Yes. Families can meet with a pre-need counselor to record wishes and make pre-arrangement decisions years in advance of death. These decisions can also be pre-funded through a pre-need trust or insurance contract, freezing the cost of the services, thus guarding against future inflation. (For more information concerning pre-funded contracts, read the section below titled "Should I consider a prepaid contract?")
Arrangements for disposition of the deceased generally can be made by a spouse, next of kin or legal representative. Call your funeral director.
The normal sequence of events for handling a death is as follows:
Contact law enforcement officials if the death was unattended.
Death must be pronounced by a coroner, medical examiner or attending physician.
Locate deceased's letter of direction, prepaid funeral contract, insurance policy or will.
Contact a funeral director.
When a death occurs out of state or country it is advisable that you immediately contact a funeral director in your local area who will know the requirements that must be met, as well as help prevent duplications of service costs.
No SC law does not require embalming at any time. Most common carriers will require that a body be embalmed prior to shipping and the laws of the destination state will apply. Because of the rapid deterioration of a body after death, South Carolina Health Services Rules require that bodies held for over 24 hours or in transit must be embalmed, refrigerated, or encased in a leak and odor proof container.
Yes. Prior to death, a person can revoke his or her donation by destroying or canceling the instructions, or by alternate instructions to the next of kin or the person designated by written instrument.
Immediate disposition is the interment, entombment or cremation of the remains without ceremonies. Immediate disposition usually includes transfer of the remains to the funeral home, preparation and filing of the necessary documents and transportation to the cemetery or transportation to and from the crematory.
SC law prohibits cremating any dead body within 48 hours after death. This time requirement may be waived in writing by the County Medical Examiner or a Justice of the Peace in counties without Medical Examiners.
Cremated remains may be disposed of in a number of ways: privately scattered, scattered at sea, scattered by airplane in unpopulated areas, interred in a cemetery, placed in a niche in a columbarium, or kept by the family in their home.
A statement of death and a death certificate are legally required. Generally, local ordinances or deed restrictions prohibit burials within city limits. Check with the State Health Department and local zoning authorities for applicable laws.
Prior to making funeral arrangements, you will need the following information: