Of course there are several good answers to this question depending upon your current situation. If you are beginning to think about advance planning for yourself or a family member click here. If a family members death appears to be imminent click here. If the death has already occurred click here.
The first thing to consider is what type of service you're interested in. There are several types of services available, click here to view an informal description of each, for a detailed breakdown and pricing please click here. Once you've determined which option is best for you, it's then important to start gathering the information needed by the mortuary to process the death certificate as well as particular wishes in regard to the service. You can download our guide here to help organize this information. Please note that if you've already chosen New Options to provide the funeral services please contact us to obtain a version of the guide that can be filled out on your computer and sent directly to us. This helps reduce clerical errors and can help expedite the process.
Because death is one of the hardest events we have to face; few make plans for it. We want to let you know that you do have a few hours to discuss services with other family members before you choose a mortuary. Hospitals and Hospice Care nurses often work with families during those first few hours after the death, and they can be a great source of information and help. Even after you've chosen a mortuary and they have removed the body, the family still has the right to change to another mortuary. While you will need to pay the first mortuary's removal fees the families are still in charge of services.
We serve Orange, southern and western Los Angeles, western San Bernardino, and western Riverside counties. We can serve such a broad area because of the unique way we function. All funeral arrangements are made at your home or some other location convenient to you. The funeral/memorial services are held at a church you attend or a church in your local area. Burial services are of course conducted at the cemetery where you have purchased a plot of land or niche for an urn.
The purpose is to gather family and friends to remember and celebrate the life of the one who has died.
Choosing a funeral provider can be a daunting task, particularly when no pre arrangements have been made. One good place to start is with those people you already know and trust. Asking a friend who has been through a death, hospice caregivers, or clergy can be quite helpful.
Federal & State laws require mortuaries, to provide costs over the phone to a family. Should you have any problem getting pricing over the phone; you should consider another mortuary.
The process starts with the removal of the body from the place of death by the funeral provider. The family then meets with a staff member from the mortuary to begin to discuss the type of service they would like. Depending on the type of service(s) requested the details required can vary widely. Click here to see a description of the types of services offered. In the days following the service(s) families would receive copies of the death certificates they requested for insurance or other purposes.
Below is a list of the descriptions of each service type. If you would like to see a detailed list of what items are included in each service type and relevant pricing please click here. A traditional service with a viewing on the day of the service. New Options will be responsible for setting up the casket at the designated place of the funeral service and assists coordinating the ushering, viewing, and services with the clergy. A viewing before the service is not uncommon, where friends and family can have a more private moment to say their goodbyes. After the services New Options provides the funeral coach and flower car when traveling to the cemetery for the burial. A traditional service with a viewing on the evening before the services. New Options is responsible for setting up the casket at the church for the viewing the evening before the services. Our staff will assist with the greeting of friends and family until the time of the viewing ends. The next day our staff arrives at the church with the funeral coach and flower car about an hour prior to the time of the service to prepare to greet the attendees for the service. After the services we proceed to the cemetery for burial. A graveside service without viewing. New Options with the cemetery staff or family members will place the casket on the grave at the cemetery where all the services are to be held. Our staff will arrive about an hour prior to the services with the funeral coach to assist the family and friends attending the service. An immediate burial without ceremony. New Options will deliver the casket to the cemetery. The family will organize their own memorial service. A direct cremation without ceremony. New Options will transport the deceased to the crematory and return the cremated remains to they family or deliver them to the cemetery, or assist with a scattering at sea. A cremation followed by a memorial service. New Options will transport the deceased to the crematory and return the cremated remains to they family or deliver them to the cemetery, or assist with a scattering at sea. Our staff will assist the family in organizing and staffing the memorial services at their church.
Funeral providers fall into three basic categories: Mortuary only - these assist with the services and provide caskets and other funeral merchandise. Many of these also provide cremation services. Mortuary and Cemetery - Most cemeteries also have a mortuary on the property. Its important to note that selecting a cemetery does not mean you have to use their mortuary. Cremation Only - As the name implies, they only provide cremation services for families.

Things to watch out for:

Cremation services that advertise $495 or a similar number. Problem: These prices tend not to include the retrieval of the body, something that adds significantly to the price. Another issue often connected with this sort of price is a longer than expected waiting period for the return of the ashes to the family, three weeks or longer is not uncommon. If one does wish the return of the cremated remains within a timely manner, a week or so, there is often an additional fee levied for this service. Finally, urns are not usually included in these cut-rate prices.

Advice: Make sure you get a narrow price range for retrieving the body, they will need to know where the body is to give you that number but they should be able to come close to what the final cost will be with that information. One also should ask if there is an extra fee in connection with getting the cremated remains within a week. Ask about the price range for urns sold by the cremation service and if one is required to purchase an urn from the service in connection with the "bargain" fee.

Packages that do not fit your needs. Problem: Packages can vary in how much real savings they provide to families. "Bargain" packages in particular can be troublesome if one chooses a package and then changes a few items. Most people do not realize that you are now paying the a la carte pricing for everything that was previously discounted under the package. The bottom line is that one ends up paying a substantially higher price for modifying a few elements of the package.

Advice: Shop around to find a place that has a package that will suit your needs at a reasonable price. Of course, one does tailor a funeral for each person, but make sure to find out which things can be changed without "breaking" the pricing structure of the package. Some mortuaries may have prices already set so low that packages are merely a convenient method to inform the family of the typical items that make up a funeral service. In this case there is no package pricing to break so changes can made without fear of losing a good price.

Bundling. Problem: Bundling occurs when mortuaries advertise prices that seem substantially lower than surrounding competitors are, but then require that the casket and vault be purchased through them at a considerable markup. If one purchases either a casket or a vault from someone else, a higher pricing scheme is introduced.

Advice: Make sure when getting quotes from funeral homes that you find out if the price they are telling you requires that you purchase the casket and vault from them. With so many casket stores offering discount pricing for caskets and vaults it can be an advantage to find a funeral home that does not require you to purchase either item from them.

The average cost of funeral services: The National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA) performed a survey of the mortuaries general price lists for 2006. This survey revealed a national average of $7,323 for services consisting of:

  • Non-declinable basic services fee
  • Removal/transfer of remains to funeral home
  • Embalming
  • Other preparation of the body
  • Use of facilities/staff for viewing
  • Use of facilities/staff for funeral ceremony
  • Hearse
  • Service car/van
  • Basic memorial printed package (e.g., memorial cards, register book, etc.)
  • Metal casket
  • Vault (Required by some cemeteries)

Note: This price does not include cemetery, monument or marker costs, or miscellaneous cash-advance charges, such as flowers or obituaries. As this is a national average, you may find the prices in your region above or below this figure. Also take note that the prices in this survey are from 2006.

To see New Options' prices please click here.
There are several components that make up the modern mortuary:
  1. A place to meet and make arrangements with the family.
  2. A room for holding viewings.
  3. A chapel for holding funeral or memorial services.
  4. A casket show room for selling caskets, urns and other merchandise to the family.
  5. A room for performing the preparations on the decedent, i.e. embalming or preparing for cremation.
The fundamental idea behind New Options Funeral Service was to separate these elements out and use resources that were already available to the family for free or at a minimal cost. By doing this we can reduce the average price by nearly half.
  1. New Options meets with families in the familiar surroundings of their own home. If for some reason the family wishes to meet elsewhere we can meet them at any other place of their choosing including our home office.
  2. Many families have a connection with a local place of worship who are happy to accommodate families and allow viewings to take place on their premises. We also understand that not all families attend places of worship. New Options has a large network of locations available for viewings.
  3. As noted in point B. it's not unusual for families to have a connection with a place of worship who are happy to serve the families with the use of their premises. If the family is not connected with a place of worship New Options has a large and diverse network of locations for funeral or memorial services.
  4. We've found that having a show room for caskets is not a critical part of having a mortuary. While this may sound strange at first, by simply providing photo books of the caskets we eliminate the need to carry caskets in stock and the floor space to show them. Both of these have an impact on the price you pay. Should a family wish to see the casket of their choosing we have the ability to retrieve the casket in a short time frame for viewing. Another important resource in this area has been the rise of casket stores that allow families to view the caskets and purchase caskets in a show room at very reasonable prices.
  5. A preparation room is one area that is, of course, vital to the running of a funeral home. New Options has built a facility for this purpose without attaching the other elements of a mortuary, allowing us to serve families fully without unnecessarily extending the overhead into other areas of service.
We understand that not all families attend places of worship. New Options has a large and diverse network of locations to hold funeral or memorial services for the family.
Absolutely. We are happy to serve families no matter where they have purchased their caskets and do so at no additional charge.
First most cemeteries do not have restrictions as to who can be buried within them. An example of a restricted cemetery is the Riverside National Cemetery which is veterans and their wife or dependent children only, or religious cemeteries have certain restrictions.
Funeral merchandise consists of caskets, urns, memorial books, folders and the like. To see our pricing on caskets or urns click here. These pages show the most commonly selected items but we can order any casket carried by our vendors, Batesville, [fill in vendors].
This may come as a surprise to you but embalming is not required by law. Embalming is the use of chemical preservatives for the temporary preservation of the body. A Viewing provides a more private opportunity for friends and family to say goodbye. It can also be a comfort for families who have last seen their family member in the hospital or convalescent facility, now dressed in their favorite dress or suite and looking at peace. If you choose a viewing, embalming is usually recommended by the funeral provider.
Take a moment to reflect about the person. Funerals are meant to honor the contribution of the person in our lives and to give those they leave behind an opportunity to begin to come to terms with their loss. Funerals don't have to be expensive to express our appreciation of what a person has meant to us. Click here to download a guide to help plan the funeral.
Planning ahead is always a good idea. In the funeral industry, many mortuaries offer guides to "Advance Planning" or "Preneed Planning". Most of these guides end with you contacting their mortuary. However, depending upon your needs and wishes this may not be necessary at all. We've designed a form that contains the most pertinent questions that need answering upon a death as well as questions geared towards helping you formulate your wishes that you may not have realized you even had. [For instance, are there particular songs that you would like played at the service.] Click here to download the guide. Once you've completed the form you simply put it in a safe place, and make a copy for someone you would like to be in charge of your suggestions. In the 45 years that I have spent serving families, the first question that we ask is "Did he/she leave some instructions or choices about funeral or memorial services. Unfortunately the answer is often no. Now your family needs to think about what you would like. With funeral costs that can run into the thousands, it can produce additional stress during an already stressful time. Pre-planning does not mean pre-paying. While it is an option to setup a financial instrument in order to pay for the plans you make, it is certainly not required. This means that you can protect your wishes and provide solid guidance without any contractual obligations.