Basics

Family Owned
and Operated
Glossary of Terms

Alternative Container

An unfinished wood box or other non-metal receptacle without ornamentation, often made of fiberboard, pressed wood or composition materials, and generally lower in cost than caskets.


Casket/Coffin

A box or chest for burying remains.


Cemetery Property

A grave, crypt or niche.


Cemetery Services

Opening and closing graves, crypts or niches; setting grave liners and vaults; setting markers; and long-term maintenance of cemetery grounds and facilities.


Columbarium

A structure with niches (small spaces) for placing cremated remains in urns or other approved containers. It may be outdoors or part of a mausoleum.


Cremation

Exposing remains and the container encasing them to extreme heat and flame and processing the resulting bone fragments to a uniform size and consistency.


Crypt

A space in a mausoleum or other building to hold cremated or whole remains.


Disposition

The placement of cremated or whole remains in their final resting place.


Endowment Care Fund

Money collected from cemetery property purchasers and placed in trust for the maintenance and upkeep of the cemetery.


Entombment

Burial in a mausoleum.


Executor

Person responsible for handling/settling a deceased persons estate.


Funeral Ceremony

A service commemorating the deceased, with the body present.


Funeral Services

Services provided by a funeral director and staff, which may include consulting with the family on funeral planning; transportation, shelter, refrigeration and embalming of remains; preparing and filing notices; obtaining authorizations and permits; and coordinating with the cemetery, crematory or other third parties.


Funeral Planning Society

See Memorial Society.


Grave

A space in the ground in a cemetery for the burial of remains.


Grave Liner or Outer Container

A concrete cover that fits over a casket in a grave. Some liners cover tops and sides of the casket. Others, referred to as vaults, completely enclose the casket. Grave liners minimize ground settling.


Graveside Service

A service to commemorate the deceased held at the cemetery before burial.


Interment

Burial in the ground, inurnment or entombment.


Intestate

The legal term relating to death without a will.


Inurnment

The placing of cremated remains in an urn.


Mausoleum

A building in which remains are buried or entombed.


Memorial Service

A ceremony commemorating the deceased, without the body present.


Memorial Society

An organization that provides information about funerals and disposition, but is not part of the state-regulated funeral industry.


Niche

A space in a columbarium, mausoleum or niche wall to hold an urn.


Power of Attorney (POA)

Person legally recognized and responsible to handle a persons affairs when that person is unable to do so. POA ends upon that persons death.


Urn

A container to hold cremated remains. It can be placed in a columbarium or mausoleum, or buried in the ground.


Vault

A grave liner that completely encloses a casket.




Courtesy of the California Department of Consumer Affairs, Cemetery and Funeral Bureau

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