|Frequently Asked Questions
What To Do When Death Occurs
The Gary L. Rollins Funeral Home has personnel available 24 hours a day at all times, including weekends or holidays. If someone is not in the office, our answering service may reach a member of our staff at any time.
What if my loved one dies in a hospital or nursing home?
When the death occurs at a hospital or nursing home, the medical staff should take care of the necessary legal steps. Notify the medical staff that the Gary L. Rollins Funeral Home will be handling the arrangements so they can have you sign any necessary release paperwork.
What if my loved one’s death occurs at home?
Today, more people with terminal illnesses are electing to pass away in their own home. In this situation, notify any home health personnel that the Gary L. Rollins Funeral Home is the funeral home of your choice. They will then take care of all necessary legal requirements. Many times when someone has a terminal illness, the family will elect to make prearrangements with us as to not overwhelm themselves with the many important decisions necessary to make at the time of death.
What if it’s an unanticipated death?
In these situations, immediately call 911 if the death occurs at home. The police and emergency medical personnel will then determine the appropriate steps to be taken. The deceased may have to be transported to a local hospital or the emergency personnel may allow the funeral home staff to come directly to the place of death, but they will make that determination.
What if my loved one’s death occurs out of town?
If the death occurs out of town or out of state, you should call the Gary L. Rollins Funeral Home at 301-662-5520. We can then coordinate any necessary arrangements with a local funeral director at the place of death.
How should I select a funeral director?
Reputation is usually considered the best criterion. Excellence of service to other families can be a good guideline for what you can expect. This selection should be a key point in your pre-planning. Ask friends about funeral directors. Visit the funeral home to see the facility and meet the staff.
How much will a funeral cost?
The financial expenses for funeral services depend on the type of burial or cremation services you desire and what type of casket, urn and/or burial vault you select. Your funeral director will gladly help you create a detailed cost estimate, showing the various charges involved, and making suggestions for the service. Regardless of your wishes we can help plan an appropriate service for any budget.
What good does pre-planning do?
There are many reasons that preplanning is not only beneficial to you but also to your entire family. The process allows the individual to be confident that their wishes will be fulfilled. Most importantly it can alleviate the burden from a spouse or children of having to make decisions at an emotional time. You may also alleviate the financial burden by doing a little pre-planning.
Who takes care of the death certificate, newspaper notices and other details?
The funeral director and staff will take care of these necessary details. You will not be left alone to worry about these things – that is why we are here to help.
What if our family doesn’t want a formal service in the chapel or at a church?
We’re here to help facilitate the type of service you need. It can be as elaborate or as simple as you would like. We want your choice of services to be exactly that – your choice.
Why have a public viewing?
Viewing is part of many cultural and ethnic traditions. Many grief specialists believe that viewing aids the grief process by helping the bereaved recognize the reality of death. Viewing is encouraged for children, as long as the process is explained and the activity voluntary.
What is the purpose of embalming?
Embalming sanitizes and preserves the body, impedes the decomposition process, and enhances the appearance of a body disfigured by traumatic death or illness. Embalming makes it possible to lengthen the time between death and the final disposition, thus allowing family members time to arrange and participate in the type of service most comforting to them.
Must a loved one be embalmed, according to law?
No. Most states, however, require embalming when the death was caused by a reportable contagious disease, when remains are to be transported from one state to another by common carrier, or if final disposition is not to be made within a prescribed number of hours.
Should we have an open casket viewing?
Viewing with an open casket helps the grieving process by confronting the reality of death and loss. The option of having an open casket or not is solely the choice or decision of your family.
I would like to have a traditional funeral, but with cremation as a means of disposition. Can this be done?
Many people are under the impression that if they select cremation, then the only form of memorialization is a memorial service. That is not true. You may have open casket calling hours (wake), a funeral service in the funeral home or your place of worship, or other traditional funeral options, and still use cremation as a form of disposition.
Do I have to make different funeral arrangements if I choose cremation?
It really depends entirely on how you wish to commemorate a life. One of the advantages of cremation is that it provides you with increased flexibility when making your funeral arrangements. For example, you might choose to have a funeral service before the cremation; a memorial service at the time of cremation or after the cremation with the urn present; or a committal service at the final disposition of cremated remains. Funeral or memorial services can be held in a place of worship or a funeral home.
What is the difference between a funeral service and a memorial service?
The most common distinction is that a funeral service normally has the casketed body present, whereas a memorial service does not have the body present.
Why is a funeral important?
For thousands of years, funerals have allowed survivors to express their feelings about the death of someone they love. The rituals provide comfort when things seem chaotic and out of control. The funeral is for expressing grief. For many, a visitation followed by a funeral or memorial service is the first step in the grieving process. It is a time when friends, family and other guests can come together to grieve openly and to support one another in a community environment. It is also a time to say good-bye. Viewing the deceased can bring a sense of closure to the bereaved who may be in shock and denial.
Is a burial vault required?
Most cemeteries do not have a by-law insisting that a burial vault or grave liner be used. Some people choose a burial vault or grave liner to protect the casket and to minimize the settling of the ground after burial. A vault can be purchased at the funeral home.
Can I make cemetery arrangements through the funeral home?
Most cemeteries require that you contact them and visit their office. They will go over all facets of the burial, along with their charges. Some rural interment can be ordered by the funeral home. We will contact the various churches that have adjoining cemeteries and make the arrangements for you; but the family should go to the cemetery prior to the burial to make sure that the interment space is the right one. In some instances, we will take care of the charges for you.
What if I have other questions?
We are available anytime to answer all of your questions and to ensure that you fully understand what can, will, and should occur after a loved one has died. Please contact us at 301-662-5520 so that we may address anything that is on your mind.