Resources for Families

Question 1. What do I do if someone in my family passes away?

Question 2. What social security benefits are available?

Question 3. Do you have an onsite crematory?

Question 4. How do I obtain a death certificate?

Questions 5. What death benefits are available for Veterans?

Questions 6. What do I need to bring to the arrangement meeting with the funeral director?

Questions 7. Do you fingerprint each person upon their passing?

Question 8. Can we purchase a monument through your funeral home?

Question 9. What if my loved one passes away out of state?

Question 10. My loved one has been put in a nursing home and we were told that we need to pre-fund his/her funeral. Can I do a medicaid spend-down?

When death occurs

Notify Proper Authorities

If your loved one passes away while under the care of a facility — such as a nursing home or a hospital — staff from the facility will contact you and notify appropriate authorities themselves. Please let the facility know that you desire to use our funeral home to care for your loved one and they will notify us of the passing.

If the death occurred in the workplace or at home, you will need to get in touch with his/her physician or emergency medical personnel, as the cause of death must be identified and indicated in legal documents.

In the event that no one was present at the time of death, you will need to contact the police.

Initial Contact from Funeral Director

Our on-call funeral directors will make contact with you and guide you through the all of the necessary steps to follow. They will facilitate the transfer of your loved one’s remains to our facility. You will be asked if the deceased has made pre-arrangements and if you give permission for him/her to be embalmed. While of course you can ask any questions you have in your mind at that moment, note that once you visit the funeral home, the arrangements will be discussed in greater detail. During the initial call with the funeral director, you’ll also be informed about the things that you need to bring with you to the arrangement meeting. 

Meet the Funeral Director / Staff

On your first meeting with us, we will discuss the arrangements for your loved one’s funeral service. You will be shown a list of our packages and service options so you can decide what suits your family’s preferences and budget. You will be asked whether you’d prefer burial or cremation arrangements and optionally you would select a casket, schedule a time and date for the services, decide on the location of the burial, draft an obituary notice, arrange for vehicle services, and select pallbearers, among other decisions.

Social Security Benefits

If the deceased worked long enough under Social Security to qualify for benefits, some of the family members may be able to receive Social Security benefits.  Your funeral director will notify Social Security of your loved one's passing on your behalf.  Please read the following information carefully to learn what benefits may be available.
A one-time payment of $255 can be paid to the surviving spouse if he or she was living with the deceased; or, if living apart, was receiving certain Social Security benefits on the deceased's record.  If there is no surviving spouse, the payment is made to a child who is eligible for benefits on the deceased's record in the month of death.

Certain family members may be eligible to receive monthly benefits, including:

  • A widow or widower age 60 or older (age 50 or older if disabled);

  • A surviving spouse at any age who is caring for the deceased's child under age 16 or disabled;

  • An unmarried child of the deceased who is younger than age 18 (or age 18 or 19 if he or she is a full-time student in an elementary or secondary school); or age 18 or older with a disability that began before age 22;

  • Parents, age 62 or older, who were dependent on the deceased for at least half of their support; and

  • A surviving divorced spouse, under certain circumstances.

The Social Security website is a valuable resource for information about all of Social Security's programs, including survivors benefits. You can call them toll-free at 1-800-772-1213, or at their local number 1-888-384-9919.  Their staff can answer specific questions from 7 a.m. to 7 p.m., Monday through Friday.  They also provide information by automated phone service 24 hours a day.

The Cremation Process

Should you conclude that cremation is the right decision for your loved one, rest assured that the entire process will be handled with professionalism and dignity. We treat the process of cremation with delicacy and follow a strict protocol from start to finish. We have entrusted Evans Cremation Services with our cremation needs for over 20 years. A four generation family-owned and operated crematory and burial vault company, Evans' dedicated staff provides superior quality of their facilities and their practices. If you are interested in reading about the entire cremation process, it is outlined in detail on Evans Cremation Services' website (link underlined above).

Filing For a Death Certificate

A death certificate is a legal document indicating the cause of death, including other vital statistics pertaining to the deceased, signed by the attending physician, or in some cases, the county medical examiner. Your funeral director will gather the necessary information needed for the completion of the death certificate during the arrangement meeting. You will be asked how many certified copies of the death certificate you need. These certified copies are important when gaining access to bank accounts and safety deposit boxes, claiming for benefits due to the family such as Veteran’s benefits or insurance claims, and transferring or selling ownership of properties. Each copy costs $20. After 90 days, you will need to make requests for additional death certificates through the Pennsylvania Vital Records website. The completion of a death certificate involves several parties, including the funeral home, the pronouncing physician or coroner, the Department of Health, and the local registrar. Because of this, it may be several days following a death before we are able to get physical copies to you.

Veterans Benefits

The burial benefits available to honor those who have selflessly served our country include:

  • Burial Flag

  • Military honors: flag presentation, 21 gun salute, and the playing of taps by an honor guard

  • Lancaster County Commission provides $100 toward the funeral service of a veteran and they will provide an additional $100 towards a monument for a veteran. (For eligibility, it is required that the veteran served war time.)

  • Burial in a National Cemetery

  • Presidential Memorial Certificate

For more information on veteran death benefits provided by the government, visit the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. (The veteran's DD 214 form is required in order to secure benefits. We kindly ask that you bring this document along to the arrangement meeting with your funeral director.)

What to Bring to the Arrangement Meeting

There are a few essential items that we recommend you bring along to the arrangement meeting with your funeral director.

  • Social security number of the deceased

  • Father and mother's full name (including maiden name) of deceased

  • If the deceased is a veteran, DD 214

  • Surviving/deceased family information for the obituary

  • Employment/industry and education level of deceased

  • Photograph for obituary

  • Clothing for the deceased if choosing a traditional burial (if you have them picked out by this point)

  • Life insurance policies or any funding that needs verified

  • Cemetery information and/or plot deed

Fingerprinting and Memorial Jewelry

If you would like to capture the touch of someone you love forever, we have relationships established with companies to make this happen through memorial jewelry.  We offer Cremation Jewelry, Fingerprint Jewelry and Photo Jewelry.  At our funeral home  everyone that is brought into our care is fingerprinted.  If you are interested in jewelry pieces our staff is available to assist you. 


Your family may want to place a permanent record and expression of remembrance in the cemetery upon the burial of a loved one.  You will want to do so with dignity, care and assurance that the tribute you select will be a permanent satisfaction for your family.  The Funeral Directors at Clyde W. Kraft Funeral Home, Inc. are representatives of the Heritage Estate Monument Company and can assist your family in obtaining a variety of monuments such as: Flat Bronzes, Grass Markers, Slants and Uprights.

The family can personally design and select the monument of their choice. 

Your family can rest assured that our funeral directors have had the privildege to assist many families with their choice of monuments that were of superior work at reasonable cost.

Out of State Death

In the event that your loved one passes away in another part of the country, please contact us and we will assist you in finding a local funeral home in that area. We will work directly with that funeral home to arrange the transport of your loved one to our facilities.

Medicaid Spend-down

Our licensed funeral directors are knowledgeable in the necessary steps required to secure your loved one’s assets upon admission to a nursing home. You will need to schedule an appointment to sit down with one of our funeral directors to discuss your needs.