By Claybar Funeral Homes


Beaumont (409) 892-3456   Orange/Bridge City (409) 886-4445

Page Content

1. Frequently Asked Questions

2. Helpful Resources

Texas Funeral Service Commission
Texas Department of Banking (Regulators of Pre-funded funeral plans)
Texas Health and Human Services Commission
Jefferson County Health and Welfare
Social Security Administration
US Department of Veteran Affairs

3. Hospice Organizations

4. Texas Medical Examiners

1. Frequently Asked Questions

We have heard thousands of questions, and chosen to provide you with the answers to some of the more common questions relating to funerals, funeral service and funeral homes. We trust this information will be both educational and helpful.

How many Death Certificates will I need?The following lists the most common transactions requiring certified death certificates.
• Probating the Will
• Filing life insurance (each policy will need a copy)
• Changing Property Deeds or Titles
• Closing Bank Accounts, IRAs, Mutual Funds, Stocks or Bonds Certified

Death Certificates are issued by the State or County Registrar where the death occurred. Each state will have their own fees for Certified Death Certificates. It is usually beneficial to order a few extra copies for unexpected needs. Photocopies are usually not acceptable for legal purposes.

How can I place an obituary notice?
Many newspaper will allow family members to place an obituary notice; others however, may require it to be submitted though a funeral home. Either way, we can assist you in this process for a nominal composition and placement charge. Please note that most newspapers are now charging for obituary notices. If we place an obituary on your behalf, we will let you know the cost from the newspaper for your approval.

Who will notify Social Security?
When any death occurs, Social Security must be notified. We will submit the initial notification of death to the SSA office which informs them of the death. We suggest that the next of kin contact Social Security at their earliest convenience to determine how their benefits may change and if there are any additional benefits available for surviving family members. Additional information is available on the Social Security Administration website.

Does Social Security ever pay for the funeral?
Social Security does not pay for final arrangements. While certain survivors may be eligible for a survivor benefit, it will only be sent to the survivor and cannot be assigned to a funeral home. There is a $ 255 death benefit payable only to a surviving spouse or other legal dependent. If there is no legal dependent, the benefit is not available. For more information, visit the Social Security Administration website.

Does the Veteran’s Administration ever pay for funerals?
If death occurs while on active duty, the Veterans’ Administration will pay for funeral services. If the Veteran was receiving a pension from the military, the family may be entitled to some benefits which we can assist in making application for. The Veteran's Administration will provide for either ground burial in a Veteran’s Cemetery at no expense to the veteran's family. They will also provide a flag for military honors, an honor guard to fold or present the flag during a service and memorial marker for the cemetery.

For additional benefits which may be available, please visit the Veterans’Administration website.

What is a funeral?
The funeral is a ceremony of proven worth and value for those who mourn. It provides an opportunity for the survivors and others who share in the loss to express their love, respect and grief. It permits facing openly and realistically the crisis that death may present. Through the funeral, the bereaved take that first step towards emotional adjustment to their loss.

What type of service should I have?
Only you can answer that question. The type of service conducted for the deceased, if not noted in a pre-arranged funeral plan, is decided by the family. The service is usually held at a place of worship or at the funeral home. The service may vary in ritual according to religious denomination or the wishes of the family.

The presence of friends at this time is an acknowledgment of friendship and support. A private service is by invitation only where selected relatives and a few close friends attend the funeral service. A memorial service is usually a service without the body present and can vary in ceremony and procedures according to the family's community and religious affiliations.

Can I personalize my funeral service?
Absolutely, in fact, we recommend it. After all, the funeral is a celebration of life. Our funeral directors are happy to discuss all options and ensure your funeral is tailored to your wishes. It may be personalized in many unique ways. Contact us at (409) 892-3456 in Beaumont or (409) 886-4445 in Orange of Bridge City to explore the possibilities.

Why should we have a public viewing?
There are many reasons to view the deceased. It is part of many cultural and ethnic traditions, and many grief specialists believe that viewing aids the grief process, by helping the bereaved recognize the reality of death. Viewing is even encouraged for children, as long as it is their desire to do so, and the process is explained well.

Why do we need an obituary notice?
It is helpful to friends and the community to have an obituary notice published announcing the death and type of service to be held. A notice can be placed in a local newspaper, or on the Internet.

What do funeral directors do?
Funeral directors are both caregivers and administrators. In their administrative duties, they make the arrangements for transportation of the body, complete all necessary paperwork, and implement the choices made by the family regarding the funeral and final disposition of the body.

As caregivers, funeral directors are listeners, advisors and supporters. They have experience assisting the bereaved in coping with death. Funeral directors are trained to answer questions about grief, recognize when a person is having difficulty coping, and recommend sources of professional help. Funeral directors also link survivors with support groups at the funeral home or in the community.

What should I do if the death occurs in the middle of the night or on the weekend?
We are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week. All you need to do is place a call to one of our funeral homes. If you request immediate assistance, one of our professionals will be there within the hour. If the family wishes to spend a short time with the deceased to say good bye, it's acceptable. We will respond when your time is right.

What should I do if a death occurs while away from home?
Call us as soon as possible. We can assist you if a death occurs anywhere in the world. We will assume responsibility and coordinate the arrangements for the return of the deceased person to their community. We may engage the services of a funeral director in the place of death who will act as our agent.

What is the purpose of embalming?
Embalming sanitizes and preserves the body, retards the decomposition process, and enhances the appearance of a body disfigured by traumatic death or illness. It 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. Embalming the body enables mourners to view the deceased if they wish. The emotional benefits of viewing the deceased are enormous, particularly to those having difficulty dealing with the death.

Is embalming mandatory by law?
No. But, certain factors of time, health and possible legal requirements might make embalming either appropriate or necessary. Please note that embalming maybe required if the deceased is being transported by air to another country where local laws need be observed.

How much does a funeral cost?
Traditionally, funerals can cost as little as $3,500 for a direct disposition. (Direct disposition includes registering the death, a basic casket or container, and transporting the deceased to a cemetery or crematorium) For an adult, full-service funeral, consumers choose to spend an average of about $6500. This includes all professional services, including transfer of remains, embalming, and other preparation; use of viewing facilities and the facilities for the ceremony; hearse, limousine, and the purchase of a casket.

Has this cost increased significantly?
Funeral costs have increased no faster than the consumer price index for other consumer items.

Why are funerals so expensive?
In some respects, funerals are a lot like weddings or birthday celebrations.The type and cost will vary according to the tastes and budget of the consumer. In addition, a funeral home is a 24-hour, labor-intensive business, with extensive facilities (viewing rooms, chapels, limousines, hearses, etc.), these expenses must be factored into the cost of a funeral. Moreover, the cost of a funeral includes not only merchandise, like caskets, but the services of a funeral director in making arrangements; filing appropriate forms; dealing with doctors, ministers, florists, newspapers and others; and seeing to all the necessary details. Contrary to popular belief, funeral homes are largely family-owned with a modest profit margin.

What recourse does a consumer have for poor service or overcharging?
While most funeral homes provide outstanding services, sometimes things can go wrong. Funeral service in Texas is regulated by the Federal Trade Commission and Texas Funeral Service Commission. Pre-need funeral plans are regulated by the Texas Banking Commission. you may visit their website at

In most cases, the consumer should discuss problems with the funeral director first. If the dispute cannot be solved by talking with the funeral director, the consumer may wish to contact the FTC by contacting the Consumer Response Center by phone, toll-free, at 1-877-FTC-HELP (382-4357) or on the Internet at using the online complaint form.

In Texas, you should fist contact the Texas Funeral Service Commission or may also choose to contact the local Better Business Bureau.

Click to view and print a copy of Facts About Funerals, a consumer brochure available through the Texas Funeral Service Commission.

Who pays for funerals for the indigent?
Other than the family, there may be local government, veteran, union, or other organizational benefits to pay for funerals. Funeral Directors are aware of these various benefits and know how to obtain them for the indigent. However, funeral directors often absorb costs above and beyond what is provided by agencies to insure the deceased a respectable burial.

2. Helpful Resources

Texas Funeral Service Commission
PO Box 12217, Capitol Station, Austin, Texas 78711
Toll Free (888) 667-4881
Fax (512) 479-5064

Texas Department of Banking
(713) 932-6146
or visit their website at

Texas Health and Human Services Commission

Jefferson County Health and Welfare
Beaumont Office
1295 Pearl, Beaumont, Texas 77701
(409) 835-8530

Port Arthur Office
525 Lakeshore Dr., Port Arthur, Texas 77640
(409) 983-8380

Mid-County Office
7759 Vitevro, Nederland, Texas
(409) 724-7848

Social Security Administration
3260 Eastex Freeway,
Beaumont, Texas 77703
(409) 924 6413
Toll Free (866) 613 2864

US Department of Veterans Affairs
VA Benefits
Toll Free: (800) 827-1000

3. Hospice Organizations

Compassion Hospice
2528 Calder St, Beaumont, TX 77702
(409) 835-8357

Compassionate Care Hospice
2345 Interstate 10 E, Beaumont, TX 77702
(409) 924-8000

Cosmos Hospice of Beaumont
3965 Phelan Blvd, Beaumont, TX 77707
(409) 832-6700

Gentiva Healthcare of Beaumont
8050 Eastex Fwy, Beaumont, TX 77708
(409) 924- 0085

Harbor Hospice of Beaumont, L.P.
2450 N Major Dr, Beaumont, TX 77713
(409) 840-5640

Hospice of Texas
2900 North St, Beaumont, TX 77702
(409) 832-4582

Lakes Area Hospice
254 Ethel St, Jasper, TX 75951
(409) 384-5995

Professional Health Care & Hospice
2533 Calder St., Beaumont, TX 77702
(409) 212-0205 (888) 565-0205

Southeast Texas Hospice
912 W Cherry Ave, Orange, TX 77630
(409) 886-0622

Texas Home Health Hospice

5683 East Tex Freeway, Beaumont, Texas 77702
(409) 899-1152

4. Medical Examiner Offices

Bexar County Medical Examiners
7337 Louis Pasteur Drive
San Antonio, Texas 78229-4565
(210) 335-4011 Fax (210) 335-4091 or (210) 335-4021

Southeast Texas Forensic Center
5030 Highway 69 South,
Suite700 Beaumont, Texas 77705
(409) 726-2571 Fax (409) 726-2569

Southwestern Institute of Forensic Sciences
5230 Southwestern Medical Avenue
Dallas, Texas 75235
(214) 920-5900 Fax (214) 920-5908

Tarrant County Medical Examiner
200 Feliks Gwozdz Place
Fort Worth, Texas 76101-4919
(817) 920-5700 Fax (817) 920-5713

Travis County Medical Examiner
1213 Sabine Street
Austin, TX 78701
(512) 854-9599 Fax: (512) 854-9044