Frequently Asked Questions

We are here to answer the difficult questions.

The following questions and topics are those that we are asked about most often. Feel free to call us anytime for more clarification.

I would like my loved one to be shipped & buried in Mexico. How does that work?

We have years of experience in arranging for transfer to and from Mexico. Embalming will be required. Additional costs will include airline fees, transportation to Sacramento International Airport, international document filings and preparation, and cost of a basic air tray as required by airline.

My family member passed away and lives out of state, but I want them buried locally here?

When death occurs away from home, Allen Mortuary can assist you with out-of-area and out-of-state arrangements. We can also organize transfer of the deceased back to other preferred locations. We work with other funeral homes and known airlines that can transport the deceased.

Do I have to approach the casket at the funeral or viewing?

The decision of whether or not to approach the casket is a very individual one. It is not required or considered rude if you decide against it. Many people find that viewing the deceased helps them accept the loss and move on.

Can I personalize a funeral?

Absolutely. In fact, more and more people are opting for a more non-traditional personalized service. There is no right or wrong way to celebrate somebody’s life. There are many unique ways to celebrate life, let your Arrangement Counselor know exactly what your desires are and they will honor your wishes.

We are available 365 days a year, 24 hours a day. We will work with you to arrange for prompt pick-up at your designated time, as nearly as possible. If you would like to spend some additional time with your loved one, that can be arranged.

Our staff will arrive and bring your loved one into our care.

Please inform us beforehand if your loved one is above 150 lbs so that we can bring the proper staff and equipment. If there are stairs and/or unusual circumstances in getting to your loved one, these details are also valuable for smooth transfer.

How much does “just a cremation” cost?

The term we use is a Direct Cremation. Our pricing and more information can be found here. It includes the basic services of our staff, transfer of the body to the mortuary, refrigeration and cremation. Basically a direct cremation just does not include a service or viewing for the decedent. It is the least expensive option.

What should I expect when I receive the cremated remains?

Cremated remains (“cremains”) resemble coarse sand and are whitish to light grey in color. The remains of an average size adult usually weigh between four and six pounds. They are carefully sealed in a heavy plastic bag with an ID tag within. Then the bag is inserted into the urn of choice and the urn is tightly closed. The urn is labeled with required identifying information. Our staff will then call the contact person for pickup. Urns are safely stored in our facilities until time of pick up. Cremains can also be shipped anywhere via US mail to the documented recipient.

How can I be sure I received the correct remains?

We have a rigorous set of operating policies and procedures to maximize the level of service and minimize the potential for human error. Many of these procedures are a requirement by the state’s Cemetery & Funeral Bureau, who regulates, monitors and develops rules for the state’s licensed funeral homes and crematories.

In addition, we have our own on-site crematory facilities. This means that your deceased loved one never leaves our care.

Can two cremations be performed at once?

Never. It illegal to do so. It is also illegal to cremate a human with a pet/animal.

I want to have a funeral service with the body viewable before cremation. How does that work?

This is very common. We prepare your loved one for viewing and they are placed into a sterilized liner within a rental casket. Cremation occurs at a later date.

How long do I have to pick up the cremains from your funeral home?

Some people find it difficult to make this step. We understand. Please try to visit us and pick up your loved one within 12 months of death.

What is the purpose of embalming?

Embalming sanitizes and preserves the deceased, retards the decomposition process and enhances the appearance of someone 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.

Is embalming required by law?

No. Most states, however, require embalming when death is caused by a reportable contagious disease or when a deceased is 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.

What are Advanced Directives?

Advanced Directives are legal documents that put your wishes clearly on paper so there will be no ambiguity in a time of need. They can be in the form of a Living Will or by assigning Durable Power of Attorney for Healthcare to a loved one. Our arrangement counselors have difficult conversations with grieving families almost every day. They often serve as daily reminders of the benefits of discussing Advanced Directives with your loved ones. In the event of a serious illness or injury, there are usually dozens of crucial, split-second decisions to be made. Decisions your family and healthcare professionals may someday have to make for you. For more information on Advanced Directives, talk to your primary care physician, visit your local hospital or consult your legal counsel.

What is a Living Will?

A Living Will records your specific healthcare preferences and must be notarized at the time of signing. It provides you with the opportunity to make informed decisions about your healthcare and quality of life when you have the time to weigh all of your options. Before establishing these wishes, you must discuss your options with a physician so that you fully understand the treatments available to you. This will also ensure your directives are as clear and comprehensive as possible.

What I a Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care?

The Durable Power of Attorney for Health Care allows you to designate someone you trust to speak for you if your decision-making capacity is impaired. This person must be at least 18 years old and can be a family member or a friend. It is important to have a lengthy discussion about your preferences with the person you designate, before signing a legal document.

To allow all of your family and friends to hear the legacy and stories shared, we now offer video streaming and recording of funeral services held in our main chapel. Tune in during or after the service from any device.

Individual families will make the decision on the privacy level of sharing their webcast. All webcasts are password-protected and are retained and can be viewed indefinitely.

Let your friends and family feel connected to their loved ones and to gather and honor regardless of where they are.

In California, certain laws do exist when it comes to scattering ashes. In most national parks, you must secure a permit prior to scattering, and sea scatterings require your vessel to be at least 500 yards from the shore. They can’t be sprinkled along the seashore or a riverbank. They cannot be scattered in national forests. And anywhere people decide to scatter ashes, they need a county burial permit and written permission from the property owner.

We work closely with a ‘scattering at sea’ boat captain that offers unattended and attended ash scattering options in the vicinity of SF bay. This offering includes a certificate of scattering for your absolute confirmation and peace of mind knowing your wishes have been fulfilled.