We have compiled a list of Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ) to help answer the questions we receive most often. If you don't find what you're looking for, please contact us and we will be glad to help.
Who can make arrangements with the funeral home?
Please note: by Texas law, we are allowed to consult only with the person legally designated to make final decisions; we are not permitted to make arrangements with friends or relatives who may be helping the family during their time of grief.
Texas Health and Safety Code, Sec. 711.002, states:
“…The following persons, in the order listed, have the right to control the disposition…of the decedent’s remains…:
(1) the person designated in a written instrument signed by the decedent;
(2) the decedent’s surviving spouse;
(3) any one of the decedent’s surviving adult children;
(4) either one of the decedent’s surviving parents;
(5) any one of the decedent’s surviving adult siblings; or
(6) any adult person in the next degree of kinship in the order named by law to inherit the estate of the decedent.”
How much does a funeral cost?
There is no single answer to this question. Nor is there a generic "rule of thumb." Many variables determine your budget, and what works for each family will be different. Be wary of any provider who touts a widely publicized low-cost offer; these offers often omit many of the expenses you will incur.
When you meet with your TJM funeral director, you will discuss options available to you and the cost for each. We want you to have a straight-forward, clear understanding of what to expect, and will work with you to answer any questions you may have. We do have package pricing available on our most popular combinations of services, which may allow you to receive price allowances toward other merchandise purchased from our firm. We also offer many "a la carte" services and merchandise that you may choose to add.
For more information about specific costs, please contact us to speak with a funeral director.
What should I wear to a funeral or memorial service?
The appropriate attire for a funeral or memorial service is simple: dress to show respect for the person whose life you are remembering. This means selecting clothes that are more conservative, not flashy or brightly colored. Often darker dresses, suits, pants, jackets and sweaters are appropriate. Typically, flip-flops, tank tops, shorts, sundresses, casual tennis shoes and cleavage are not appropriate. Even though the service may be a celebration of life, many of those attending will be mourning. Your goal is to blend in, not be conspicuous.
A special note to teenagers or young adults: You live in a very casual world where jeans and casual shirts are appropriate in most settings. A funeral is not one of those. If this is your first time attending a service, talk to your parents or a trusted friend to help you select what to wear. This is the kindest way to show the family you care.
What should I expect at the funeral or memorial service?
Depending on where the service is held and the wishes of the family, services today vary widely. Regardless, there are some common guidelines to know:
- Turn off your cell phone and put it away for the duration of the service.
- A guestbook will be outside the service for you to sign. Please do sign it and make your signature legible – the family will treasure reviewing the names of those who attend, and this will be the best way for them to remember you were there.
- Be on time or early. It is rude to enter a service after it has started. If you are late, enter from one side and be seated as unobtrusively as possible. If the family is processing, wait until they have finished and reached their seats, then enter after them.
- Seating: the family will have a designated seating area, usually at the front or the side of the room. This area will be marked, so look for “Reserved” signs and avoid sitting in these seats.
- If an usher is present, you will be shown to a seat. If an usher is not present, it is courteous to enter a row from a side aisle to avoid climbing over people already seated. Much as at any event, seating is “first come, first served” so if you want a “good” seat, arrive early and do not expect people to move for you. The aisle seats are the ones most preferred.
- Enter the room and sit quietly. Leave your cell phone off and put away. Your behavior should allow those around you to mourn without distraction.
- There may be an open casket. At most services, you are welcomed to walk forward prior to the service to pay respects at the casket. Do not touch the body or any of the surrounding items or flowers. However, it is not mandatory to go forward if you prefer not to.
- When the family enters, you will be instructed to stand until they have entered and taken their seats. Then you will be seated.
- When the service ends, you will be instructed to stand while the family exits. This recessional will vary depending on the service and the presence of an open vs. closed casket.
- After the service, the attendees may be ushered out by walking past an open casket. It is most courteous to follow the group. If you prefer not to view the open casket, just walk past without looking.
- If you are not escorted past the casket, watch for direction on how to exit the service: at-will or by escort row by row.
- If you are going to the burial and will be driving, you will form a queue behind the vehicles carrying the casket and family members. Turn on your lights and follow the car in front of you. If your group is escorted to the cemetery, follow the directions of the officers; generally you will be waved through stoplights and stop signs, and out of courtesy other drivers may pull over to let you pass.
- At the gravesite, stand away from the site to allow the family to be seated before approaching. Then gather close so you can hear the brief service.
- Following the interment, you are free to leave as you wish. The family often lingers to speak to guests, and they will be your cue as to whether or not you should approach to express your condolences.
What do I say to someone who has just lost a loved one?
One of the most frequent questions we hear is, “What do I say to someone who has just lost a loved one?” There may be special circumstances surrounding the death—an accident, a suicide, unexpected death during surgery—that make the question even more difficult to answer. Here are some simple suggestions:
- Please do speak to the family. They will hear eloquent messages and bumbling messages. But the most important thing is that their grief is acknowledged.
- If you knew the person casually or only slightly, stick with a short statement: “I am so sorry for your loss.”
- If you have something positive to add, make the statement a little longer: “I am so sorry for your loss. John was the best teacher I ever had.”
- If you won’t see the family, send a card or a note. The same message you would say in person can be written on the card.
- Send a floral tribute to the serivce. Flowers help create a beautiful service setting and each bloom helps the family realize and know that they have friends who care. You can place your message of sympathy to the family on the floral card.
- Make a donation in the person’s memory. Most people designate a place of worship, charity or other organization that was important to them. The recipient will notify the family of your donation (but not the amount that was given).
- Offer concrete assistance: a guestroom for family attending the service, grocery shopping or other errands, even staying at the family’s home during the service so the house isn’t unattended.
- Reach out later, when the flush of attention has ended and the days of grieving may be long and lonely. A simple phone call that says “thinking of you” can mean so much.
- Share stories that reflect the goodness of the life you’re remembering.
- Listen. And listen some more.
May I take pictures at a funeral?
No, not without permission of the next of kin. This includes both photographs and videos, and includes using a camera or cell phone camera.
May I use my cell phone while I'm waiting for the service to start?
Out of respect for the family and those around you, leave your cell phone turned off and put away from the time you enter the service until you leave. No matter how unobtrusive you may try to be, use of a phone--for any reason, from sending a text to playing a game--can be distracting to others. Many people use the time before the service to pray or meditate, and your behavior should facilitate, not hamper, this opportunity.
What casket materials are available?
Caskets fall into two broad categories: wood and metal.
Wood caskets are often chosen for their natural beauty and timeless quality. The hardwood caskets available at Turrentine-Jackson-Morrow are crafted from a wide variety of woods, including mahagony, cherry, walnut, oak, pecan, pine, ash, sycamore and poplar.
Metal caskets offer a desirable alternative for durability and beauty. They may be crafted from stainless steel, regular steel with a variety of thicknesses available, or from non corrosive metals such as bronze and copper.
Traditionally a wood casket does not have a sealing or gasketing piece that many of the metal caskets provide; The primary benefit of the seal or gasket is to keep water and other elements out. In addition, some metals are more durable than others for longer protection from the elements. Our funeral directors will explain all of the benefits of each casket type.
Do you offer oversized caskets?
Yes, we have a selection of oversized caskets for you to choose from. Please talk to your Funeral Director about the options available.
Are Orthodox caskets available?
Yes. We have served the Jewish Orthodox community since our founding, and have strong experience providing caskets that comply with Orthodox traditions. Please notify your Funeral Director so we can direct you to the correct options.
What is a cremation casket?
A cremation casket is a casket used especially for cremation. They are manufactured with materials that do not create a hazard during the cremation process. They are crafted with the same quality and care. This solution is ideal for families who want to include a viewing or visitation with their service, followed by cremation.
When should floral arrangements be delivered to the funeral home or service location?
Floral deliveries are accepted at all Turrentine-Jackson-Morrow locations between the hours of 8:30 am and 5:00 pm. If you would like your floral tribute to be displayed during the visitation/viewing, please have it delivered on the day of and at least two hours prior to the start time of the visitation/viewing location. If you would like to have your floral arrangement displayed only at the funeral or memorial service, it is best for it to be delivered to the service location 2 hours prior to the service start time.
There is no delivery charge for floral tributes ordered from Ridgeview Florist to be delivered to any of the Turrentine-Jackson-Morrow Funeral Home locations.
What things need to be done after the funeral?
In the days and weeks following a loved one's funeral, there are many decisions and contacts you will make. This time can be overwhelming, so we recommend you create a checklist that will provide structure and guidance for you.
We have compiled many of the items that will be on your list, though this list may not be all-inclusive for you:
- Life insurance policies on the deceased
- Updating policies where the deceased was named as beneficiary, such as a spouse's policy
- Employment pension
- Health insurance provider
- Home, auto, property and other insurance companies
- Mortgage insurance
- Mortgage holder
- Property taxes
- Drivers license or state ID card cancellation
- Transfer of ownership for auto and other vehicles
- Cancellation of credit cards or transfer to sole owner
- Financial investment companies
- Safe deposit box signing authority
- Bank accounts (take proof of death and copy of will)
- Income tax
- Update will, POA and other legal documents that referenced the deceased
- Update name on billings, such as water, electricity, cable, etc.
- Cancel subscriptions
- Review personal funeral arrangements
Where do I file a complaint?
Complaints may be directed to the Texas Department of Banking, 2601 North Lamar Blvd, Austin, TX 78705; (877) 276-5554 (toll free); www.dob.texas.gov.