We’ve provided a list of answers to questions we frequently receive regarding our services and other activities related to funerals. If you don't see the answer to your question here, feel free to contact us. We'd be happy to give you more information and clarify any of your concerns.

How Important is to Pre-Plan My Funeral and Set Funds Aside?

How important is to pre-plan my funeral and set funds aside?

As a funeral home owner, we would love everyone to pre-plan their funeral and set funds aside. Planning a funeral for a loved one that has not discussed what they would like or selected items for themselves is one of the biggest struggles families have. Let’s face it…death is something that will happen to all of us. Talking about your funeral wishes doesn’t make it happen any sooner. However; it does lighten the burden for your family.

A few hours with one of our experienced staff members will give you a feeling of pride knowing that you are taking care of your loved ones.

Additionally, at Schmidt & Schulta Funeral Home we set funeral funds aside so that they would not be considered an asset and no one is able to cash them in. The funds set aside will gain interest and will be there when they are needed.

How do I Pre-Plan a Funeral?

How do I pre-plan a funeral?

Schmidt-Schulta offers two ways to preplan a funeral. The first is to contact the funeral home to set up an appointment to discuss the options that are available. The other is to preplan using our website. Either way you can give them biographical information that will help to assist your family with obituary information and some choose to select their casket, outer burial container, monument, flowers and even the registry book and verse. You can do as much planning as you like or you can just go to get information. The choice is up to you.

How Do I Set Money aside for my funeral?

How Do I set money aside for my Funeral?

In the State of Wisconsin there are a few different ways to set money aside for your funeral. The first step is to contact your funeral home of choice and preplan your funeral so that you have a dollar amount to work with.

Most funeral homes have three different options to set up funeral trusts. The first option that is available is to have the money set aside at a banking institution in a certificate of deposit. Another option is to purchase a whole life insurance policy through one of our life insurance agents here at the funeral home. We currently represent Pekin Life Insurance Company.

My Parent(s) have to move to a Nursing Home, when should I set money aside for their funeral?

My Parent(s) have to move to a nursing home, when should I set money aside for their funeral?

The State of Wisconsin allows you to set money aside for a funeral. This can and should be done as soon as possible. Nursing homes are a wonderful alternative if you are unable to care for yourself. However, the costs can accumulate quickly. Once your funds are used up, usually the State of Wisconsin will help cover your costs at a nursing home.

Unfortunately, that is where their help will end. The State of Wisconsin will not pay for your funeral. If there is no money set aside, this responsibility would fall to your family.

My Parent(s) set money aside several years ago and said everything was all taken care of. How can I be sure?

My Parent(s) set money aside several years ago and said everything was all taken care of. How can I be sure?

Many times people come into the funeral home and set funds aside. But often times, they do not select items and work thru what a funeral would cost. This doesn’t mean that their money isn’t set aside. All it means is that they may not have enough available at the time of need. The best thing to do is contact the funeral home and find out how much planning your parents have done. Bring them along with you if they are able to attend and if not, don’t forget to bring along any documentation that you have that will assist them such as any power of attorney papers and the funeral trust if you have it.

What is the average cost of a funeral?

What is the average cost of a funeral?

Funerals can vary in cost depending on the selections that are made. The average funeral that we see in our funeral home is around $9,500-10,500.

Keep in mind that these are only the funeral homes charges only and do not include the cash advance items. There are funerals that are less expensive just as there are funerals that are more expensive. The cash advanced items are fees that are associated with a funeral that we usually pay on behalf of the family such as obituaries, luncheons, grave opening and flowers. These fees average around $1500-$3500.

What can I do to help the bereved after the funeral?

What can I do to help the bereved after the funeral?

The grieving process doesn’t end with the funeral, and it will take time for the bereaved to heal. The family will need your support for months to come, so make sure to check in on a regular basis. Drop a note, make a phone call, and continue to invite them when you make social plans; they’ll let you know if and when they are ready to participate. Reach out to the family on special occasions, like birthdays or anniversaries, especially during the first year following their loss.

Should I bring My children to the funeral?

Should I bring my children to the funeral?

With proper supervision, many times this can be a valuable experience for them. You should use your judgment to determine whether your child is old enough to comprehend death and whether attending the funeral will be meaningful to them. It’s important for children to be allowed to express their grief and share in this important ritual. If you bring young children, explain beforehand what they will see and experience, and make sure that they know the importance of being on their best behavior. But, as with any public place, children should be supervised by an adult at all times. If your child becomes cranky or noisy, remove them promptly to avoid disturbing those who are mourning. Most often, if there is going to be a long visitation, many families bring their little ones for an hour and then arrange for child care. The way they are able to visit with friends and family without having to worry about where their child is.

Can I personalize my service?

Can I personalize my service?

Absolutely! Our staff has years of experience getting to know families and incorporating their loved ones' hobbies, activities, interests, and unique requests into meaningful and memorable services. Don’t hesitate to make a request because you think it might be too “out there” — we’re honored to work with you to create a service that truly reflects and celebrates your loved one’s individual life journey.

What do I do when a death occurs away from home?

What do I do when a death occurs away from home?

First, you’ll need to contact emergency personnel such as the police and EMS. Then just give us a call, and we will work with you to make the necessary arrangements to get you and your loved one back home as quickly and easily as possible.

Can I still have viewing with cremation?

Can I still have viewing with cremation?

Definitely! In fact, we encourage you to do so. Choosing cremation only indicates how you’d like to care for your loved one after the service and doesn’t exclude you from celebrating and honoring their life in any way. Whether you’d like to have a visitation beforehand, arrange a funeral service before cremation, or wait and hold the service after the cremation, we’re happy to help you design a meaningful service to accompany the cremation.

I would like to be cremated, can I sign My own Cremation Authorization?

I would like to be cremated, can I sign my own Cremation Authorization?

The cremation authorization is something that is signed after you pass away. In the State of Wisconsin, you can designate a specific person to carry out your wishes by filling out the Authorization for Final Disposition form (Wis Statue 154.3). If this is not done, the responsibility to sign the cremation authorization form would fall to your next of kin. It is always best to have your wishes in writing at the funeral home and to let your family know what your final wishes are. Call us today to set up your prearrangement time which could include filling out the Authorization for Final Disposition form.

Can we have a viewing if my loved one has donated organs or had an autopsy?

Can we have a viewing if my loved one has donated organs or had an autopsy?

Yes. Autopsies and organ donation do not affect your ability to have an open-casket visitation.

What is the purpose of Embalming and is it required by law?

What is the purpose of embalming and is it required by law?

Embalming is a process used to temporarily preserve a loved one’s body. The process of embalming involves using preservative chemicals as well as cosmetics to make them look as they were when they were alive. It also can be used in instances of visible illness or damage to return a loved one to their normal appearance for a viewing.

Embalming is not required by Wisconsin law but is required when traveling on any common carrier such as an airplane. There may be times when embalming may be required by our funeral home such as when the family would like to have a public viewing. Though it is possible to have a private immediate family viewing without embalming, certain conditions have to be met. If you want to know more, feel free to give us a call.

How important is it to have a Funeral or Viewing?

How important is it to have a funeral or viewing?

We want you to honor your loved one in a way that allows you to look back, years from now, and be thankful that you did the best you could to honor their life. Creating a ceremony that calls together the hearts and minds of all who loved them is a gift to everyone involved. A gift of memories, a gift of healing...a truly priceless gift of peace-of-mind.

Schmidt & Schulta Funeral Home | (715) 449-2688
445 Main St., PO Box J, Birnamwood, WI 54414

Schmidt & Schulta Funeral Home | (715) 253-2713
401 W. College Ave., PO Box E, Wittenberg, WI 54499

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