Pre-planning…A choice this important deserves talking to experienced professionals. If you are cojnsidering funeral arrangements, you likely have many questions.
“What are my options?” “Do I want burial or cremation?” “What are the costs?”
Arranging in advance, with out pressure or obligation makes sense and we have created packages that include everything you will need for your service at an affordable price including cemetery property.
We’re here for you, so please call for the costs today and allow one of our professional staff members to assist with your selection.
First and foremost, if you are reading this and have served our country, the staff at Lankford Funeral Home and Crematory wants to say thank you for the right of freedom you have given to all Americans.
I recently had the honor of escorting two wonderful WWII veterans, John and Ray to Washington, DC with our Volusia Honor Air program and it was a day I will never forget. It is made possible through our DeLand Rotary Clubs where we provide air transportation for WWII veterans, men and women alike to give them an opportunity to see the WWII Memorial. Most importantly, I made two very special friends that tell me first hand what it was like to be there and to serve. Talk about a history lesson!!
We also toured Arlington National Cemetery and witnessed the changing of the honor guard at the Tomb of the Unknown Soldier. What an experience to see the precision and dignity that these gentlemen display for those lost while serving our country. If you are in the Washington area this is open to the public and is a must see.
Their mission statement reads; “The National Cemetery Administration honors veterans with final resting places in national shrines and with lasting tributes that commemorate their service to our nation.”
Our staff has first hand experience to witness that this statement stands true. Please read on for things to consider if you are a veteran.
You will find cemeteries that will offer a free grave space to you, the veteran. You are entitled to a marker to be placed in the cemetery as well. What you don’t know is in some for-profit and non-profit cemeteries you have to pay for the second space for a spouse along with a marker and the cost of preparing the grave for the burial. This fee could end up costing you from $1,800 to thousands! You must then buy a vault for the casket to be placed in and some cemeteries require an urn vault for cremated remains as well, yet another cost.
If you have a copy of your discharge papers (dd214) you are entitled to a free space for YOU AND YOUR SPOUSE, FREE GRAVE MARKER FOR YOU AND YOUR SPOUSE, FREE OPEN AND CLOSE TO PREPARE THE GRAVE FOR YOU AND YOUR SPOUSE AND THE GOVERNMENT ISSUED VAULT FREE FOR YOU AND YOUR SPOUSE.
The only down side to this is, the veteran and spouse or a child of the veteran under the age of 18 are the only ones that can be buried in a government owned cemetery. But for the cost, it is something to think about. There are 4 National Cemeteries in the Florida area, but you may be entitled to be buried anywhere in the USA in a National Cemetery.
AGAIN, YOU MUST HAVE A COPY OF YOUR DISCHARGE PAPERS TO BE ELIGIBLE. IF YOU NO LONGER HAVE A COPY PLEASE GO ONLINE TO FIND OUT MORE INFORMATION AT WWW.cem.va.gov OR CALL US AT 386-734-2244 AND OUR STAFF WILL BE GLAD TO ASSIST YOU. OUR STAFF EMAIL SERVICE IS POSTED ON OUR WEBSITE AND WE WELCOME YOUR COMMENTS.
If you are in the process of selecting cemetery property please know the difference between your area cemeteries. There are for-profit and non-profit cemeteries in your area and the people who assist you may or may not work on a commission basis. The reason I tell you this is cost and obligation have alot to do with it. Cemeteries are only required by Florida law to provide refunds within 30 days of the date you purchase and sign a contract from them. If, after 30 days, you change your mind about where you wish to be buried, you have the right to resell a burial space to a third party at anytime, once it is paid in full. So make sure you take the time to check around to verify the costs involved as the cemetery is not obligated to purchase them back.
PRICES VARY GREATLY!!! If you have been given a certificate for a free space you may in turn be obligated to buy another in order to have a family member near you. At that time the person assisting you may in turn offer caskets, funeral services, and burial vaults as well. DO NOT SIGN THE DOTTED LINE THE FIRST TIME AND IMPLUSE BUY! It is your consumer right to visit other cemeteries in your area to find out what they offer as well. Once you find the one that fits your needs and pocket book and you are comfortable with the process then purchase.
EXERCISE YOUR CONSUMER RIGHT! DO NOT GET PRESSURED TO BUY, INSTEAD YOU CONTROL THE DECISION AND MAKE IT YOUR CHOICE!
Making funeral arrangements before they are needed is a thoughtful way to give your family peace of mind, but read on before you sign!
Before you make any purchase, there are many options to consider. A pre-need arrangement is a contract with a funeral services provider, cemetery, direct disposal company or monument builder. This contract is a binding agreement, so make sure you read and understand what you are signing. Look for the total cost of goods and services. Also know some cemeteries are for-profit establishments with sales counselors and costs can differ greatly from that of an association owned cemetery. Never sign a contract with blank lines and it requires two signatures, yours and the licensed counselor. Always get copies of everything you sign!
The Federal Trade Commission has stated that anytime you are quoted prices in person for funeral or cemetery needs you must be given a copy of their general price list with the date prices were effective. You should also ask for a copy of their pre-need, funeral or establishment license or temporary license as these must be made available at all times and displayed in public view in the facility where the individual works. This lets you know they are registered with the state of Florida.
If you wish to check on a person or facility license you can to go www.myflorida.com or call 1-800-323-2627 for assistance.
Lankford Funeral Home & Crematory is pleased to announce that we are 60 years old this year and have never changed ownership outside our family.
Now we feel it is time to keep up with technology and give you an opportunity to ask us questions relating to funerals, cremations, cemeteries and pet services. We will be posting helpful information about rules and regulations and what to ask when you work with a licensed funeral or pre-need staff member.
Cheryl Lankford has spent the last 10 years as a grassroots lobbyist in Tallahassee working with organizations and groups to assist in changing rules and regulations that safeguard the industry as well as you the consumer for pre-need and at-need services.
You plan for marriage, children, life insurance and retirement so why not be educated on the end of life questions as well?
We look forward to hearing from you and are here to assist with the same professional service as we did 60 years ago. Email us at firstname.lastname@example.org with questions or concerns.