10 Things You Should Know Before Buying Funeral Home Services

1. Aren’t all Sacramento funeral homes the same?

No.  Each funeral home reflects the personality or strategy of the ownership. If the emphasis is on making money, then the bottom line forces the staff to move quickly to selling services and product. If the emphasis is on compassion and care, then it is reflected by attitude of the staff and there is a greater concern for the well being of the grieving family over profits. There is no hurry and there is never pressure to buy anything you don’t want at Heritage Oaks Memorial Chapel.

2. Don’t all Funeral Homes charge the same…too much?

Over the last 15 to 20 years, many independently owned funeral homes have been bought out by large corporations.  The result has been that prices have gone up while the service has gone down. The corporations have a lot more overhead than the smaller independently owned funeral homes. There can sometimes be as much as 20 to 40 percent difference in pricing.  Just because a family name is on the sign doesn’t mean it is family owned.  Ask who owns the funeral home when you call because it could save you $1,000’s.  Heritage Oaks Memorial Chapel is a family owned and operated funeral home.

3. Is cost the only difference between a  family owned and corporately owned funeral homes?

The difference is not just in the pricing.  When a funeral director views their job as a calling, rather than a job that needs to be done, their compassion is more evident.  Independently owned funeral homes can often be more flexible in service and pricing than the larger corporations because they don’t have rigid budgets and policies that they have to adhere to.  Wouldn’t you rather have a caring staff member provide quality service at 20 to 30 percent less cost?

4. What’s the difference between a full service funeral home and an arrangement office?

A full service funeral home has a chapel and a visitation room, and they provide most of their services under one roof. An arrangement office operates out of an office space and contracts with other businesses and organizations to provide the services requested by their customers. Heritage Oaks Memorial Chapel is a full service family owned funeral home however we have chosen to contract with a premier crematory in the area , because our location will not accommodate our own crematory.

5. Why are so many funeral homes dark, old and morbid?

Many funeral homes in South Placer and the Sacramento region were built 50-75 years ago and have not recently undergone renovation. Like any other business, funeral homes need to be updated to reflect changes in our culture.  The ambiance of today’s funeral homes should bring comfort and be uplifting to the people that walk in the door. At Heritage Oaks, our entry resembles a comfortable living room and you complete all of your arrangements in a similar setting.  We know how important it is for the environment of our facility to enhance our service of compassion.  This, too, is part of Heritage Care. When our building is complete, Heritage Oaks will have the most attractive, high tech, full service funeral home in South Placer County and the Sacramento region.

6. Is there an alternative to paying $4,000-$10,000 for a burial plot?

Yes.  Residents and family members have the privilege of purchasing a plot at their local municipal cemetery at 60 to 80 percent lower than privately owned cemetery prices. Roseville Cemetery District charges less than $1,000 for a burial plot, including the vault.  City-owned cemeteries in our area are well maintained and attractive. Veterans and their wives can take advantage of the no-cost option of interment at the National Cemetery in Dixon, California. We will make the arrangements for you at no additional cost.  This is part of Heritage Care.

7. What has happened to old fashioned compassion from funeral directors?

There are funeral directors who know how to show compassion, but too often it’s just another job that needs to be done in return for a paycheck. Our experience is that most family owned funeral home owners and staff view their job as a calling and are truly compassionate. At Heritage Oaks, we go one step further in showing compassion.  Our contact with families does not stop when the services are over and the bill is paid.  We provide grief counseling and support for months following the loss.  We know that the grieving process is different for each person, and there is no set time frame for grief.  We are here to support our families in their grief journey.  This is part of Heritage Care.

8. Why do funeral directors wear black?

The attire of a funeral director should reflect the dignity of the profession, but this doesn’t mean they always have to wear a black suit and starched white shirt.  In times past, the funeral profession was looked upon as somber, and this was reflected in their attire, however, today this attitude is different.  When we meet with families to make arrangements, we wear business casual attire.  Our standard attire at most funeral services is a charcoal gray suit rather than black, but for a very formal service we will wear the traditional black.  If the family has a special request about our attire, we will do our best to accommodate them to complete the tone of the service for their loved one.  The way we dress reflects our desire to make people feel comfortable during a very difficult experience.  This is part of Heritage Care.

9. Why do funeral/memorial services have to be such downers? Is there an alternative?

Planning a service that will honor your loved one is part of the healthy grieving process.  It isn’t necessary to have a service that is completely sad. A celebration of life service includes fond and joyful memories at a time when grief is natural. Usually there are both tears and laughter in the same service.  When we planned the memorial celebration for our 22-year old son, we announced that we wanted people to dress casually and very colorful to reflect Zack’s personality, and our friends honored that. The pastors and staff who officiated also dressed more casually. The music played during Zack’s service was uplifting instead of somber. We have observed services where everyone wore Kings Jerseys or a biker funeral where everyone wore leathers, and rock music was heard coming from the funeral chapel.  What is appropriate for the service you plan should reflect the person you are honoring, and it is entirely up to you.

10. How can I avoid the high cost of dying?

There are several ways to lessen the financial impact of paying for end-of-life services.

Use an independent family owned funeral home. Say “No” to the big boys!
Use a local municipal cemetery which is your privilege as a resident.

Choose cremation and use the casket costs for the memorial or celebration and reception.  We can accommodate receptions in our building, so you can have the service as well as a time of fellowship and remembrance at the same location.

We have many other creative ways to help you keep costs low.  Call or contact us for a personal consultation.

Thank you for considering Heritage Oaks Memorial Chapel when you need to buy funeral services.  Heritage Care stands for compassionate dignified service provided at prices families can afford.

Call 916-791-CARE (2273) or 800-316-1987 or email,


Call, or visit, Heritage Oaks Memorial Chapel, a veteran, family-owned and operated, full service funeral home & beautiful chapel serving the areas of Rocklin, Roseville, Citrus Heights, Antelope, Fair Oaks, Carmichael, Folsom, Sacramento, Elk Grove, West Sacramento, Davis, Granite Bay, Loomis, Auburn, and Lincoln.