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funeral homes in Adelphi, MD

Dos and Do Nots of Virtual Services

During a pandemic, one of the options that people will turn to when having a funeral or memorial service is a virtual service. This can offer the chance for people to get closure and say goodbye without putting themselves at risk. If you have never been to a virtual service before and are not sure about what to expect, there are some dos and do nots that you want to consider. Here are the ones that directors of funeral homes in Adelphi, MD want you to remember.

Do download the platform on which the service will take place at least a day before the service. This will ensure that you do not run into any problems on the actual day of the service. This is something that you want to remember to do, especially if you have never used that platform before.

Do not forget to be on time. Just because the service is virtual, it does not mean that it is all right to get there late. You want to be respectful and show the family of the deceased that you are taking this seriously. If you are concerned about forgetting when the service is, you can always set up an alarm to remind you.

Do dress as you would for a regular funeral or memorial service. Lots of time, people think that because they are attending the service from home, they can wear whatever they like, but that is not the case. You do not want to offend the family of the deceased and that can happen if you do not dress correctly. Black is always a good option, but you can wear other somber colors. Remember not to wear anything too revealing or too casual.

Do mute the microphone before the service starts. Unless you will be giving a eulogy or giving a reading, you do not need to have your microphone on. This can add noises to the service that can bother other people and that can make it difficult to focus on what the service is about. If you do not know how to mute the microphone, you can ask family members or friends for help.

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Attending a virtual service can allow you to get the closure you need while also staying safe during a pandemic. You do not want to offend anyone, so be sure to wear something that is appropriate and to get there on time. You will want to mute the microphone so that there are no strange sounds and you will also want to download the platform on which the service will take place a few days in advance. If you want to learn more about virtual services, you will want to consider reaching out to an Adelphi, MD funeral home like us at Donald V. Borgwardt Funeral Home, P.A. We are here to help you with all of the decisions you need to make for your loved one. Give us a call today or visit our location right now.

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Veteran Benefits

If you have lost a loved one who was a veteran, they are likely entitled to funerary services and benefits. You always want to check on this to ensure that you know what to expect, so take the time to reach out to experts and ask lots of questions. If you are not sure about what to expect from veteran services, directors of funeral homes in College Park, MD have some things that they want you to remember.

You want to be sure that you know who is eligible for the benefits. You always want to check this with the VA. If your loved one served in the Army, the Navy, the Air Force, the Marine Corps, or the Coast Guard, and they received a general discharge, they are entitled to benefits. In some instances, a person who received a dishonorable discharge is also eligible, so be sure to check with the VA about this. The spouses and dependent children of a veteran are also eligible, and in some instances, even the parents. If your loved one was a member of the National Guard and died on duty, then they too can be eligible for this. It is always important to check.

Another thing you want to be sure you know about is the services and benefits that are available. Your loved one can be buried in a national cemetery at no cost, which includes the opening and closing of the grave, the grave marker, perpetual care, and many other things. Remember that you cannot reserve a spot in a cemetery ahead of time, so your loved one may not be able to get the option that they may have wanted. There are state cemeteries that also offer these options, so be sure to reach out to the provider who is helping you for more information.

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You also want to know that the VA will not cover the cost of the actual funeral or memorial service. This is something that can be confusing, so you always want to speak directly with the VA. You will have to pay for the service, the casket, the transportation, and a number of other things. The VA may reimburse you for these costs, however, so do ask.

By knowing what to expect from veteran benefits, you will be able to make the best arrangements for your loved one. You want to always be sure that you ask lots of questions from the provider and that you reach out to the VA to learn about all of the services they offer. All of this can make a difference when deciding on the funerary options you want for your loved one. You can learn more about veteran benefits by reaching out to a College Park, MD funeral home like us at Donald V. Borgwardt Funeral Home, P.A. Our team is ready to help you with all of the arrangements that you want for your loved one. You can give us a call now or stop by our location to learn more about what we can offer.

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Dos and Do Nots of Choosing a Casket

If you have decided to have a loved one buried in a traditional manner, one of the decisions you will have to make is about the casket. Choosing a casket is not always a simple process, since it can mean considering lots of options. If that is something that you are worried about and if you are having trouble knowing how to make this choice, there are some dos and do nots that directors of funeral homes in Adelphi, MD want you to keep in mind.

Do think about the size of the casket your loved one needs. This is something that not everyone considers and it can make a difference. If your loved one weighed more than two hundred pounds or if they were taller than average, they will need a larger casket. You can have caskets for children and infants, as well. The best thing you can do is reach out to experts and see what size you need.

Do not skip putting a budget together. Sometimes people think that they can save time by not doing much research and not putting a budget together, but it can actually be the wrong thing to do. You always want to take some time to put a budget together so that you can know what you can expect to pay. Find the average rates for the options you are considering, and then see what rates the provider asks for.

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Do speak about the material the casket is made of. This is something that you want to think about with care since it can affect the options that you have. You want to consider metal caskets, that can be made of steel, stainless steel, copper, or bronze, or you can choose wooden caskets. If you want wood, think about the budget that you have in mind. You will want to have an idea of the budget you have available because that can influence your purchase. For more affordable wooden caskets, you can choose from pine, poplar, or willow, while more expensive ones are made of mahogany, cherry, or walnut. By knowing the budget that you have, you can make the best option.

All of these dos and do nots can make a difference when getting ready to plan the kind of services that you need. Take the time to put together a budget and be sure to also think about the material the casket will be made of, and the size that your loved one needs. If you have more questions about this, you can always contact experts for help. You can reach out to an Adelphi, MD funeral home like us at Donald V. Borgwardt Funeral Home, P.A. Our team is here to answer any questions you may have about this process so be sure to reach out to us. You can call us now or you can stop by our location today to get more information on how to choose a casket.

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How to Choose a Cemetery

If you are the person who will be in charge of making funerary arrangements for a loved one who has passed away, it can be important to know how to choose a cemetery. There tend to be lots of options, and so it can be tough to decide. If that is something that you are worried about, there are some tips that directors of funeral homes in College Park, MD want you to keep in mind.

You need to think about the location of the cemetery. If you are the person who will be in charge of maintaining the gravesite, you want a location that is not inconvenient for you. If you are sharing these duties with someone else, you will want to consider a location that is as convenient for both of you as possible. People do not always take time to check this and it can make a difference.

Another thing that you want to remember is that some cemeteries do not offer maintenance services. With some cemeteries, you will have to do the upkeep yourself and that may not be something that you want to worry about. Before making a decision, you will want to ask about maintenance and whether they can offer any.

You want to also ask about the kind of casket that the cemetery allows. Not all cemeteries allow all kinds of caskets. If you want to have your loved one placed in a biodegradable one, this is very important to ask about. Some cemeteries do not allow biodegradable caskets or they require you to purchase a grave vault to prevent the ground from collapsing when the casket starts breaking down. Be sure to ask about that before choosing.

You will also want to ask about the kind of grave markers that they allow. If the cemetery wants a more uniform look, you may not get the chance to choose an elaborate option and that may be something that you want. Be sure to consider that since you do not want to end up with a marker that you do not like for your loved one’s grave.

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It is important to ask lots of questions when you start thinking about the cemetery that you want for your loved one. You want to know about the upkeep they offer if any, and about the regulations, they may have for caskets or urns. This can ensure that you find the best possible option with less stress. Think about the location of the cemetery, as well, so that you do not end up having to travel a long distance to visit your loved one. If you want to get started finding the right cemetery but you are not sure how to begin, you can reach out to a College Park, MD funeral home like us at Donald V. Borgwardt Funeral Home, P.A. We have years of experience helping people with all of their funerary needs. Stop by our location or give us a call right now.

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Choosing a Final Outfit

There will be many decisions that you will have to make when making funerary arrangements for a loved one. One of these decisions will usually be to choose the right final outfit for the person. This can be a bit more difficult than it may seem, especially if the person did not leave any hint of what they would have preferred. If that is the case, there are some things that directors of funeral homes in Adelphi, MD want you to know.

It is important to consider the kind of service that you want to have for the person. You need to make certain that the outfit matches the tone of the service. If you have a celebration of life, for example, choosing a very formal and somber outfit is probably not the best choice. This can help you narrow some options down.

You want to also consider the personality of your loved one. If the person did not like to wear dresses or if they did not like a particular color, you do not want to choose a final outfit that goes against that. You should ask the other family members about favorite outfits or favorite styles that the person had if you do not know yourself. This can let you find the best option without guesswork.

During many services, you may want to have an item buried or cremated with the person. If that is the case, you will want to let the provider know so that they can prepare it. If you want the item for the service but you do not want it in the casket during the burial or during the cremation, then be sure to also let the funeral home director know. This can help avoid any issues or mistakes.

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If you want to have your loved one cremated, you will want to know about the material that you can and cannot add to the casket. There are a few things to remember like metal is not a good option. Avoid jewelry, glasses, and belts that have metal buckles. This can be crucial if you want to ensure you do not run into issues. There are also some kinds of processed leather that will not break down in the crematorium. If you are not sure about the materials that are not allowed, you will want to reach out to the provider.

These are some things to remember when you start getting ready to choose the kind of outfit you want for your loved one. Think about the things your loved one enjoyed and about the things that they would not have wanted and be sure to also ask other people for suggestions. You can learn more about all of this by contacting an Adelphi, MD funeral home like us at Donald V. Borgwardt Funeral Home, P.A. We are ready to answer any questions you may have about the service and about the process of choosing a final outfit. Give us a call right now or visit us today.

Dos and Do Nots of Writing an Obituary

Writing an obituary for a loved one is a great honor and it is something to take some time with. You want to let everyone know what has happened and when the services will take place. If you have never written an obituary before, you will want to know a few things that can help you write a beautiful one. Here are the dos and do nots of writing an obituary that directors of funeral homes in College Park, MD want you to keep in mind.

Do read examples of obituaries. This is something that many people forget to do and it can be important. Although every obituary will be different, reading examples will tell you about the length they should be, what to include, and even the tone. This can help you put together the kind of obituary that you want for your loved one.

Do not add too many details to the biographical section. Obituaries always have at least a paragraph about the person’s life. It is important to stick to the milestones of the person’s life without adding too many details because this can confuse people who are reading the obituary. This is an important thing to remember, and it can make a difference in what you write.

Do add a list of the people who survived the person. This is a customary addition to an obituary and it is always appropriate to add it to the one that you are writing. Keep in mind that a very common issue people have when doing this is forgetting to include people in the list. To avoid this, you can have someone in your family check to make certain everyone who needs to be included is.

Do not forget to have a few people read the obituary. You need to make certain that there are no errors before you send it out to be posted or printed. Have at least two people read through it for errors that you may have missed.

Do include all of the details on the services that you want to let people know about. This means adding the time, location, and any special requests that you may have for donations. Some people choose to have this information in bold print or in a larger font, and most people have it at the end of the obituary so that people can find it easily.

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These are some crucial dos and do nots that you want to consider when you start planning the obituary for a loved one. You always want to read examples of obituaries and you want to ensure that you know what to include. If you want to know more about doing writing obituaries, you can reach out to a College Park, MD funeral home like us at Donald V. Borgwardt Funeral Home, P.A. We are ready to help you with all of the decisions that you need to make after death. Give us a call right now.

Top Tips for Finding the Right Funeral Home

Losing a loved one is something that can be harrowing. The last thing anyone wants to do when dealing with this kind of tragedy is make funerary arrangements, but it is necessary to do so. One of the most crucial things to remember is that you want to have the right provider helping you. This is not always an easy thing, considering how many options you have. To help you make the best choice, here are some tips to remember when choosing a funeral home in Adelphi, MD.

You need to find a company that has been in the industry for a long time. Funerary services are complex and they require experience. You do not want to have to worry about any mistakes that amateurs can make when putting together the arrangements. Most of the time, funeral homes have websites that you can check. Here they tend to put information on their history and training. Be sure to look at this or ask them directly if you still have questions.

You need to be sure they can offer the services you need. This is not always the case. If you are looking for options like bio cremation, which requires special facilities, this can mean that you need to find a provider that can offer it. A good way of doing this is to ask for a list of services as soon as you start speaking with the provider. This can make it easier for you to narrow choices down.

Always ask about the rates that the company charges. There are national guidelines in place to protect you from being overcharged, so you want to know what the average prices are. Then you can compare it to the company you are considering so that you can find the best prices.

Another thing you have to do is to visit the location. Many times, people do not think this is necessary to do, but it is actually something that can make a huge difference in the decision. You want to see if the location is clean and in order and you want to also speak with the person in charge to see if you feel comfortable working with them.

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All of these tips can help you find the best possible options for your loved one who has passed away. You want to ask lots of questions from the providers and you want to see if they can offer the exact services that you are looking for. Take the time to also visit the location to get a good sense of the quality of work they offer. If you want to learn more about this or if you want to get started making funerary arrangements, you can turn to an Adelphi, MD funeral home like us at Donald V. Borgwardt Funeral Home, P.A. We are here to help you find the exact options that you want for your loved one. You can give us a call right now or you can visit our location today.

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Who Works at Funeral Homes?

When people plan funerals at funeral homes in College Park, MD, they encounter many different types of professionals who make the funeral process easier and smoother. Here are some of the people who will be involved in making sure the funeral for your loved one happens exactly to your specifications and without any hiccups.

The Funeral Director

One professional that you will find at funeral homes is the funeral director. The funeral director is your go-to person for every aspect of the funeral planning for your loved one. The funeral director will answer all your questions and give you guidance and help from start to finish with your loved one’s funeral.

The funeral director takes care of all the details. The funeral director will set up the funeral service according to your instructions. If you want to have a viewing and/or visitation for your loved one, the funeral director will have everything in place for those.

The funeral director will also make arrangements for burial with the cemetery. If your loved one is a military veteran and you want military funeral honors for them, the funeral director will make arrangements for that as well.

In addition, the funeral director will take care of getting death certificates. You will need these to take care of your loved one’s final affairs.

Office Staff

Your loved one’s funeral will involve a lot of paperwork that needs to be completed and processed. The office staff at the funeral home will work in tandem with the funeral director to make sure every piece of paperwork is done, and they will make sure that you don’t miss any details with planning your loved one’s funeral.

The office staff in the funeral home are also a great resource for any questions you may think of during the funeral planning process, so count on them to be available if you have a question or need to know something that you forgot to mention while you were at the funeral home making funeral arrangements for your loved one or at any other time before or after your loved one’s funeral.

Financial Advisors

Your funeral home has financial advisors who can help you plan a funeral for your loved one that fits into your budget. These are skilled professionals who can give you all the options for your loved one’s funeral and then help you find the best options for the budget you have.

If your loved one had burial insurance, the funeral home’s financial advisors will process that and claim the policy benefit to apply to the cost of the funeral. That is one less thing that you will have to worry about while you are preparing for your loved one’s funeral.

Funeral Greeters

Your funeral home has funeral greeters who will help out with parking and giving people instructions during the viewing and/or visitation and funeral service. Their job is to direct the flow of people in an orderly fashion.

Funeral greeters will direct people to the room where your loved one’s funeral is being held. They will make sure that everyone signs the guest book, and they will help with seating everyone who is attending.

There are other people who work in funeral homes that you may never see, but you can be assured that every single employee is dedicated to meeting the needs of you and your family as you say goodbye to your loved one.

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If you’d like to talk about planning funerals at funeral homes in College Park, MD, our knowledgeable team at Donald V. Borgwardt Funeral Home, P.A. can help.

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Making Funeral Arrangements at Funeral Homes

When making funeral arrangements at funeral homes in Adelphi, MD, people who are doing it for the first time often do not know what they need to bring to start the funeral process. There are several things that you will need to take with you to the funeral home when you are making funeral arrangements for your loved one.

Hopefully, your loved one was organized and had thought about their funeral in advance. If so, you will already know where their important papers are so that some of these items will be easy to locate.

However, not everyone thinks in advance about their death, even sometimes in the case of terminal illnesses where the outcome is certain, and it may take some time to find all the documents the funeral director will need to start planning your loved one’s funeral.

Here is a list of the documents you should take with you when you go to the funeral home:

  • Your loved one’s birth certificate
  • Your loved one’s Social Security card
  • Your loved one’s marriage certificate (or divorce decree, if applicable)

If your loved one served in the United States military and was discharged with any status other than a dishonorable discharge, your loved one is entitled to several military funeral benefits. These include free burial or inurnment in a national or state cemetery, a free grave marker, and military funeral honors.

Even if your loved one will be buried or inurned in a private cemetery, they are still entitled to a free grave marker and military funeral honors.

In order for your funeral director to arrange these military funeral benefits with the local Department of Veterans Affair office, they will need to make a copy of your loved one’s military separation orders (Form DD-214), so if you want the benefits, you should take this with you as well when you go to make funeral arrangements.

You should bring clothes for your loved one to be dressed in as part of the embalming process. While in the past, the standard funeral clothing was more formal (suits and ties for men and Sunday dresses for women), things have changed enough so that you can choose how you want your loved one dressed for burial.

Some people choose to have their loved ones buried in clothes that everyone will recognize them in or the clothes they loved best, while others go the more traditional route and dress their loved ones more formally. The choice is entirely yours.

You will also need to provide information about your loved one to your funeral director. For the death certificate, you’ll need to provide your loved one’s occupation (your funeral director will also use the birth certificate and Social Security card for the death certificate).

You should also be prepared to provide details for your loved one’s obituary, if they or you have not written one and you want the funeral home to write it for you. It’s best to not put too much personal information in the obituary for your loved one.

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The street address where they died (and of other family members) should not be included. People who break into homes routinely scan obituaries to find out when no one will be home at the street addresses listed, and they target those homes.

Additionally, it’s best not to include their date of birth to prevent potential identity theft.

If you’d like to know more about making funeral arrangements at funeral homes in Adelphi, MD, you can talk with our knowledgeable team at Donald V. Borgwardt Funeral Home, P.A.

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Why Have a Visitation?

When planning funerals at funeral homes in College Park, MD, one of the things that funeral directors ask people is whether they want to have visitation for their loved ones. You may not know whether you should have a visitation for your loved one or not, but there are some good reasons to consider having one.

First, it’s important for you to know that you can have a visitation for your loved one without having a viewing (an open casket with your loved one in repose). You may not want a viewing because you want people to remember your loved one as they were in a life or because you don’t want that to be your last memory of your loved one.

Those reasons are valid and your funeral director understands them and can arrange a visitation that doesn’t include a viewing.

One reason for having a visitation for your loved one is that it gives your friends and family members an opportunity to personally pay their respects and to offer you comfort and support. Even during COVID-19, funeral directors have found creative ways to make visitations possible.

Many funeral homes are offering drive-through visitations. With a drive-through visitation, you and your immediate family stand in front of the funeral home, and each car comes through one by one, with the car’s occupants rolling down the windows and offering you their condolences and expressions of sympathy.

This is a critical part of the funeral process, and, perhaps, even more, important now when there are so many public health restrictions that keep people apart and distanced from each other to try to limit the spread of COVID-19.

Some funeral homes are able to host smaller visitations inside their facilities, and a visitation for your loved one would give you an opportunity to pay tribute to your loved one’s life and shine a light on who they were as a person.

While close friends and family members may know your loved one very well, some of the people who attend the visitation may have known them only casually. Those people will be able to learn things about your loved one that they may not have known, and they will have a deeper understanding and respect of why your loved one meant so much to you.

Some of the things you can include as part of the visitation for your loved one are:

  • A tribute video – Tribute videos often include two or three of your loved one’s favorite songs and photos that highlight aspects of their life and their personality.
  • A memorial table – Memorial tables focus on some part of your loved one’s life that they were passionate about or that meant a lot to them. For example, your loved one may have been a music collector, so you can include photos of them at concerts and covers of some of their favorite albums.

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Visitations can also help you and your family grieve together and draw comfort and support from your friends and other family members. Sometimes families have disagreements and rifts that only death can mend. A visitation for your loved one can be the first step toward healing and reforming bonds that you and your family can share for the rest of your life.

Visitations have many benefits, so while you don’t have to have visitation for your loved one, it may be something that you want to consider in your funeral planning.

If you’d like to know more about funeral planning at funeral homes in College Park, MD, you can talk with our knowledgeable team at Donald V. Borgwardt Funeral Home, P.A.