Programs that provide grave sites for the earth burial of the remains of individuals who have died; mausoleum crypts for above ground interment; cenotaphs which serve as memorials to individuals whose remains are elsewhere or are lost; and/or niches in a columbarium for the storage of cremated remains.
Programs that conduct investigations, inquests, postmortem examinations and laboratory tests to determine the cause, manner and circumstances of death in all cases of natural death when the individual was unattended by a physician, and in all cases of unnatural death (homicides, suicides, accidents or deaths of a suspicious nature). The coronor's office is also responsible for correctly identifying the deceased and for making proper disposition of the remains. Also included are programs that pay for autopsies when required.
Programs that enable people to make advance arrangements for their funeral service and/or burial. Preplanning allows an individual to specify their wishes regarding the type of funeral service they prefer (green or conventional, religious or secular, public or private), the music, poems and readings they would like included in a service, the speakers, pallbearers or other individuals they would like to have as participants, people they would especially like to invite, the personal information they would like to have shared in an obituary, the type of funeral and burial accessories (caskets, urns, gravestones) they prefer and their preferences regarding the disposition of their remains. People also have the option of purchasing a burial plot or crypt and paying other funeral/burial expenses (or making other financial arrangements) in advance.
Programs that provide funeral home services including removal of the body to the funeral home; preparing, obtaining necessary signatures on and filing the death certificate and deposition permit with the local health department; embalming services; cremation services; temporary care for the body prior to final disposition; visitation, private viewing and memorial services; and/or cremation caskets, burial caskets, burial vaults, grave markers, urns and other interment accessories.
The above terms and definitions are part of the Taxonomy of Human Services, used here by permission of INFO LINE of Los Angeles.