Questions

 
Vander May Funeral Home Is The Answer
Most of us do not like to talk about death, especially the death of someone we love. When death occurs and the world seems suddenly insecure, it is comforting to know that you can call Vander May Funeral Home.... a reassuring link between the generations of your family. If you already know us and our reputation, then we thank you for your confidence in us. If you do not know us, then a few words of introduction are in order: We are professional, family-oriented funeral directors who care for your special person with sensitivity and respect. This is especially evident in the kindness and understanding of our experienced directors. At Vander May Funeral Home, we provide families with the best possible care and guidance. We are always attentive to your wishes and the choices that are important to you. Quite simply, we're people you can depend on.
What About Facilities And Cost?
At Vander May Funeral Home the facilities are the most outstanding in the area, yet costs are lower than most area funeral homes. When it comes to facilities, service and cost, Vander May Funeral Home is without a doubt the best choice. We invite you to come to our home before the need arises so we can illustrate this to you personally.
Can I Prepay My Funeral?
At Vander May Funeral Home, we offer the New Jersey Prepaid Funeral Trust Fund TM for those who wish to preplan and prepay their funeral. It is estimated that about 21 million Americans age 50 and over have prepaid some or all of their funeral and/or burial expenses. Such arrangements are commonly referred to as "preneed funeral arrangements" or "prefunded funeral arrangements." Through these arrangements, people are able to decide in advance what type of funeral they will have, prepay the funeral and hopefully eliminate some of the stress for family and friends at the time of death. Call to make an appointment and we will gladly discuss all of the details with you.
What if Death Takes Place In A Distant City Or Country?
Just as you would put one carpenter in charge of repairing your roof, this also holds true of funeral directing. Call the Vander May Funeral Home directly and we will make all necessary arrangements. We have affiliates in all states and most foreign countries that perform services for a pre-negotiated fixed fee. This procedure serves to reduce the risks of unpleasant and costly errors.
What Services Does Vander May Funeral Home Offer?
The Vander May Funeral Home offers a broad list of services tailored to meet the needs of the community: Traditional Funerals Memorial Services Military Services Burials Cremations Welfare Funerals Medicaid Qualification Counseling Entombment's Pre-planned and Pre-financed Funerals Disinterments International and Domestic Shipment We offer expertise in most religious faiths and a willingness to learn about less familiar ones.
How Does Pre-Planning A Funeral Help Survivors?
Of all the ways to express concern for your loved ones, one involves funeral planning before the need arises. It serves to lift a heavy burden from survivors and gives you peace of mind, knowing that everything will be handled according to your wishes. There are many details involved with even the most simple funeral. Planning ahead will put your mind at ease in ways you never imagined possible. We understand that having a discussion about your death and the details of your funeral can be frightening to even the most brave among us. That makes perfect sense. When we meet, we won't be discussing your lipstick and hair color, or how comfortable you'll be in the casket. And that might sound silly to some of you, but these are the things that people worry about. What we will discuss are: 1. We will gather information necessary for the State when we create a death certificate. Information such as your birthday and place, your parent's names, and names of family members. 2. We will talk about where you go to church and what church you might like to have your service at. Or maybe you want something more simple and your pastor will come to the funeral home for the service. 3. We will talk about your cemetery property; where you will eventually be buried. Or, if you prefer cremation, we will discuss that and secure the necessary authorizations. Believe it or not, there is a ton of paperwork necessary for a funeral. 4. Most importantly, and probably the most enjoyable part for you, will be providing us with information about your life so we can write a nice life story about you. You can be an integral part of that, rather than leaving it up to your family (who just might leave out the most important details!). Having you directly involved in the life-story process gives you an opportunity to share your story with family and friends from a first-person perspective. You can imagine how special this can be for your family. If you're apprehensive or timid about pre-planning, you're not alone. If it would help, why not just give us a call and inquire? Perhaps a brief conversation over the phone will give you the encouragement to come see us and begin to plan ahead.
How Can I Learn More?
Why not take advantage of our "Funeral Information Program" where many of your questions can be answered through informal conversation. Feel free to call and arrange to visit us. Or, if you prefer, we can come to your home. Of course, there is never a charge for this counseling. We are also available for public speaking on the subject of funerals.
Who will control my funeral when I die? It won't be who you think!
Who will control my funeral when I die? This is a question few people ask, but most of you should! NJ Law makes if very clear; your next-of-kin will, and in a very specific order of authority. Many people come to us after a death has occurred and begin by telling us; "I have Power of Attorney, so I'm in charge." Or, "I'm the executor of the will, so I'm in charge." Much to their surprise, I'm the one who tells them otherwise. A person with "Power of Attorney" privileges, or even an executor, have NO RIGHTS to control funeral plans, burial arrangements, etc. NOTE: Power of Attorney privileges CEASE the moment a person dies. I'm not going to bore you with the legal details here, but I will tell you this; if your family has even a 'hint' of drama going on between siblings or perhaps it's even much worse than that and certain family members can't stand to be in the Zip code with one another, you need to speak with an attorney about appointing someone to be a "Funeral Agent." Here is why. When a person dies, here is a summary of who has control: 1. Greatest authority goes to a spouse (husband or wife) as per NJ Law. Often this is easy, but if the surviving spouse has dementia or Alzheimer's disease, it's not so easy. Consult your attorney. If the decedent has no spouse (never married, widowed, etc.) we go to the next in line: 2. A majority of the children over the age of 18 years. This means that if you have a family with 3 grown children, the funeral director needs at least 2 out of three to be present and in agreement, in order to proceed with services. Very often, we see a family dynamic that is strained. One out of the three kids has been acting with Power of Attorney, caring for mom, writing checks, paying bills, etc., while their siblings are uninvolved. When mom dies, the POA ceases and suddenly the two "uninvolved" family members have more authority than the trusted one who used to have POA. This often comes as a very big surprise, as you can imagine. Consult an attorney about a "Funeral Agent." 3. Surviving parent(s). Even if divorced, BOTH parents have equal authority. 4. A majority of the brothers and sisters of the decedent. 5. Other next of kin of the decedent according to the degree of consanguinity. Must be related. So many of you are thinking that this will be easy for your family and you don't have to worry about it. That's great! But I know from experience that we see several cases each month were a complex family dynamic throws the whole funeral process into chaos before it can even start. I want ALL of you to avoid such an experience. Here are a few examples of what we've seen: A 55 year old woman is in the hospital dying of cancer. She has a son whom she has not seen in more than twenty years and no one is even certain of where he now lives. She has no other family living. She has given Power of Attorney privileges to her most trusted friend, a friend who has cared for her during two years of chemotherapy treatments, surgeries, and countless days in the hospital. This friend is all she has. When the woman passed away, her friend came to our funeral home to plan for her funeral and cremation. The friend was unaware that POA privilege ended at the moment of death. Sadly, NJ Law gives this friend no authority over the funeral arrangements. As per NJ law, the long-lost son has complete legal control, despite his absence and/or disinterest. Thus began a panicked search to find him and secure his permission to proceed. During the weeks of the search, the deceased lay in a hospital morgue refrigerator because without the consent of the long-lost son, the funeral home is not legally allowed to even pick her body up and bring her to the funeral home. It was a very sad instance that could have been completely avoided if the trusted friend had simply been named as the "Funeral Agent" in the dying woman's last will and testament. In another case, an elderly man died. He had two grown sons, but one of his sons was estranged and had been "written out of the will" due to numerous personal offenses over the years. The "good son" came to make the funeral arrangements and we informed him that we could not proceed without his brother's permission as well. We were told the whole story, shown the will which clearly had the "bad son" written out of it, but we had to explain that despite all of this, NJ law states very clearly that the "bad son" had just as much legal authority over their father's funeral. That funeral was delayed for several weeks while the two sons battled in court. This could have been completely avoided only if the elderly man's will had named his "good son" as the "Funeral Agent." In yet another case, we served a family that had eleven children. Dad had died several years earlier and when their mom died, two daughters came to plan the services. They explained that their siblings lived all over the world and just the two of them would be available. The law in NJ requires a majority, and thus began the monumental task of securing permissions from a majority (six) of the children from various corners of Earth. The time, expense, and added stress imposed on this family could have all been avoided with a very simple designation in the will naming one of the local daughters as "Funeral Agent." I will suggest that if you have any questions in this regard, call us. Share with us your family dynamic and we will offer suggestions to make things go as smoothly as possible. The worst thing you can do, is nothing.

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