Frequently Asked Questions


While funeral services are not always necessary, they offer family and friends the opportunity to acknowledge and celebrate the life of a loved one. Funerals create a gathering place for support and remembrance and, for many, are a step toward healing in the grieving process.

At some time in our lives, most of us will make or assist in making funeral arrangements. This will not be an easy time, but the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA) offers these tips for smart planning.

  • Be an informed consumer. Don’t be reluctant to ask questions.
  • Today’s funeral director offers a variety of options to meet your financial needs and wishes. Families should discuss all options with their funeral director when making arrangements.
  • When selecting a funeral director, choose one who is licensed and has a good reputation in the community. Give thought to this decision as you would when choosing a doctor, attorney or other professional.
  • Be prepared. Avoid the burden of making decisions while under emotional stress by organizing details with your funeral director ahead of time. Remember … preplanning doesn’t necessarily mean prepaying.
  • Plan a personalized ceremony or service to help you begin the healing process. Getting through grief is never easy but having a meaningful funeral will help.
  • Contact a licensed funeral director or NFDA for more information on making meaningful arrangements.

Depending on where the death occurs and under what circumstances, this explains what you should do.

Death in an Institution: When the death occurs at a hospital or nursing home, the medical staff should take care of notifying us. You simply need to advise the medical staff to contact Aaron and Burney Bivens Funeral Home to assist with arrangements, and they will have you sign any necessary release papers.

Anticipated Death at Home or Elsewhere: If the death occurs with an individual who is currently under the care of a physician or in a Hospice program, you would be advised to first call Hospice.

Unanticipated Death at Home or Elsewhere: In these situations, immediately call 911. The police and emergency medical personnel will then determine the appropriate steps to be taken. In certain cases, the body may need to go to the Florida Medical Examiner’s office so that they can determine the cause of death. The medical examiner releases the body to our funeral home when their part is complete.

Death Out of State: If the death occurs outside the state of Florida or the immediate area, you should contact us. We can coordinate with local funeral directors in the place of death and make arrangements on the family’s behalf to transport your loved one here for services. Through our relationships with other funeral homes and memberships in various associations, Aaron and Burney Bivens Funeral Home can often save families money by making the arrangements.

Funeral Arrangement Conference

The next step is to contact Aaron and Burney Bivens Funeral Home to set up an arrangement conference. This would be when the family comes to the funeral home and sits down with one of our directors to plan the services. During this time, we will listen and discuss details about different options available. We will also gather information for death certificates and obituary notices.

When you come to the funeral home the first time, you may want to bring with you, if they apply, the following items:

Recent photographs for obituary and preparation purposes.

  • Clothing for the individual – When getting clothes together, remember, we do use underclothes, whatever they would normally wear (shoes are optional).
  • Glasses or dentures
  • Jewelry and personal items – These items can either be brought to the arrangement conference, or on the day of the visitation. Please let us know if any jewelry or items should be removed prior to burial or cremation.
  • Military discharge papers (Form DD214)
  • Life insurance policies
  • Cemetery papers
  • Birth certificate

At Aaron and Burney Bivens Funeral Home, we strive to make the arrangement conference and all the other services go as smoothly as possible. If arrangements need to be made to accommodate a special need, please let us know so we can make it happen. We will try our best to answer and address every question or concern that you might have.

Yes, planning a funeral in advance can offer you and your loved ones emotional and financial security. You have the opportunity to put your wishes in writing and alleviate the burden from your loved ones of having to make difficult decisions during their grieving process. Visit the pre-planning page of this website, or contact us, to get started.

You have various options for final the resting place of a loved one. If wishes were not made known in advance of the death, you may want to consider factors including where other family members are buried, the deceased’s hometown, where family currently resides or a national cemetery depending on the deceased’s military service. After meeting with you, we will work to help you consider your options.

Cremation is the act of disposing of a deceased person’s body by burning the body’s remains. Those who chose cremation may ask that their ashes be spread in some location that is sacred to them, or may have their ashes buried. In some family traditions, the cremated remains of the deceased may be kept by surviving family members.

Yes, cremation still offers the opportunity for a funeral service. Some chose to have a viewing or traditional funeral service prior to the cremation process. It’s up to you. We will work with you to determine your desires and needs.

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