Answers to some of the most frequently asked questions about funeral, cremation and cemetery services are provided below.
Changing Funeral Homes
I have a pre-arranged contract at another funeral home. Can I use Salem Funerals & Cremations at my death?
Yes, the General Statutes of North Carolina allows for a change or substitution from the original funeral establish. You may make this choice
before or after death has occurred.
My parents are in a retirement home. How can I change the funeral home we designated when they entered the retirement
It's simple, just contact the administrative office at the retirement home and ask them to change your parent's designated funeral provider to Salem
Funeral & Cremations.
What should I do when death occurs at home?
If a death is unexpected, the most common response is to call 911, your doctor, or hospice (if in attendance). Emergency services
personnel such as ambulance, firefighters or police may come to your home, and often
every effort is made to revive the person or to transport them to the hospital.
Sometimes the police may call a coroner, who is a medical doctor. You should feel
free to ask the coroner questions about causes of death, autopsies, etc.
If the death is expected, you may wish not to call 911 since emergency services
people may have to perform invasive resuscitative measures. The funeral home or hospice representative
may not move the deceased until the attending physician, emergency medical team, or hospice representative
pronounces death and calls the funeral home. You should feel free to call Salem Funerals & Cremations for
How do I go about picking a monument or grave marker?
It's best to speak with one of our Staff members because most cemeteries or religions
have specific requirements. Please contact us at 336-722-6122.
What is a disposition and how do I go about picking one?
A disposition is the choice you will make between a ground burial, mausoleum, entombment,
or cremation. This is a very personal choice and is often dictated by faith or an
individual's belief system. Please know that as you make this decision there
will be appropriate practices and requirements for each. Contact us if you have specific
questions; we will be happy to help you.
Does a will cover funeral or cremation service requests?
No. Unfortunately, most people think that they have taken care of everything by
writing a will, establishing a living trust, or even purchasing their cemetery plot.
A will simply leaves instructions for the handling of an individual's financial
affairs, while a living trust usually only clarifies certain general wishes regarding
medical treatment. The service itself needs to be planned with your funeral director.
How do I find out what government benefits are available?
To find out what social security benefits are available to you call 1-800-772-1213
or go to www.ssa.gov
. In some cases, a monetary
burial allowance is available from the Veteran's Benefits Administration.
For assistance with these questions you can call 1-800-827-1000 or go to
Does the government assist with Veteran Benefits?
All veterans can be buried in a veteran cemetery. There are usually several veterans'
cemeteries in each state. The veteran cemetery closest to Winston-Salem is in Salisbury.
There is no charge for veteran funeral services. The Department of Veterans Affairs
also will provide a flag and grave marker, at no charge, after the family produces
the honorable discharge papers (Form: DD 214) from the government. You will find
further information at the U.S. Department of Veteran Affairs website:
There is a monetary allowance for veterans who are receiving veteran's benefits
for service related disabilities. We will call the Veteran's Administration
to determine the individual allowance.
Are there social security benefits for the surviving spouse?
We will always file the notification of death form with the Social Security department.
There is a $255.00 lump sum benefit for the surviving spouse. This notification
will also shift social security payments from the deceased to the surviving spouse.
The household would then receive the greater of the two social security payments
but not both (only provided if the spouse works). For more information, write or
visit any Social Security office, or phone the toll-free number: 1-800-772-1213.
Representatives are available weekdays 7 am to 7 pm.
Do I bring clothing for a cremation?
Often families would rather identity the body of their loved one in their own clothing.
State law and funeral homes require identification of the body to be cremated on
Do you need a casket for cremation?
You do not need a casket, but the state requires the use of a cremation container
for the handling of the body and identification. There are various types of cremation
containers, please discuss these options with your funeral director.
How do I get information about obituaries?
Please refer to your local paper for examples, if you are not familiar with the format.
Are obituaries free?
No. They are billed per line of newspaper text, however; our staff will be able
to help you with a general estimate. Please do not hesitate to ask us about this.
Who is responsible for the obituary notice?
You are responsible for supplying the information for the obituary notice. This can be in the form
of an email or simple text. Salem Funerals & Cremations will submit the notice in all newspapers you
wish and help you prepare the final edition.