You probably have many questions and we would like to help you in any way we can. Below are some of the most frequently asked questions regarding our services. If you question is not answered here, please contact us and we will do our best to help you.
Who notifies Social Security?
We will send the initial death notification to Social Security.
Anytime a death occurs, Social Security must be notified. We will send the initial notification of death to the local SSA office (SSA Form 721) to inform them of the death. We then encourage the family to call Social Security at their earliest convenience to determine if benefits will need to be returned to Social Security and to determine if the survivor qualifies for any Survivor Benefits from Social Security. For more information on this subject, please visit the Social Security Administration website.
How long does it normally take to complete a cremation?
In Florida, it can take several days to complete the cremation process.
Since cremation is irreversible, there are several safe-guards in place to insure that a cremation is not performed prematurely. Florida law requires a mandatory 48 hour waiting period from the time of death as a minimum waiting period. In addition to this waiting period, the law requires that the Death Certificate be completed and signed by the certifying physician AND approved by the Medical Examiner in whose jurisdiction the death occured. While physicians normally sign the death certificate as quickly as their busy schedules allow, it may take a few days sometimes to get the Death Certificate through this certification process. Although this certification process before cremation does require some time, it also insures that cremations are not performed before any questions about the cause of death have been adequately answered. The staff at Alavon Direct Cremation Service will always make every effort to complete the cremation for you as promptly as procedural requirements will allow.
Do I have to place an Obituary Notice?
Obituary Notices placed in newspapers are OPTIONAL and are not required.
If you wish to remain private and be selective of who is notified of a death, you are not required to publish a public obituary notice.
Is There a Charge for an Obituary Notice?
Be very careful when placing an obituary notice as there may be a substantial fee.
IMPORTANT: MOST NEWSPAPERS NOW CHARGE FOR OBITUARY NOTICES!
Be very careful when placing an obituary notice as there may be charges from the newspaper for the notice. You should always inquire about any charges BEFORE placing a notice for publication. Contact us directly for more information.
How do I obtain Death Certificates?
Our staff will provide with the forms and assist you in obtaining any required Certified Copies of Death Certificates.
Death Certificates are available through the Vital Statistics office of the county in which the death occured. The original death certificate form originates in our office and is then carried to the certifiying physician by hand. As soon as the death certificate is completed by the physician and approved by the Medical Examiner, it is delivered to the local Vital Statistics office where it is officially filed. After it is filed, the Vital Statistics office will provided CERTIFIED COPIES of the death certificate. Each county sets a fee for each certified copy, for example, Volusia county currently charges $7 for each certified copy. We will provide you with all necessary forms and information so that you may obtain certified copies from the Vital Statistics office. For more information, you may visit their website by using the following link: Volusia County Vital Statistics
How many Death Certificates will I need?
The number of Death Certificates you require will depend on your individual circumstances.
Death certificates are normally required to settle the affairs of the deceased, therefore, the number required will be dependant upon the quantity and status of these assets. We will assist by providing a list of common instances where death certificates may be required. In certain cases, you may wish to consult with your legal advisor on this topic.
Can I just make my own copies of the Death Certificate?
No, you are not supposed to use photocopies in lieu of Certified Copies of the Death Certificate.
The Certified Copy of the Death Certificate is printed on special safety paper and has a raised seal. Photocopies are not usually allowed.
Can I have a Memorial Service at Alavon?
Alavon Direct Cremation Service does not provide Memorial Services.
Alavon Direct Cremation Service is licensed by the State of Florida as a Direct Disposal Establishment. This means that we may not provide any ceremonies such as a viewing, a visitation, or memorial service, but it does not mean you may not have a Memorial Service.
You may coordinate your own memorial service whenever and wherever you choose. We can provide printed items such as PRAYER CARDS, SERVICE FOLDERS, REGISTER BOOKS, ETC. to use for your ceremony but we may not be involved in the ceremony or coordinate it for you. If you do need a professional to coordinate and/or host a ceremony for you, we will be happy to refer you to a local funeral home for that portion of your arrangements.
What are my benefits as a Veteran?
Veterans may be eligible for several different benefits.
Any honorably discharged veteran is entitled to certain benefits upon death, but may not always be eligible for monetary benefits. To determine whether you qualify for monetary benefits or reimbursements, we encourage you to speak with a local county Veterans Services representative: Volusia County , Flagler County or call the Veterans Administration directly.
Each honorably discharged veteran is entitled to be buried in a VA cemetery (space permitting) and veterans who choose cremation may even elect to have their ashes placed in Arlington National Cemetery, if desired. In addition, the next of kin of an honorably discharged veteran will be eligible to receive a burial flag in their memory. We will assist you in obtaining a flag and can provide the forms necessary to apply for burial benefits.
Does Social Security or the VA ever pay for the cremation?
Social Security does not pay for final arrangements.
While some survivors my be eligible for a survivor benefit, it will be only be sent to the survivor and cannot be assigned by a funeral home or cremation service. For more information, visit the Social Security Administration website.
The VA may pay a partial reimbursement to the survivor for final expenses.
While the VA does partially reimburse some veterans for final expenses, it is normally only available if the veteran was receiving monetary benefits from the VA during life (i.e., retirement, disability, etc.). Determining if a veteran is eligible for monetary benefits or reimbursements can be complicated. We encourage you to speak with a local county Veterans Services representative: Volusia County , Flagler County or call the Veterans Administration directly to learn more about your eligibility.
Alavon Direct Cremation Service does not usually accept assignment of these benefits.