Frequently Asked Questions

How is Austin Funeral & Cremation Services different from the traditional funeral home?

Like a traditional funeral home, Austin Funeral & Cremation Services is a full-service funeral establishment and can handle all funeral needs (cremation, embalming, transportation of the body, funeral and memorial services, etc.). We are different in that we do not have a large funeral home, or the costs associated with maintaining a large funeral home. Almost always we will meet with families in their homes to make funeral arrangements, or a place that is convenient for them. Services are held at the location of a family’s choice. In addition to local churches, we can arrange for services to be held at the Martin Center or Cool Springs House in Brentwood, or Scarritt Bennett Chapel in Nashville. This approach enables us to pass along a cost savings to the families we serve.
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I have funeral pre-arrangements with another funeral home. Can these be transferred?

Yes, funeral pre-arrangements may be reassigned. At your request and with a simple phone call to the insurance provider, our directors can change the assignment of benefits to Austin Funeral & Cremation Services. In many cases, because of our affordable pricing, monies will be refunded back to your family or estate at the time of death.
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My parents moved to Nashville to be near the rest of our family. At the time of death, can arrangements be made to have a burial and service in another state?

Absolutely. Our staff is trained and knowledgeable in working with funeral providers across the country. Whether you choose to have services here or out-of-town, we are equipped to take care of all the details, allowing you to spend time with your family.
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What should I do if death occurs in the middle of the night or over the weekend?

Our staff is on call 24 hours a day, 7 days a week to assist you. Our phones are always answered locally by one of our directors, and you will never speak to an answering service. If your loved one is under hospice care or in the hospital, trained medical staff will assist you in calling our directors at the appropriate time to release your loved one into our care. If your loved one dies unexpectedly at home, first call 911.
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What is the purpose of a funeral or memorial service?

Funeral and memorial services are an important step in the grieving process, as well as an opportunity to honor and celebrate a life lived. They offer surviving family members and friends a caring, supportive environment in which to share thoughts and feelings about their loved one. Often funerals or memorial services are the first step in the healing process.
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What is the difference between a funeral and memorial service?

Both funeral and memorial services are ceremonies to commemorate a life lived. The primary difference is that the body is present during a funeral service, and is not present during a memorial service.
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Where do visitations, funerals, and memorial services take place?

The location of these services is up to you, and we encourage families to select a setting where they are comfortable. Many families choose to hold services in their church. Some choose a graveside service. Others decide to have the service at a residence or another place that holds special meaning to their family. Our staff can also assist in selecting and securing a location if you are uncertain of the best setting.
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What type of transportation do you provide?

A funeral coach (hearse) is used for transporting the deceased. We offer a limousine service if families would like transportation to and from services or to the graveside.
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If cremation is the choice, can a visitation and funeral or memorial service still take place?

Absolutely. When choosing cremation, you can have all the same choices and services that you would have with a burial; the only difference is the final disposition. Cremation offers a variety of choices, from a simple gathering to a traditional ceremony with the body present. Some families choose to have the cremation take place after the funeral service, so that the body can be present during the visitation and funeral service. Other families choose to have the cremation done prior to services and have the cremated remains (ashes) present at the memorial service. No matter what you choose, we will help you create an experience that fits the needs of your family.
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What can I do with my loved one’s cremated remains?

The decision of what to do with a loved one’s cremated remains rests solely with your family. Cremated remains may be buried in the ground, placed in a columbarium or mausoleum, scattered, or kept by the family. Some families will purchase keepsake urns so that several family members can keep a portion of the cremains. Others will purchase one decorative urn and keep the cremains on a bookshelf or mantel. Some families find comfort in scattering the cremains in a place that holds special meaning to the family. And like the traditional ground burial, some families enjoy coming back to the cemetery or columbarium to remember their loved one and pay their respects.
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Should we leave the casket open during the visitation?

This decision is deeply personal and should be decided upon by your family. For some, viewing the body is an important tradition which brings closure to friends and family, allowing them to accept the death. Others prefer to keep the memory of their loved one alive in their hearts and minds and desire to have a closed casket.
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Do I have to use a burial vault?

State law does not require a family to purchase an outer burial container or burial vault; however, many of the larger cemeteries in Nashville require some form of outer burial container.
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Is embalming required?

No, embalming is not required by law but is always recommended if there will be a viewing or an open casket visitation.
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What’s the purpose of a death certificate and how many will I need?

A death certificate is the official documentation to prove that there has been a death. Your funeral director will prepare and file the death certificate with the county clerk and will obtain certified copies for your family. In order to settle your loved one’s claims, certified copies of the death certificate will be required as proof of death. As a general rule, any time funds are being dispersed you will need to submit a certified copy. Insurance companies, social security administration, investment companies, and banks will usually require certified copies. Credit card, mortgage, and utility companies will usually accept a copy of the certified death certificate. The number of certified copies you need depends on the number of investments and accounts that were in your loved one’s name. Most families request between 5 and 10. The state of Tennessee charges $15 per death certificate.
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