W. H. Jefferson Funeral Home
  A Legacy of Family Care for Vicksburg Since 1894

800 Monroe Street
Vicksburg, Mississippi 39183
601-638-1641    601-638-1642  E-Mail

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Frequently Asked Questions

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What do funeral directors do?
Funeral directors are caregivers and administrators.  They make arrangements for the transportation of the body, complete all necessary paperwork, deal with doctors, ministers, florists, newspapers, coroners, insurance, and cemeteries, and implement the choices made by the family regarding the funeral and the final disposition of the body.

Does a body have to be embalmed, according to law?
No. Most states, however, require embalming when death was caused by a reportable contagious disease, when remains are to be transported from one state to another by common carrier, or if the final disposition is not to be be made within a prescribed number of hours.

What should I do if the death occurs in the middle of the night or the weekend?
Just call the funeral home at 601-638-1641.  We have 24-hour phone service and our directors are always on call to serve and care for you.

What should I do if a loved one dies while we are traveling?
Call us.  We will make the arrangements to have the remains transported.  Don't call a funeral home in the town where you are.  Since prices vary widely, Jefferson will know who to call to arrange the best services for you.

Why are funerals so expensive?
When compared to other life cycle events, like births and weddings, funerals are not expensive.  A wedding costs often three times as much, but because it is a happy event, wedding costs are rarely criticized.

A funeral is an experience that involves many hundreds of different details.  The funeral director and staff respond to the required of the family and bring all of the elements together, usually within 24-36 hours.  See our Services List.  When you break down each service, you can see the individual price is reasonable.  There is just so much to do to care for each family and their loved one.

Funeral homes are one of the few business that are open and available 24 hours a day, 365 days a year.  Families are never told they must wait to schedule the services for a loved one.  We respond immediately to the needs of the family. You always come first.

The funeral home also carries a large investment in the facilities and equipment that are required to provide for the comfortable funeral service or memorial service that the family requires.  The funeral home also has many other expenses that any business must bear such as taxes, insurance, utilities and staff salaries.

What information regarding the deceased will I need at the time of making arrangements?
See our prearrangements page.  You can either submit your arrangements and information to us online or you can print it out, fill out the appropriate parts and bring it with you when you come to the funeral home.  Or you can use it as a guide when you call us.

If the deceased served in the military, you will need to provide a copy of the discharge papers for ordering a marker, flag, and burial benefits.

What benefits does the Veterans Administration pay and to whom?
The VA will provide a marker free of charge.  This is a flat bronze marker that must be attached to a flat base.  You must provide the flat base.

The VA also pays burial benefits for veterans who are receiving a military pension at the time of death.  This benefit usually ranges between $450-$600.  If the death occurred as a result of injury from service, benefits could be as much as $2000.

How much does Social Security pay and to whom?
Social benefits are $255 (2004).  They are paid only to the widow or a dependent child.  You must apply for this benefit through the Social Security Administration.

Do I have to purchase a vault?
The need for a vault depends on which cemetery you plan to use.  Many cemeteries do require a vault.  In Vicksburg, Green Acres requires a vault.  Cedar Hill City Cemetery does not.

How do I obtain a death certificate?
The attending physician or the coroner must originate death certificates.  They will forward the death certificate to the funeral home that will complete the vital statistic information.  The funeral home will then order the certified death certificate from the appropriate state of death.

How much does a death certificate cost?
The cost varies from state to state.  In Mississippi, the first death certificate costs $10; each additional certificate costs $2.  In Louisiana, each death certificate costs $9.