
3.    We accept payment from a prearranged trust account that has been established with PrePlan or a local bank.
4.    Insurance assignment, with policy presented at the time of funeral arrangements.  We can assist the family with most insurance claims and there is no charge for handling these applications.
Financial arrangements other than the above need to be discussed and agreed upon prior to the conclusion of funeral arrangements.  It is not our policy to wait for payment from an Estate.  The beneficiaries of an Estate  and/or the individuals who engage us are expected to pay for all expenses, and they will be the first to be reimbursed from Estate assets.  It is our intention to assist each family any way we are able with these financial arrangements.

Can You Help Us With Our Insurance Claim?
We know that filing insurance claims can be a confusing, time consuming procedure, and unfamiliar forms are just another added burden.  That is the reason many families ask us if we can assist in handling life insurance policies.
We have claim forms for most insurance companies and we are familiar with how the should be completed and what needs to accompany them when they are filed. We can make sure that these important benefits are obtained without delay. We know that this is the kind of extra service that families appreciated, especially in times of stress.

Can I prepay for my funeral expenses?
Yes, when you prepay for complete funeral arrangements with Falconer Funeral Home:
1. Complete a Preneed Agreement and Preneed Statement of Goods and Services.  These forms meet Federal Trade Commission and New York State Requirements.  For individuals concerned about SSI - Medicaid eligibility, a special irrevocable trust can be established.
2. Funds for the completed service are deposited within ten business days in an FDIC insured bank or trust company.  We currently use PrePlan which was established by the New York State Funeral Director’s Association and offers a high interest rate.
3. When the account has been setup with PrePlan, you will receive a confirmation within thirty business days. Your money will earn interest which should cover increases in funeral expenses. (We cannot guaranty the cost of third party cash advances, such as cemetery, crematory, obituary and newspaper notices etc., but these costs will be figured into the prearrangement and will benefit from the same enhanced interest rate.
4. The money is setup in the beneficiaries name and they can request a refund of all monies including accumulated interest at any time.  When the beneficiary expires, the Falconer Funeral Home will provide the trust company with a certified copy of a death certificate and the money plus accumulated interest will be sent to the funeral home.  If the money in the trust account exceeds the total cost of the funeral expenses the excess money will be refunded to the family or to the estate.  However if the account is irrevocable excess money will be turned over to Chautauqua County Medicaid.

If you prepay funeral arrangements with Falconer Funeral Home, your money is completely protected, and your wishes are guaranteed.  That’s peace of mind.

Is there a fee for making pre-arrangements?

There is absolutely no fee, or other charge in New York State when you make prearrangements with a funeral home. If funds are setup in a PrePlan Trust Account there is a fiduciary fee for the statements you will receive throughout the longevity of the trust account.  It is .75%. No commission sales, no setup fees, just accurate, helpful, useful information, and an FDIC Insured Trust conforming to all SSI-Medicaid regulations.

I’m considering cremation but my family has concerns. What choices are there? Do I have to purchase a casket?
Concerns about cremation often come about through misunderstanding and misinformation. When death of a loved one occurs, the family needs and generally wants the time to gather, to experience the support of one another, their faith and the community. Unfortunately, many believe that cremation eliminates all these healthy, supportive opportunities.  Cremation is simply the final physical step, just as burial is a final step.
If you decide to have a viewing before cremation we have a rental casket or cremation caskets to choose from.  If a family does not choose to view the deceased the remains are placed in a cremation container.
When a loved one is cremated you may choose to have calling hours, a memorial service at the funeral home or church or a graveside service at the cemetery if the cremains are buried.
If you choose cremation your next of kin(s) will have to sign a cremation authorization form.  If your family is located throughout the country a form can be e-mailed or faxed to them.

Following cremation, what can be done with the cremains?

Many people ask about proper disposition of the cremation ashes. Actually, the options are very broad and our licensed staff can help the family with the choice best suited for its needs:
1.    Burial of the cremains in a family cemetery plot.
2.    Burial of cremains at a later date in the casket of the spouse who chooses earth burial as opposed to cremation.
3.    Placing the cremains in a niche or columbarium at a cemetery offering this option.
4.    Placing the cremains in a suitable and appropriately inscribed urn, to be kept by the family in a place of honor at the home.
5.    Private burial or scattering of cremains on private property, perhaps in a garden or other suitable place.
6.    Temporary holding cremains until a final decision or opportunity is decided upon.

We are expecting a death out of town or state, but we want to use your funeral home in New York. What is the procedure?
If you anticipate having all the desired services here in New York as opposed to having them out of town or out of state, it’s to your advantage  to contact us directly as soon as the death occurs and not engage a separate funeral home out of town. A single call to us will enable us to coordinate all the details both in the city where the death occurs and here in New York where the services and burial will take place. This can save your family time, anxiety and usually lower expenses as well. You’ll be able to make your decisions in more familiar surroundings and with people you know.  Furthermore, you may want to consider the pre-arrangement of these matters and know exactly what will be happening when that difficult time comes.  This is something more and more families are asking our firm to do.