A photo of Jeff Monreal, owner and operator of Jeff Monreal Funeral Homes posing in a black suit with no background

Painesville Location

1000 Mentor Avenue Painesville, Ohio 44077

Willoughby Location

38001 Euclid Avenue Willoughby, Ohio 44094

Mentor Location

6330 Center Street Mentor, Ohio 44060

Understanding Burial Insurance 

Providing Financial Support When It’s Needed Most

A type of whole life insurance is known as burial insurance. This policy pays for final, funeral, or other end of life expenses.

There are three types of burial insurance policies: pre-need insurance, guaranteed issue, and simplified issue.


Burial insurance, a form of whole life coverage, offers financial security for end-of-life expenses like funerals. It encompasses three policy types: pre-need, guaranteed issue, and simplified issue, letting you choose beneficiaries and coverage. With no restrictions on usage, payouts cover funeral arrangements, medical bills, debts, and legal expenses. Cost-effective and accessible, these policies start at $53/month with coverage ranging from $5,000 to $35,000, requiring no medical exams or considering pre-existing conditions. Planning for funeral costs becomes essential, and burial insurance provides a viable solution, offering peace of mind during challenging times.

How does burial insurance work?

You can choose your beneficiary upon your death and the amount of coverage when you take out the insurance policy.

Your beneficiary must contact the insurance company as soon as possible to begin the claims process following the insured’s death. The beneficiary may be required to provide identification, a claims form, and provide a certified copy of your death certificate.

Funeral Insurance Covers:

There are no restrictions on how the insurance payout will be used. Your beneficiary may choose to use the payout for:

• Funeral service and viewing arrangement

• Interment and burial costs

• Costs of cremation

• Any medical bills

• Any debt remaining outstanding

• Any legal costs

If you need to leave a substantial sum, a whole-life policy may be a consideration.

Burial Insurance Policy Cost

One of the most affordable types of insurance today, burial insurance, is available even for older adults. This is due to its lower coverage amounts.

Regarding burial insurance costs, final expense life insurance rates start at $53 a month, with coverage amounts from $5,000 to $35,000, and premiums can be paid monthly or annually.

Funeral insurance policies do not require a medical exam, and pre-existing conditions are not a consideration in obtaining a policy.

Types of Burial Insurance 

Simplified Issue

The insurance company evaluates your medical health; no medical examination is required. 

Guaranteed Issue

No medical examination or questions are asked. Because the risk is higher to the insurance company, this type of policy costs are higher. There is a waiting period of about twenty-four or thirty-six months to receive full death benefits.

Pre-Need Insurance 

Your funeral provider will be a part of the contract in this type of policy. This agreement includes specific services and products you wish to have and are selected through the funeral home. The policy payout goes directly to them instead of your beneficiary.

Is Burial Insurance worth it?

According to the National Funeral Directors Association, the median funeral cost in 2019 was $7,640. So, suppose you’re on a tight budget and can’t afford a standard life insurance policy. In that case, funeral insurance can give you the coverage you need to handle significant end-of-life expenses. 

Burial insurance is typically a whole-life policy that lasts until you pass away. 

Plan for funeral costs

The cost is one of the most important things to plan for your funeral. Once you’ve decided what type of service you’re looking to have and whether you’d like to be buried or cremated, planning how you’ll finance it is essential. Letting your loved ones know what to expect in advance takes a massive burden off them during an already difficult time.

If you’re still considering pre-arranging your service, Jeff Monreal Funeral Home can answer your questions and help you make the right decision for you and your family.

Funeral Trends of 2024 from Preplanning to Cremation Rates

In recent years, new services and technology have allowed people to personalize and customize a funeral in untraditional and creative ways.

So, funeral trends may surprise you and are worth investigating, from pre planned funerals to celebrating a loved one. 

Cremation Rates are Rising (along with everything else)

The most common type of funeral practice has been burial. However, since the 1960s, cremation has gained popularity in the USA.

The USA cremation rate has increased by almost 30 percent since 2000. As of 2020, the rate reached 73.1 percent and is expected to grow to 77.6 percent by 2024. 

Lower cost is a significant reason for the increase in cremation rates. Traditional burials range in price from three thousand to over twelve thousand dollars because burials generally include increased funeral expenses.

For example, a casket alone typically runs between two thousand three hundred and five thousand dollars but can also cost upwards of twenty thousand dollars depending on customization. 

In contrast, cremation funeral costs fall between two thousand and five thousand dollars. With people choosing to have simple ceremonies, most of the expense goes toward cremation, provider fees, and urn purchases. Urns range in price from ten dollars to upwards of two thousand dollars. 

Direct cremation further reduces the average costs of a funeral. The remains of the loved one are sent directly to a cremation service center shortly after death, eliminating goods and services such as the casket, embalming, viewing, visitation, and wake. Direct cremation usually falls within the fifteen hundred to four thousand plus dollar price range.

Sustainability is a significant reason cremation has become more popular and is viewed as more environmentally friendly than burials. It requires less energy, is less labor-intensive, and uses fewer resources. 

Cremation also offers many options for the family members. Burial funerals need to take place in a relatively short period, and planning a large funeral becomes stressful. For cremation, families can hold the funeral or memorial immediately or celebrate much later. This also makes celebrating the deceased’s life easier with extended family and friends. 

Funeral Preplanning

The cost of dying has been steadily increasing over time, causing a surge in funeral arrangements made in advance, known as preplanning. People choose to customize funeral arrangements and memorial service ahead of time so that their wishes are followed with specific products and services. Preplanning gives us control over what will happen when we die. 

The prepaid funeral arrangement contract is a legal agreement made before death. This contract can be made with the funeral home service provider or funeral insurance company or within a life insurance policy. Your pre-selected arrangements will pay for the funeral with these allocated funds after death. 

This type of contract also helps protect you from inflation because the services are guaranteed at the pre-selected price.

Cremation Alternatives for Scattering and Burial

In recent years, the cremated remains were buried, scattered, interred in a niche or columbarium, or kept at the family home. Today, there are other options available: 

• Placing the ashes into keepsake jewelry or art

• Sending some of the ashes into space

• Incorporating ashes into fireworks.

• Pressing the ashes into a vinyl record

• Turning the ashes into a memorial diamond

• Turning ashes into memorial stones

• Growing ashes into a tree

• Adding ashes to a plush toy

• Painting a portrait with ashes

• Turning ashes into an underwater reef ball

• Scattering ashes from the sky

The Funeral Party

A growing trend for a funeral is focusing on a more joyous event to celebrate the loved one’s life. A great example is a celebration of life party. A celebration of life can have more solemn and respectful moments, but it is generally a more joyous celebration. Often, it is a mixture of both.

A funeral party allows us to hold a memorial for the deceased person and celebrate their life. Activities such as incorporating favorite foods, music, and decorations are common. 

These are some activity ideas:

  • An open mic night where friends and family take turns on stage sharing memories of their time with the deceased.
  • Memorial videos or slideshows are shared.
  • Participate in a favorite pastime or hobby. For example, go fishing, hiking, stargazing, or a game of golf.
  • Have a DJ play the loved one’s favorite music.
  • Have dinner and serve the deceased person’s favorite foods.

The Crowdfunding Option 

Crowdfunding provides a way for the family of the deceased as an aid in covering some of the costs of the funeral. 

Crowdfunding platforms are used to raise money for causes important to the deceased. Such as breast or lung cancer if that’s what caused the deceased’s death. Some of these raised funds can go to cancer research. 


If you have questions about cremation or the non-traditional funeral service, need information about direct cremation, or have any other concerns, contact us at Jeff Monreal Funeral Home. 

We can help you make funeral arrangements or to preplan a funeral. Contact us anytime at (440)527-6294.

If you would like to learn more about cremation, visit the Cremation Association of North America’s website.

Most funeral directors and funeral homes employees are trained to deal with grief and frequently deal with people who have lost loved ones. They try to make the process of planning a funeral service as easy and stress-free as possible for those in mourning. They also usually have a working knowledge of grief and how it works, and are able to work with those who have recently experienced loss.

What Can You Do if You Can’t Afford Funeral Home Services?

What do you do if you can’t afford a service at a funeral home? Learn helpful tips for planning a funeral service to help relieve the financial burden.

The cost of funerals varies, but they don’t have to be extravagant and expensive. What do you do if you can’t afford a funeral at a Northeastern Ohio funeral home? Who’s responsible for paying for the funeral, anyway?

Common questions surrounding paying for funeral and cremation services:

• What if there is a refusal to pay for the funeral? 

The funeral home does not have to take custody of the body. The funeral home does not have to accept the body if a family does not pay. Suppose the funeral home already has custody of the body, and the family refuses to pay. In that case, the funeral home will stop all planning, goods and services.

The body will be refrigerated per Ohio regulations. The family is charged a storage fee for the length of time the body is stored there. The body can be transferred to the State of Ohio at any time.

Are there government bodies that help with funeral costs?

Several government organizations help with funeral costs and the body’s final disposition. These agencies include:

  • Social Security
  • State Department of Health
  • Veteran’s Affairs
  • FEMA (if death occurred due to a natural disaster)

• What about getting a funeral loan? 

Many credit unions, online lenders, and banks offer loans to cover funeral expenses. Anyone can apply for a funeral loan. 

• Do you have to have a funeral?

You’re not required to have a funeral. So, you don’t have to worry if you can’t afford one. To save money, you can select a direct burial or cremation option (the most affordable final disposition services).

But if you want a funeral or service, there are ways to do so without spending too much money. The National Funeral Directors recommend personal loans covering the cost, along with establishing monthly payments.

• If the deceased has no money, who pays? 

The next of kin traditionally pays for funeral expenses if the deceased has no money. If the next-of-kin aren’t able or don’t want to pay, there won’t be a funeral. 

• Are there free burials or cremations? 

The county coroner’s office provides a form for the next of kin to sign, and the state will cremate or bury the body. While this is a free service, you will not have any say in where or how.

•   Is it free to donate the body to science?

Donating a body to science does result in a no-cost cremation. You can donate your body to science to medical schools, medical laboratories, and local hospitals. 

The Bottom Line 

There are numerous ways to deal with getting help to pay for a funeral such as buying a life insurance policy and opening a bank account. There is the option of paying with a credit card, and sometimes families can split the cost. The process is much less stressful when you plan. 

If you are feeling like you can’t afford a funeral home service, don’t fret. Paying for a service at any funeral home can be stressful, but it doesn’t have to be. Take time for the pre-planning funeral options, including how your family members or loved ones will pay for your services. We are here to help if you want to learn more about preplanning or dealing with a recent loss. Call us at Jeff Monreal Funeral Home or visit us today. 

Know your Rights when Planning a Funeral 

Would you know where to start if someone asked you to help plan a funeral? The Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) Rule allows you to compare prices among funeral homes, and makes it possible for you to select the funeral arrangements you want at the home you use. The FTC rule also provides:

  • Relevant information about funeral services and goods.
  • The different types of funerals.
  • Knowing your rights will help you make informed choices.

You can choose the things you need or want, and you can compare prices.

The FTC’s Rule states that funeral homes must give you services such as product information, including prices, over the phone. Some funeral homes also provide pricing information online.

Consumer Rights

The FTC has promulgated a rule setting forth consumer rights when purchasing funeral goods and services.  Some of these rights in the FTC rule are as follows:

  • -A right to receive price information over the telephone.
  • -The funeral home must give the consumer a general price list.
  • -The consumer has a right to use an alternative container instead of a casket for cremation. For example, the body could be placed in an unfinished wood, pressed wood, fiberboard or cardboard box.
  • -The consumer may purchase a casket elsewhere and the funeral home must accept this casket.
  • -Funeral arrangements can be made without embalming of the body. No State law requires embalming for every death. Refrigeration of the body is an acceptable alternative. However many funeral homes have a policy of requiring embalming if the body will be publicly viewed.

You have rights, whether the arrangements are made online, by telephone, or in person. More rights are listed below:

In Summary, You have the Right to:

  • Purchase only the services (such as a memorial service) and goods (such as a casket) that you want and are not required to buy a package deal 
  • Use a container other than a casket for cremation–such as those made of cardboard, pressed wood, or another material
  • Make use of an urn or casket you purchased elsewhere
  • Receive a written statement after making decisions and before you pay anything. This statement is required to list the price for every service, any goods you have chosen, and the total cost.

You can use the FTC’s Funeral Pricing Checklist to compare costs and ask about available options at different funeral providers. 

The Funeral Rule, enforced by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC), allows you to choose only those services and goods you need and want. The Rule will enable you to compare prices between different funeral homes, making it possible to select the funeral arrangements you want at the funeral home you use. 

Basic Services of the Funeral Home 

The Basic Services fee cannot be declined and is included in all arrangements. This fee covers the death certificate, all required permits, planning for the funeral, coordinating arrangements with the cemetery, cemetery plot, basic sanitation, and holding the remains. This fee is included in the prices shown for immediate burial or direct cremation. 

Compassion When You Need It Most

When you are faced with calling a funeral home, I invite you to call the funeral director at Jeff Monreal Funeral Home at any time of the day or night at (440) 527-6294. You can trust that I will treat your loved one with respect and honor. I will also treat your friends and family members with compassion and dignity during the funeral or cremation process. I pledge that every detail be handled thoroughly and within your budget.

When your loved one passes away it is, unfortunately, time to plan a funeral. There are many questions that you should ask yourself. Are you certain what kind of service you would like to host?

There are plenty of options. Jeff will discuss five choices in this article that you can consider.

There are a considerable number of funeral homes in Lake County, Ohio, but none provide the compassion and service that Jeff Monreal Funeral home does. We offer several different types of funeral services and we want you to be aware of what they are. The particular kind of service you choose depends on a variety of factors. It is hard to make a decision if you do not know all of your options.

Funeral Etiquette: Knowing the Do’s and Don’ts

Knowing what to do or say after a loved one dies can be challenging. You may be grieving too. Proper funeral etiquette can be confusing. Ensuring you don’t offend family members in pain is essential. 

You’re not alone if you don’t know what to do at a funeral. Sharing your condolences and learning how to do so is a part of funeral etiquette that many people don’t know much about. There are some things you can and should not do to express your sympathy during this trying time.

Proper Funeral Etiquette

Social practices and religious and personal preferences are involved in funeral etiquette, which varies considerably. But, the main idea is for you to share your support and participation in grieving for the deceased.

A primary rule is to be understanding and respectful. People do and say things they usually would not do or say when grieving. Your presence or a kind word means a lot to suffering people now.

Be Prompt

Celebrating the deceased person’s life is the purpose of the funeral.

Still, it’s also a time you may see many people you usually do not see very often. Suppose you were asked to participate in the service. It would be best to arrive at least thirty minutes early so that the officiant can review your role.

Choosing your Outfit 

Social customs, traditions, and observed religious services can affect your choice of clothing. The traditional option is black clothing, but this is not required. Today, dressy attire in neutral colors is also appropriate.

Follow Religious Customs

Funerals that take place at a house of worship can vary greatly. You can research ahead of time to be prepared and comfortable. Just remember there will be people at the service to guide you.


The grieving family usually is seated in the first few rows. Typically, you can sit anywhere other than those few first rows. If a family member or friend is having a hard time, you can go to them to offer your support if you would not disturb the ceremony.

Should we bring the children?

If you choose to bring your child, help them prepare beforehand, so they understand what grieving is and that it’s alright to have these feelings now. Whether you should bring the kids depends on whether they were close to the deceased and the child’s age and temperament. Very young children, or those who did not know the deceased, are better off remaining home.


Flowers are an uplifting way to celebrate the deceased’s life and are common at funerals. Avoid anything too upbeat, such as arrangements with stuffed animals or balloons.

Some people prefer to donate to a favorite charity rather than sending flowers. Checking the obituary for a charity the deceased was interested in is a great indicator.

What to say when someone dies?

Finding the right words at a funeral is one of the times most people struggle. Hearing from others during their loss is immensely comforting for grieving people. But don’t let the fear of saying the wrong things keep you from conveying your heartfelt feelings.

Simple phrases such as, “I’m sorry for your loss,” “Sincerest condolences,” or “I’m here for you” work well. Sharing a fond memory of the deceased is also appropriate. It is best to avoid sentiments such as “They’re in a better place now” or “This happened for a reason.”

One of the best ways to extend condolences is by sending a handwritten note or card. Emailing or texting privately is also an appropriate way to reach out. Be careful when using social media, as posting condolences on a family member’s public feed can seem inauthentic or showy. It’s also not a way that such news should be conveyed.

If you are not a family member or close friend, express your sincerest condolences and move along so others can speak to the family.

How did the COVID-19 pandemic change funeral etiquette?

Funerals can look different these days. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, there’s no need to delay a funeral or memorial service because of COVID-19 if you follow proper safety precautions. This includes:

  • Social distancing and mask-wearing
  • Avoiding sharing communal materials, like prayer books or programs
  • Reducing the number of people who are singing or chanting to reduce the spread of the virus through the air
  • Reconsidering traditional customs, like touching the deceased’s body

Some families might choose to delay funerals or hold virtual services as a precautionary measure, which can make grieving harder. Seeing and hugging others can be a powerful source of comfort that many families don’t have right now. Consider other ways to reach out still and show your support, like sharing comforting words or memories via video calls, texts, or letters.

Heartfelt Communication

Knowing how to comfort a grieving person can be an uncomfortable situation. When you know some basic funeral etiquette, you can support the people around you during the funeral service and the grieving process.

Contact us today at Jeff Monreal Funeral Home or learn more about our services.

Planning a Private Funeral and What to Expect

The private funeral is an invitation-only service that is not open to the public. Generally, family of the deceased, close loved ones and close friends of the deceased individual are invited to attend.

Private Funeral

This type of memorial service is a more intimate way to honor the life of your loved one. In addition, it’s important to some people to spend time with those who were most important to the deceased.

Advantages and Disadvantages of a Private Funeral Service

Some of the advantages and disadvantages of the service are listed below:


• Planning is easier as compared to larger funeral services

• Overall, it can be less expensive

• Usually, have fewer people

• More privacy, especially if this is the family custom


• It lessens chances for outreach and support by the community

• Fewer people and a smaller crowd can be a con for some people

Planning a Private Funeral

There are a few steps to follow when planning a private funeral.

• Make your guest list with your family or loved ones

• The death announcement or obituary should mention that it is a private funeral

• Know your budget

• Choose your venue

• Send invitations

• Considerations regarding whether to serve a meal or small bites

Private Funeral Service Announcement

The obituary should mention that this will be a private funeral. In addition, send informal or formal invitations to those invited to the private service.

Appropriate wording examples for a private funeral service:

  1. With great love the ________________________ family asky you to join our private celebration of life of _____________________. A graveside service will be held at __________________________. We will have a small reception at our home __________________________________.
  2. The _____________________family invites you to join us in honoring the life of our beloved ____________________________. A private service and reception at our residence will be held ____________________________. If you cannot attend, please let us know. 

Private Funeral Ideas

There is flexibility in your choice of location

Location flexibility considerations:

  • You can hold a private funeral in your family home. An advantage is that you can save a lot of money by avoiding payment for a venue. Ordering favorite meals is an option, or as a potluck, or even serving appetizers or small bites.
  • A graveside service can eliminate the need for a post-funeral service reception. Instead, you can go to someone’s home or a restaurant to spend more time together. 
  • You can hold the service in a favorite public place, such as a park, a lake, or a beach. This option can be especially meaningful to invited loved ones who spent much time with the deceased at this location. 
  • You can choose to have the service at an event space or restaurant. Both places will need to be contacted beforehand to make reservations. 

Private Funeral Etiquette

Knowing what to expect is helpful.

Who Attends a Private Funeral?

A private funeral is by invitation only and usually includes close family members. Others wish to include close friends as well. 

What to Expect when Attending a Private Funeral

If you attend a private funeral:

  • Private funeral services and post-funeral gatherings tend to be shorter as compared to large funerals
  • You can expect to see family only, or a few close friends in attendance
  • Sometimes, the family may ask you to share any special memories
  • A more casual service and dress can be more casual
  • Do not ask why the family chose a private funeral

What Does It Mean to Have a Private Funeral?

Honoring the life of a deceased loved one in a more intimate private funeral can be a family custom or a personal preference. Deciding if a private funeral works best for you and your family’s needs is an entirely personal choice.

One of the most important things to plan for your funeral is the cost. Once you’ve decided what type of service you’re looking to have and whether you’d like to be buried or cremated, planning how you’ll finance it is important. Letting your loved ones know what to expect in advance takes a huge burden off of them during an already difficult time.

If you’re still thinking about how to arrange your private funeral service, Jeff Monreal Funeral Home can answer your questions and help you make a decision that’s right for you and your family. 

Learn why you should choose us to be your Funeral home.