funeral homes in North Versailles, PA

Body Donation and Funeral Homes

Most people assume that their only two options for their bodies post-death are cremations and funeral homes in North Versailles, PA. Many other common body disposition methods, like body donation, are discounted because of misinformation that has permeated social media and the Internet.

Even though body donation is so important, many people choose to skip it because they believe common body disposition myths. To clear things up, here are common donation myths and their truths.

  • Body Donation Is Expensive – There is absolutely not cost to the donor or donor family involved in body donation. In fact, the organization that receives the body pays all related donation costs. For example, if it’s a transplant, the receiving patient’s insurance usually covers the cost. Or, if the body is being donated to a medical training facility, the facility furnishes all necessary costs.
  • I Can’t Donate Because I’m Sick– Don’t assume that a body won’t qualify as a donor because of disease or other sickness. Some diseases only affect one part of the body, making the rest totally viable. For example, someone that died of heart disease may still be able to donate his or her eyes. Let the professionals decide if your body is a prospect for donation.
  • My Remains Won’t Be Treated with Respect – Most people fear that their bodies will be disposed of in any way the organization feels after the donation is complete. This is not true. The majority of bodies donated are cremated after any procedures are completed. In fact, some medical facilities that get a lot of body donations often have a memorial service at the end of their training in recognition and respect for their donors. In many cases, the cremated remains can also be returned to the family, if they so choose.
  • Donors Don’t Get Saved – A common way of thinking is that doctors and nurses don’t work as hard to save donors, but this couldn’t be further from the truth. When you’re in a hospital or doctor’s office, the medical professionals are only focused on helping you, not some amorphous donor. Organ and tissue donation are only considered when there is no other option to save or revive the potential donor in question.

Body donation might not be for everyone, but it can be a great choice for those interested in helping others after they’re gone. If it’s right for you, body donation is an incredibly important part of modern medicine. Whether the body is used for research, transplants, or even both, it is going towards saving lives. Giving all or part of your body to help save others is noble and always appreciated. According to the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA), a full organ donor will either save or better the lives of 6 to 8 people, while a full tissue donor can better the lives of 50 or more people.

funeral homes in North Versailles, PA

Just reach out to Patrick T. Lanigan Funeral Home and Crematory, Inc. if you have more questions on body donation, or about North Versailles, PA funeral homes. You can stop by and visit us or give us a call. We’re happy to help however we can.

cremation services in Monroeville, PA

Burial, Cremation Services and the Environment

The two most common choices for body disposition are burial and cremation services in Monroeville, PA. Both offer many pros and cons, so it can be hard for people to choose which one they want.

One way to make the choice easier is to think about each one’s effect on the environment. A lot of people never even think about burials’ or cremation’s environmental impact, but that should have a part in your decision.

To begin traditional, full-service burials have considerable negative impact on the environment. One of the biggest ones is loss of habitat. A recent statistic from the Centre for National Burial states that 10 acres of cemetery holds almost 20,000 tons of vault concrete, 1000 tons of casket steal, and enough wood to build over 40 full-sized homes. All that material leaves little room for animal and plant life. Not to mention loss of land that could otherwise be used to grow food or build homes.

On the other hand, cremation can be a much greener choice, depending on how you go about it as there are still some downsides to cremation in terms of the environment. Standard crematoriums burn a lot of natural gas, and therefore release lots of greenhouse gases and chemical vapors that can harm the atmosphere. Not to mention that to fully dehydrate a human body to bone and ash, a crematorium has to be fully heated to at least 1400 degrees Fahrenheit and maintain the heat for a minimum of 45 minutes. This process releases a lot of carbon dioxide and uses up a lot of fossil fuel. But, new technology and more fuel-efficient crematorium centers have greatly reduced these negative impacts.

However, there are ways you can make cremation even greener, like:

  • Remove and recycle all medical materials. Remove and recycle medical devices and parts, like pacemakers, before cremation. Burning said parts can release harmful gases and produce non-biodegradable ash.
  • Get a green cremation container. Cremation providers generally require bodies to be in a rigid, consumable, and leak-proof casket for the cremation process. Burning these caskets can give off noxious gases and fumes, if you chose a bad one. When picking out your cremation casket, look for one made of non-toxic and renewable material.
  • Get a biodegradable urn. Many people chose to bury their loved one’s ashes after cremation. While urns and ashes take up less space than a full-size grave, urns slow down the decay process and may negatively impact the surrounding earth. Choose a biodegradable urn to better protect the local ground.

cremation services in Monroeville, PA

Cremation services are much better for the environment than burials, even without the above small changes. However, if you are committed to helping the environment in body disposition, a few small tweaks to a common Monroeville, PA cremation service can go a long way. If you want to learn more, you can reach out to Patrick T. Lanigan Funeral Home and Crematory, Inc. by visiting us or giving us a call. We’d love to help you in any way we can.

funeral home needs in Monroeville, PA

Five Important Documents

Preplanning for your funeral home needs in Monroeville, PA is one way to get ready for your eventual passing. Another way is to make sure you’re organized when it comes to important documents. A good place to start is to gather and prepare these five important documents so your loved ones are not left with the difficult task all on their own after you’re gone.

  1. Healthcare Power of Attorney – A healthcare power of attorney (POA) document appoints someone to make your medical decisions for you if you ever become unable. This document is good to have in the event of any medical problems from terminal illnesses and loss of brain function to temporary unconsciousness. Choose someone you trust to be your healthcare POA. Some states require a POA to be notarized with additional witnesses, but all states require the document to be signed by all involved parties.
  2. HIPAA Release – The Health Insurance Portability and Accountability Act (HIPAA) stipulate that all medical records are confidential between the patient and the healthcare provider. If you want a family member to have access to your records in case you pass away or become incapacitated, you need to fill out and sign a HIPPAA Release form.
  3. Will – Your will is a document that states who will receive your assets and belongings after you pass. Wills must meet some important criteria to be valid, so it’s always a good idea to consult an attorney. Make sure your will clearly identifies itself as your personal will and clearly lists your name, date of birth, and social security number. Also be sure it names an executor to make sure your exact wishes are carried out, from cremation to dividing the assets. Don’t forget to clearly list and identify the heirs, name all your assets, from bank accounts to estates and everything in between, and designate which heir will get what percentage of each asset. Finally, make sure your will is signed by you and two or three witnesses. You can also draw up a living will in the event you become incapacitated in some way. Different than a POA or a will, a living will lets you lay out your end of life wishes in the event you become terminally ill.
  4. ICE Book of Important Documents – While an in case of emergency (ICE) book isn’t a formal document, it’s a major help for families to gain access to important documents when a loved one passes away or is incapacitated. Make one and keep it in a secure yet obvious place in the event of your death. Include documents in your ICE book like:
      • Tax returns going back 5 years
      • Bank accounts
      • Medical and dental records
      • Insurance information
      • Birth certificate
      • Social security card
      • Important passwords

funeral home needs in Monroeville, PA

Patrick T. Lanigan Funeral Home and Crematory, Inc. is here to help if you have questions about these documents or want to learn about other ways you can prepare for your eventual passing. We offer expert Monroeville, PA funeral home services that can help guide you in your time of preplanning or of loss. Give us a call today.

cremation service in Penn Township, PA

Memorial Jewelry and Cremation Services

Memorial jewelry is a creative and personalized way to memorialize a deceased loved one after a cremation service in Penn Township, PA.

Losing a loved one is always hard, but sometimes the hardest part is not being able to keep your loved one close to you. Memorial jewelry can help you feel like your loved one is close, easing that pain. But what is memorial jewelry? Memorial jewelry can come in many forms, from necklaces and rings to lockets, pendants and bracelets, but every form is a special reminder of the deceased.

Most memorial jewelry is made through a similar process. Once a body is cremated, the family sends the remains to a jeweler. The remains, consisting of minerals like calcium phosphates, are combined with molten glass gold, silver, platinum or other materials using special encasement methods to mold the remains and the metals together. The goal is this molding is to display and protect the cremated remains. Since every person’s chemical makeup is slightly different, every piece of memorial jewelry will have a slightly different chemical reaction, resulting in different colors, shapes, and patterns. In other words, every piece of memorial jewelry will be just as unique as the person it’s made from. Families can also choose to include items like hair or dried flowers in the jewelry piece for even more uniqueness.

If you’re considering memorial jewelry for your lost loved one, there are a few things you should keep in mind:

  1. Material – Though you can have memorial jewelry in almost any material, you should think about how and how often you’re going to wear it, as some materials are more durable than others. For example, if you’re making a ring that you’re only going to wear on special occasions, resin is fine. However, if you want to wear the ring on a daily basis, you need a stronger material like silver.
  2. The Deceased – Also keep in mind how the deceased would want to be memorialized. Think about his or her styles, preferences, and even interests for inspiration. How do you think you could best memorialize your lost loved one?
  3. Style – You should choose memorial jewelry in a style that you will actually wear. If you don’t like big pendants, maybe choose a small bracelet or locket. Be sure that you choose a style that fits your comfort level or consider a piece that is simple and timeless for the coming generations.

Memorial jewelry is just one of the many options you have to memorialize a lost loved one after a cremation. If memorial jewelry isn’t for you, you can always choose a more traditional method like a displaying the remains in a cremation urn, scattering them, burying them, or putting up a headstone.

cremation service in Penn Township, PA

Do you want to learn more about memorial jewelry, or have questions about Penn Township, PA cremation services? Patrick T. Lanigan Funeral Home and Crematory, Inc. is here to help. You can pay us a visit or give us a call for more information about what we can do for you in your time of loss.

funeral homes in North Versailles, PA

Arranging Services at a Funeral Home

How do you go about arranging funeral home services? No matter if you’re preplanning for your own passing, or planning for a loved one’s recent death, it’s helpful to know what steps you need to take to arrange services at funeral homes in North Versailles, PA.

  • Choose Which Services You Want– There are a few different types of cremations, and the first step is to choose which one you want. The two main types of cremation you can choose from are traditional cremation and direct cremation. Traditional cremation involves a funeral before the cremation. The body is embalmed and put in a casket for a funeral service, then cremated afterward. Direct cremation happens before any type of service, so the body is not embalmed or put in a casket.
  • Get a Death Certificate– You will have to furnish a death certificate in order for a funeral home or cremation facility to process the body. If you don’t already have one, some funeral homes and crematories may help you get one for an extra charge. Be sure to get extra copies, as you will need a death certificate copy for many stops along the way. If you need copies after you’ve already submitted the original, contact your local county records office.
  • Complete the Necessary Authorization Forms– Before a body can be embalmed, cremated, or otherwise processed it needs to be held and examined by the county coroner or medical examiner. The examiner must fill out and sign an authorization form showing information including date of birth, pacemakers or other implants, infectious diseases, and time, place and cause of death. Many authorization forms also include fingerprints or other body identifiers.
  • Arrange Body Transportation – Most funeral homes and crematories provide transportation for the body from the place of death, medical office or storage to the crematorium. In some cases, the family must arrange separate transportation.
  • Choose and Purchase a Casket – Even if you choose a direct cremation, you will still need a cremation casket for the body to be cremated in. Some facilities provide a cremation casket free of charge, but you may purchase one if you wish.
  • Determine Post Service Plans– If you choose cremation, the cremated remains will be returned to you after the cremation, and you must make plans for what to do with them. Some common options are scattering, burying or interring, displaying or storing the remains. Scattering is very common, and is when loved ones, friends or family scatter the remains in a special place, or even into water. Be sure to check for local laws about scattering and get any necessary permits. Others choose to bury or inter the remains in the ground, a mausoleum, or a columbarium. You can also display the remains in an urn at home or some other special location.

funeral homes in North Versailles, PA

Patrick T. Lanigan Funeral Home and Crematory, Inc. is here to help if you would like more guidance on arranging North Versailles, PA funeral home services. Visit us or give us a call today.

cremation services in North Versailles, PA

Cremation Service Basics

Whether you’re planning for your eventual passing or dealing with the recent death of a loved one, death is never easy. The loss itself is hard, not to mention the added stress of planning for body preparation, memorial services, and funeral options to burials and more. One thing that can ease the stress is having all the necessary information, especially about cremation services in North Versailles, PA.

What is cremation? In the most technical sense, cremation is when a body is broken down to mineral fragments, gases and ashes by combustion, vaporization, and oxidization. This process has been used for thousands of years but has become much more advanced in recent times.

Breaking down a body via cremation requires intense heat, oftentimes up to 18000 degrees Fahrenheit. The body is placed into a cremation chamber, and the chamber is heated by natural gas, oil or propane. The heat dries out the body until the bones are calcified into fragments, and all the gases are fully secreted. The gas is released into a filtration system while the bone fragments cool. After the fragments are cooled, they are ground into a fine ash inside a machine called a cremulator. The ash is put inside an urn or receptacle and returned to the family. On average, it takes about two full hours to cremate a body, and the average human body produces anywhere from three to seven pounds of ash.

A lot of people are wary of cremation because of potential religious concerns. However, there are lots of different beliefs when it comes to cremation. In fact, some religions encourage or even require it. It’s also important to remember that cremation doesn’t have to mean you can’t have a funeral or memorial service. Cremation is usually used in addition to other services to remember and honor the deceased.

Cost is oftentimes one of the foremost concerns for any burial, preparation or cremation, even though most people would prefer not to have to think about money when it comes to their lost loved one. Cremation is becoming more and more popular because it’s generally less expensive than other body disposition choices. Cremation costs usually include:

  • Cremation equipment such as cremation caskets for burning or urns for ash holding.
  • Funeral home services like body transportation, funeral home services and facilities, staff, and cremation fuel charges.
  • Final resting place costs like burial plot or columbarium purchases. Be aware, there are also fees grave opening and closing, headstone installation and endowment care.

cremation services in North Versailles, PA

Deciding if cremation is the right choice for our and your family, friends and loved ones is ultimately very personal, and depends on what values you deem most important. Patrick T. Lanigan Funeral Home and Crematory, Inc. is here to help if you want to learn more about North Versailles, PA cremation services, or would like to further discuss their potential benefits. We have many years of cremation experience and would love to use that experience to help you choose what’s best for your family. Please stop by and visit us or give us a call today.

funeral home in North Versailles, PA

Estate Planning Attorneys and Funeral Homes

It’s important to plan and protect your family in case anything should happen to you before your time, or in the event of your eventual passing. However, there’s a lot to consider when preplanning at a funeral home in North Versailles, PA. Could an estate-planning attorney might be able to help you?

Estate planning attorneys help guide you through the process of deciding how you want to divide your assets, gathering and preparing necessary post-life documents, and making sure your wishes are carried out after you’re gone. These lawyers are important because sometimes, without proper legal advice, affairs are left up to family members that are unsure of your wishes, or, in the worst case, might fight over the decisions. Estate lawyers can help you draft, review, and authorize important documents such as your Last will and testament, Trusts, Durable power of attorney, Medical durable power of attorney and Beneficiary designations.

But do you really need an estate-planning lawyer? For most people, the answer is generally no. You don’t really need an estate planning unless:

  1. Your net worth is more than $5 million. If you have a large net worth, your estate might be subject to estate tax. In that case, it’s a good idea to consult a lawyer to make sure that your beneficiaries get what you wish as opposed to it being taken by taxes.
  2. You own large or many properties. Dividing up property can be tricky as titles are held in many ways and there are often confusing technicalities that you might be unaware of. In some cases, you might not even have the right to bequeath certain properties. An experiences lawyer can help guide you through these confusing laws to make sure your property is dealt with appropriately.
  3. You have special circumstances. From children with disabilities to foreign property or heirs, special circumstances and finances are tough to navigate. A specialized estate-planning attorney can show you the way to get through such special circumstances.

Like all other lawyers, estate-planning attorneys charge fees. They generally charge a flat rate for prepping your desired documents and a per hour rate for more complicated tasks like handling disputes or carrying out the will. The exact rates depend on where you live and what caliber of lawyer you wish to procure. Be sure to decide on rates up front with your lawyer to protect yourself from getting over charged.

If you’re unsure if you need an estate-planning lawyer, it couldn’t hurt to get a consultation. Remember, most lawyers do charge fees even for consultations, but sometimes peace of mind is worth the small cost.

funeral home in North Versailles, PA

If you have more questions about estate planning or want to know more about preplanning for your passing, Patrick T. Lanigan Funeral Home and Crematory, Inc. can help. We offer expert North Versailles, PA funeral home services and are happy to do whatever we can for you in your time of loss. Please give us a call today for more information.

Cremation services in Monroeville, PA

Water Cremation Services

Cremation services in Monroeville, PA have been popular for a very long time, but have been even more so in recent years for many reasons including price, ease, flexibility, and environmental benefits.

However, there is a new kind of cremation on the market that may offer all those benefits and more: water cremation. Water cremation, or alkaline hydrolysis, puts an interesting and unique spin on traditional cremation procedures, and might even be better for the environment as it simulates a more natural tissue and bone decay process than traditional flame-based methods.

Water cremations do not involve any burning, so no harmful gases or pollutants are released into the air. Rather, during a water cremation, the body is placed in a steel chamber. The chamber is then filled with an alkaline solution made up of 95% water and 5% potassium hydroxide and raised to a very high pressure to prevent boiling. The chamber, and the body in the solution, is then heated to around 350 degrees Fahrenheit for an extended period of time, from 4 to 16 hours.

The heat, pressure and solution work together to break down the body, leaving only the bones. At the beginning of the process, the mixture is strongly basic, with a pH level of approximately 14. However, by the end of the process, the pH can drop 11. The body slowly dissolves, and the bones, once removed from the chamber, crushed into ash and returned to the family just like in a traditional cremation. However, water cremated remains are much lighter in color and in texture than classic cremated remains. Cremated remains made from flames are often darker and denser from the various combustion reactions that occur when the body is heated under extreme temperatures.

While water cremation may seem strange, it’s actually just a more sped up version of what would happen when a body decay naturally. Interestingly, the process was originally developed as a way to process animal carcasses into plant food back in 1888. In 2007, a biochemist from Scotland founded a company to make the machines necessary to use the method to process human remains. 2007 wasn’t that long ago, so water cremations are still pretty new. The method is so new, in fact, that it’s currently only legal as a means of final disposition in 16 states, including Oregon, Illinois, Colorado, Nevada, California, and more. Laws on water cremation are currently pending in states like New Jersey, New York, and Pennsylvania.

Though out of the box, water cremations might be the way of the future. Would you consider a water cremation for yourself or for a lost loved one?

Cremation services in Monroeville, PA

Whether or not you would, you can still turn to Patrick T. Lanigan Funeral Home and Crematory, Inc. for your cremation needs. Patrick T. Lanigan Funeral Home and Crematory, Inc. has been offering compassionate, affordable and expert Monroeville, PA cremation services for many years. We’d be happy to answer any questions you may have. Please pay us a visit or give us a call to learn more about how we can help you in your time of loss.

funeral homes in Monroeville, PA

Funeral Homes and Pets

Losing a pet is never easy and is oftentimes incredibly difficult and devastating. Luckily, many funeral homes in Monroeville, PA offer a range of funeral and cremation services for pets so pet owners can honor their furry friends in a meaningful and respectful way.

Planning pet funeral and cremation services start with deciding how you want to send your friend to his final resting place. Pet cremation is one great way to memorialize your pet. You can scatter the ashes somewhere special after the cremation or keep them in a pet cremation urn.

Pet burials are another common and beneficial option. You can bury your pet in the comfort of your own yard, or in a pet cemetery. You can also plan a pet funeral or memorial service to go along with the body disposition. You can hold the service at your home, where you plan to scatter the ashes, in a funeral home, or in a pet cemetery. Be sure to choose a location that allows you to express your grief in a healthy way and sets you up to properly begin the healing process. Also, be sure to get any necessary permissions or permits before you host a ceremony in a public space.

Just like a service for a deceased person, a pet funeral or memorial is an honorable way to memorialize your pet’s life and say goodbye in a constructive way. There are many different ways you can celebrate your pet in a memorial. For example, you can invite friends and family members who were a part of your pet’s life or understand how important he was to you. Gather around the grave or ashes and share pet memories or stories. You may also choose to play music, read poems or share feelings. You can ask attendants to help eulogize, say prayers, or just talk about how your lost pet made them feel. Bring along special stationary, cards or paper on which people can write down their feelings or thoughts. This way you can hold onto these ideas and memories to go through later on when you miss your pet.

Just like traditional funeral services, pet funeral and memorial services benefit from some sort of visual representation of the deceased. You can craft a small tribute or viewing in the memory of your pet by decorating a table with memories of your lost pet like tags, collars, favorite toys or photos. If you chose to cremate the body, you may also choose to display the urn for the viewing. If you don’t have an urn, you can also print a large photo of your pet. Feel free to continue decorating with candles, flowers or drawings. You can also collect photos and home videos to make a video montage of your pet.

funeral homes in Monroeville, PA

Losing a pet is painful, but a funeral or memorial service and help ease the pain. Many Monroeville, PA funeral homes offer pet services. You can contact Patrick T. Lanigan Funeral Home and Crematory, Inc. to learn more about our unique services by visiting or calling us. We’d be happy to give you any additional information you need.

cremation services in Penn Township, PA

Cremation Service Trends

As cremation services in Penn Township, PA rise in popularity they are starting to show some trends. What are the current cremation service trends? Would they work for you and your loved ones?

Learn more about each one to see if the current cremation service trends might be right for your eventual or for a recently deceased loved one.

  1. Painted Ash Art – You can also use cremated remains in paint for art pieces. Remains are mixed with special paint that can then be used to produce a portrait of the deceased, or another special image. Cremated ashes have also been used in sculpting materials to create unique vases and home items that can be given to family members of the deceased. Its important to note, though, that you have to find a qualified and experienced artist that is comfortable with working with cremated ashes and knows how to treat this material with respect. These cremation art pieces are always unique and can be treasured for generations to come.
  2. Water Cremations – As more and more states are making water cremations legal, they are quickly becoming very popular. Unlike traditional, flame-based cremations, water cremations are much better for the environment. They also simulate standard body decay processes for a more “natural” disposition. Not to mention that the cremated remains from a water cremation are much lighter and less likely to be mixed with harmful pollutants than those from a standard cremation as the remains were not burned at extreme temperatures or exposed to chemicals and gases.
  3. Cremation Jewels – Everyone knows you can turn your loved one’s ashes into jewelry, but not everyone knows you can turn them into actual jewels. Thanks to major technological advancements, you can quickly turn your loved one into a precious stone for a pretty fair price. You can send the deceased’s ashes to have them be pressed into a diamond that can then be set into jewelry or turned into a priceless family heirloom. Every diamond made from cremated remains is just as unique and precious as the person it came from.
  4. Scattering Parties – Scattering parties are the answer to what to do with the deceased cremated remains. Rather than a private ceremony, the new trend is to have a scattering party or event tied to releasing the ashes. As people are starting to leave detailed cremation instructions and release requests, it’s even easier to plan an event that matches your lost loved one’s interests and spirit. Scattering events have taken a life of their own, from sails and hikes to everything in between. They are a wonderful way to celebrate the lost loved one in a unique way as you put them to rest.

cremation services in Penn Township, PA

These are just a few of the many ways that cremations are changing and evolving with the times. If you’re interested in any of these modern cremation trends or want to learn more about standard and traditional Penn Township, PA cremation services, Patrick T. Lanigan Funeral Home and Crematory, Inc. is here to help. Call or visit us today.