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Frequently Asked Questions

Information You Need

Who can pick up Death Certificates or Cremated remains?

The Legal Next of Kin is the only individual able to pick up Death Certificates or Cremated Remains. Only under special and certain circumstances may the Legal Next of Kin submit a request for other arrangements.

How long do Death Certificates take to arrive at the establishment once I have ordered?

All Death Certificates take an estimated amount of 4-6 weeks depending on when the doctor has signed the Death Certificate and are sent directly to Celestial Funeral Home.  Legally, the doctor has 5 business days to sign their documents. Once the Death Certificates have arrived, they will be available for pick up by the legal next of kin.

Are the cremated remains actually my loved one?

Yes, of course! Every loved one that’s cremated is brought back with an ID tag and an official Letter of Contraband to ensure cremains are verified and 100% correct. You are sure to have peace of mind with this process.

Who reports to the Social Security office?

The legal next of Kin is required to turn in a Death Certificate to the social security office. The legal next of kin is also the only one to request or adjust any changes as needed.

Can I bring food and beverages to my loved one’s service?

Yes! We have a coffee lounge where food and non-alcoholic beverages are more than welcome. Before a service, please ensure to give the office a call so we can assist you further!

Is there alcohol allowed at services?

As company policy states, there is absolutely NO alcohol allowed on the premises at any time. 

Is there financial help if I need it?

Our owner Donny Benavides does his best to support the community by offering discounts if arrangements are made at the funeral home. There are also several options available, including:


  • Locating local charities providing financial help for funeral expenses. It helps to search for non-profit organizations and churches in your area.

  • Talk to our highly knowledgeable staff about cremation/memorial options - these can be much less expensive depending on the package of your choosing

  • Determine if your loved one qualifies for any entitlements. Check with the Social Security Administration, the Department of Veterans Affairs, and with your State Fund. Many families are entitled to financial assistance for their funeral costs from these agencies if they qualify.

  • Review all insurance policies your loved one has, including life insurance. Some life insurance policies have coverage clauses for funeral-related costs.

What do I bring to the funeral home to make arrangements for my loved one after a death occurs?

The next of Kin should bring the following information to complete the State vital statistic requirements:

  • Birth Date

  • Birthplace

  • Father's Name

  • Mother's Name (& Maiden Name)

  • Social Security Number

  • Veteran's Discharge or Claim Number

  • Education

  • Marital Status

  • Valid driver’s license or state ID card

  • Any applicable insurance policies 

The funeral home will assist you in determining the number of copies of the death certificates you will be needing and/or requesting. The funeral home will also help coordinate arrangements with the cemetery.

How long does the process of a ship-out or a transfer take?

The duration of a ship-out depends on a few factors such as:

  • Where your loved one is being shipped (International or Domestic)

  • Depending on if the Doctor has signed off on the Death Certificate(s)/applicable paperwork. 

  • The day of the week the legal next of kin has made arrangements can also factor in how long a Ship-out process is. Arrangements made on a Friday can have services delayed as opposed to a Monday. Shipouts by default, operate on a normal business day basis. This is due to Vital Statistics, the Consulate, and the Airport (cargo) working normal business hours. 

  • All insurance (if applicable) paperwork, and funds have been completed.

For any additional questions or concerns please give us a call at (713) 677-0124 or fill out an inquiry in our contact form below. 

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