Poughkeepsie Rural Cemetery

Frequently Asked Questions

When you are planning a funeral, you will have many decisions to make. You may feel overwhelmed or confused and you will probably have many questions.   Below are some of the more common questions we are asked during this process.  We hope you find this helpful.

Click the question for the answer.

Who can make funeral arrangements?
The "customer." It's very important for family members to agree about the type of services and merchandise to be purchased. Ideally, the family should designate one person to make the arrangements and to convey the family decisions to the funeral director. The customer will be responsible for the payment of the bill.

Do I need a funeral director?
Yes. In New York State, only a licensed and registered funeral director may make funeral arrangements for the care, moving, preparation and burial or cremation of a deceased person. At the least, the funeral director will file the death certificate, transfer the body, coordinate with cemetery or crematory representatives, make the necessary preparations, and move the body to the cemetery or crematory.

Is embalming required by State law?
No. In fact, a funeral director must obtain specific approval to embalm from the customer. A funeral home may, however, require embalming if certain services, such as a viewing with an open casket, are chosen. Embalming fees must be clearly stated on both the firm's General Price List and on the Itemized Statement of Services and Merchandise Provided.

Do I need more than one copy of the death certificate?
Probably. You will need to give certified copies to insurance companies, banks, etc. The funeral home may obtain them for you. They cannot charge you more than the actual fee, which is up to $15 in New York City and $10 (or less) in the rest of New York State. Death certificates are filed by the funeral director with the registrar of Vital Records in the locality where the death occurred.


Can I prepay my funeral?
Yes. Prepayment can lift much of the financial burden from your survivors. It also allows you to select the type of funeral arrangements you want. Pre-need plans are regulated by law.

What is the difference between preplanning and prepaying?
You can preplan your funeral WITHOUT paying now, you can discuss your wishes with the funeral director. When your plan is complete, the funeral director will keep it on file until it is needed. Your estate will then have to pay for the services at the rates being charged when your funeral is held.

In addition to preplanning, many people choose to prepay their funeral expenses. Prepaying for a funeral allows you to pay for your funeral ahead of time.

Are there advantages to prepaying funeral arrangements?
Yes. You can have the peace of mind that comes with knowing that the money needed for your funeral has been set aside. Your survivors will not have to worry about how to pay the bill. When you prepay, the funeral director will provide a Pre-Need Agreement which addresses many important matters, such as: how the final expenses will be determined; if additional funds will be needed when death occurs; what will happen if the merchandise selected is no longer available; and, what will happen if any money remains after the funeral bill is paid.


How is a cremation service different from a traditional funeral service?
It isn't. At least it doesn't have to be different. The extent and the content of a cremation service is entirely subject to the wishes of the family. They may choose as much formality or as little as they feel they want to have. They will have more options if cremation is chosen.

Is a casket required?
Most crematories associated with CANA require that the body at least be enclosed and in an acceptable rigid container. This container or casket must be strong enough to assure the protection of the health and safety of the operator. It should provide a proper covering for the body and meet the reasonable standards of respect and dignity. the body is cremated in the same enclosure in which it arrives at the crematory.

How is cremation accomplished?
The enclosed body is placed in the cremation chamber where through heat and evaporation the body is reduced to its basic elements, which are referred to as cremated remains. After preparation, these elements are either placed in a permanent urn or in a temporary container that is suitable for transport.

What choices of memorialization are available?
A final resting place for cremated remains can be provided by various means. The family may choose from a full selection of urns for permanent containment of the cremated remains. The urns may be placed in a columbarium, which is a building or structure where single niche space or family unites may be selected. Of course, family lots may be used and cemeteries often permit the internment of more than one person in an adult space if cremation has occurred. In many cemeteries there are also specially designed areas for this purpose, which are called urn gardens.

What about scattering cremated remains?
This may be legally done in most areas, but CANA members believe that in consideration of the descendants of the departed that some form of memorialization should be provided. Furthermore, there are reasons for not scattering, because it is for many a very traumatic experience. It can be soul shaking to spill out all that is mortal of someone you have known and loved. One should realize how much is being asked of the person who is to do the scattering. Some crematories provide scattering gardens within there dedicated property, often with the option of personal memorials. The use of dedicated property assures the site chosen will not be developed for other uses at some future time.

Is embalming necessary?
No, but the factors of time, health and possible legal regulations and religious beliefs might make embalming prior to cremation either appropriate or necessary. As a point of information, heart pacemakers or similar devices should be removed, because they may become dangerous when subjected to the extreme heat of the cremation chamber.

Is it advisable to arrange for cremation in advance?
Yes. The subject should certainly be resolved among family members since that determination will have to be made at the time of death. The family should visit the crematory, learn what is offered in the way of services and memorial property. The family should consult together ahead of time to decide what is best for all. Arrangements for memorialization also should be made at this time. This way one of life's most difficult decisions need not be made alone at a time of grief and confusion.


What is Mausoleum entombment?
A Mausoleum is any above-ground, dignified sanctuary with individual, private compartments or crypts that are clean, dry, vented, safely sealed and completely sheltered. A polished granite facing carries an inscription for each entombment, memorializing the loved one. Family members can be located together. the structure itself is made of enduring granite, concrete and steel.

How does it eliminate the disadvantages of earth burial?
Because it provides complete and permanent protection against all the harsh elements of the earth and of the weather. It assures consolation to the living at the difficult time of bereavement because a Mausoleum represents the finest memorialization.

Is Mausoleum entombment widely accepted?
Yes. Thousands of cemeteries and memorial parks throughout this nation have built Mausoleums to offer comfort to those who prefer above ground burial.

Is Mausoleum property only for the wealthy?
No. Thanks to modern construction methods and liberal terms, families of the most modest means can select entombment space. It costs no more than earth burial and frequently costs less.

If you have additional questions please contact us at (845) 454-6020. We are here to help.