How to Find the Best Funeral Homes in Alameda County CAWhen a loved one dies, grief can overwhelm the survivors. Arrangements for funerals, cremation, interment or memorial services are often too difficult to manage personally and so are best left in the caring hands of reliable funeral homes, funeral planners and mortuaries in Alameda County.
The following research by The Prime Buyer's Report identifies the best funeral providers in Alameda County and issues related to funeral services.
Updated February 25, 2013
Top 10 Funeral Homes and Funeral Services in Alameda County
|Chapel of the Roses Fremont Memorial Chapel|
3723 Peralta Blvd
Fremont, CA 94536
Areas Served: Fremont CA, Newark CA, Union City CA, Sunol CA, Cabrillo, Glenmoor, Irvington
|Graham-Hitch Mortuary Pleasanton|
4167 1st St
Pleasanton, CA 94566
Areas Served: Pleasanton CA, Livermore CA, Sunol CA, Dublin CA
|Harris Funeral Home|
1331 San Pablo Ave
Berkeley, CA 94702
Areas Served: Berkeley CA, Albany CA, Emeryville CA, Kensington, Claremont Hills, Oakland CA
|Fouche's Hudson Funeral Home|
3665 Telegraph Ave
Oakland, CA 94609
Areas Served: Oakland CA, Alameda CA, Emeryville CA, Berkeley CA, Piedmont CA, San Leandro CA
|Chapel of the Chimes Hayward|
32992 Mission Blvd
Hayward, CA 94544
Areas Served: Hayward CA, San Lorenzo CA, Castro Valley CA, Union City CA, Mt Eden, Glen Eden
|Jess C Spencer Mortuary|
21228 Redwood Rd
Castro Valley, CA 94546
Areas Served: Castro Valley CA, Hayward CA, San Leandro CA, San Lorenzo CA, Fairview
|Callaghan Mortuary & Livermore Crematory|
3833 East Ave
Livermore, CA 94550
Areas Served: Livermore CA, Pleasanton CA, Springtown
160 Estudillo Ave
San Leandro, CA 94577
Areas Served: San Leandro CA, San Lorenzo CA, Castro Valley CA, Oakland CA, Ashland CA
|Tri-City Cremation & Funeral Service|
5800 Thornton Ave #400
Newark, CA 94560
Areas Served: Newark CA, Fremont CA, Union City CA, Ardenwood, Centerville, Glenmoor
If you are in need of a funeral home, memorial or wake, you need help fast. Funeral services in Alameda County include classic memorial services at funeral homes where family and friends can gather to remember and honor their loved one. Arrangements for transportation of the body to the funeral home, and subsequent transportation to a final resting place are easily handled by these professionals. In addition, personnel at top rated funeral homes in Hayward, Oakland, Dublin and Fremont are generally available 24 hours a day, and have a wealth of information about floral tributes, churches, cemeteries, cremation, crematoriums and any funeral-related issues.
Funeral Homes in Alameda County Perform a Variety of Services
There is so much to consider when choosing between funeral homes in Alameda County. Depending on how large or small of a service you are seeking, the choices and prices can vary widely. Planning a funeral or memorial service requires coordinating myriad services, filling out paperwork, contacting friends and family, scheduling, gathering of relevant and necessary documents and more, all while in the process of grieving.
To top it off, generally your window of planning is very short—typically less than two weeks. It can be overwhelming. Good funeral homes in Alameda County will help you. Do you want a service at the funeral home, or somewhere else? Will there be a burial or cremation? Do you want music, a particular clergy, flowers, catering, speakers, photos of the deceased to display, an obituary printed in the newspaper, limousines or something else? What is legally required?
To avoid having to make difficult decisions during a time of great stress and emotion, many are now pre-planning memorial services. Many funeral homes in Hayward, Oakland, Dublin and Fremont offer discounts or locked-in prices for making and paying for funeral arrangements ahead of time. Should you choose this, it's a good idea to review your decisions every few years and revise them accordingly.
It is not generally known that you are not legally required to use Alameda County funeral homes to plan and conduct funerals. If you choose to use the services of a local funeral home, it pays to shop around. During a face-to-face visit, the funeral home is required by law to give you a general price list itemizing the cost of items and services the home offers. If this list does not show the costs of caskets or urns, the law requires the funeral director to show you the price lists for those items before showing you the items themselves.
Another myth is that embalming is required by law. Some homes require embalming if there is to be a viewing, but if the body is buried or cremated shortly after death, embalming is not necessary or required.
The Funeral Rules
While most funeral directors and/or funeral providers have the best interests of their clients in mind, others may try to inflate prices or foist undesired services on their clients during their time of need. There is a federal law, known as the funeral rule, that helps prevent this. Among other things, the funeral rule states that:
• You have the right to choose the funeral goods and services you want (with some exceptions).
• Funeral providers in Alameda County must state this in writing on the general price list.
• If state or local law requires you to buy any particular item, funeral homes must disclose this on the price list, with a reference to the specific law.
• Funeral providers may not refuse or charge fees to handle a casket you bought elsewhere.
• Funeral providers that offers cremations must make alternative containers available.
• Alameda County funeral providers may not provide embalming services without permission.
• Funeral providers may not falsely state that embalming is required by law.
• Funeral providers must disclose in writing that embalming is not required by law, except in certain, special cases.
• Funeral homes in Alameda County may not charge a fee for unauthorized embalming unless embalming is required by state law.
• Funeral providers must disclose in writing that you usually have the right to choose a disposition, such as direct cremation or immediate burial, that does not require embalming if you do not want this service.
• Funeral homes in Alameda County must disclose in writing that some funeral arrangements, such as a funeral with viewing, may make embalming a practical necessity and, if so, a required purchase.
• Funeral providers in Alameda County must not tell you that state or local law requires a casket for direct cremations, because none do.
• Funeral homes must disclose in writing your right to buy an unfinished wood box or an alternative container for a direct cremation.
• Funeral homes must make an unfinished wood box or other alternative container available for direct cremations.
Look for Funeral Homes in Alameda County County That Do More Than the Bare Minimum
The Prime Buyer's Report lists these funeral homes in Alameda County: Harris Funeral Home, Graham-Hitch Mortuary Pleasanton, Chapel of the Chimes Hayward, Chapel of the Roses Fremont Memorial Chapel, Santos-Robinson Mortuary, Callaghan Mortuary & Livermore Crematory, Jess C Spencer Mortuary, Tri-City Cremation & Funeral Service, Fouche's Hudson Funeral Home, Greer Family Mortuary. Other funeral homes and funeral providers that might still serve the Hayward, Oakland, Dublin and Fremont areas include: Neptune Society, Baker Funeral Homes, John Cox Mortuary, Jackson Funeral Home, Whitted Williams Funeral Home, Chapel of the Chimes-Funeral Home, Albert Brown Mortuary, Holy Angels Funeral & Cremation Center. Didn't find what you wanted with the TOP 10 Funeral Homes and Funeral Services in Alameda County? Then click here to see additional companies in this category.
A funeral home should do more than just hand you a list of funeral services and wait for you to choose and cut the check. For the best experience when dealing with Alameda County funeral homes, seek out those that are accredited, licensed and have received favorable reviews from previous clients or industry organizations. Check these things in our article, "Key Consumer Resources for Funeral Homes and Services in Alameda County County."
Know What You're Looking for from Alameda County Funeral Homes
Hopefully, when you find yourself needing the services of a funeral home, you will have some idea of what you are looking for. Do you want the funeral home to handle paperwork and other arrangements? Do you want an expensive casket or something more affordable? Do you want burial or cremations? Some funeral homes specialize in different aspects of funeral services. Some offer alternative choices such as scattering the remains in unique places or ways. Some offer "green" funerals in which the remains are not embalmed and are buried in caskets that biodegrade quickly. Much of this can be researched on the Internet and other sources.
Use the list of questions below to help narrow your search.
• How long have the funeral directors been in the funeral home / undertaking business?
• What are the funeral homes' fees, broken down by individual services?
• Can the funeral homes provide forms for a newspaper obituary?
• Can the funeral homes provide a viewing without embalming?
• Do the funeral homes provide funeral services such as flowers, clergy, music, catering, etc.?
• What are your options at the funeral homes regarding cremation, burial and final disposition?
• If the body is donated to science, will the funeral homes still provide funeral services?
• Who does the embalming at the mortuary?
• How long after death is embalming necessary and can the funeral homes guarantee they'll be available?
• Is an obituary in the newspaper required?
• What are your options regarding time of service at each of the funeral homes and mortuaries?
• Do the funeral directors have suggestions for personalizing the funeral services?
• Can the funeral homes help with social security or veteran's death benefits?
• Will the funeral homes allow you to payments to pay for the funeral services?
It's very important that you work with a funeral home that you feel you can trust and makes you feel comfortable. Consider your first impression, beginning with the first phone call. Did you get a person, or an answering service? Was your initial impression that you were dealing with competent professionals? Did you feel respected and accommodated? If you were offered a consultation, did you feel at-ease with the funeral director/provider? Were you able to speak freely with him or her?
Probably one or two names will rise to the top of your list after you have considered these things.
First Impression of Funeral Homes
Good funeral providers will listen carefully to what you're saying and will ask relevant questions. If the employees at the funeral homes seem to only want to get you in the door, or try to make you sign an agreement without hearing something about your needs, choose someone else. You are not obligated to hire the first funeral providers you talk to.
When you've selected what seems to be the most suitable funeral homes for you, make sure you understand the terms of your agreement. Check for any consumer complaints from the Better Business Bureau orState Department of Consumer Affairs.
Despite the stress of grief and limited time, if possible, it's a good idea to have some idea of what sort of service you are seeking, what you wish done with the remains, e.g. burial, cremation, where you might like to hold the service, how many people might be attending and anything else that may affect the price or timing of the service.
Write it Down.
Before meeting with a funeral director, write down the considerations from the exercise above. By writing everything down you don't have to try to remember everything in the heat of the moment. Also, you can add to the list as other things come up.
Get Several Separate Quotes From Several Funeral Homes.
There are distinct differences in the services and prices available at different funeral homes. It's best to speak to several, if possible, to help get a base line for prices and options. Take the list you made specifying your needs so that each can provide a quote using the same parameters and you can compare apples to apples.
Choose a Certified, Licensed and Recognized Funeral Home.
Make sure the funeral home you are considering has proper licensing, not only for the home itself, but those individuals who work there, including the funeral director (there is a license for this) and the person doing the embalming, if you choose that service. Also, look for funeral homes that go the extra mile, those that have earned accreditations, membership or kudos from industry groups or consumer watchdog groups. Ask for referrals.
Choose an Experienced Funeral Home and Funeral Director.
Make sure the funeral home you choose has the experience and knowledge to handle your needs. This doesn't necessarily mean hiring the one that's been in business the longest, but it does mean finding a funeral home that has experience in all aspects of funerals, including cremation, burial, paperwork, ceremony arrangements and more.
Knowing what to expect is always the best way to feel comfortable. Sometimes people are unsure and afraid to ask the hard questions-questions about price, guarantees and so on. This is a difficult time, but you need to protect yourself by asking whenever you are unsure about any part of the process.
Know Your Rights.
Although it can be difficult to know whether or not a funeral home has acted in bad faith, there are resources available if you feel a funeral home or funeral director has acted unethically. Reference the California Department of Consumer Affairs Web site to learn more. (See our article, "Key Consumer Resources for Funeral Homes in Alameda County" to learn more.
Regulatory Bodies & Trade Associations For Funeral Homes in Alameda County
BBB Better Business Bureau (http://www.bbb.com/)
California Department of Consumer Affairs (www.dca.ca.gov/)
Funeral Consumers Alliance (http://www.funerals.org/)
Cremation Association of North America (http://www.cremationassociation.org/)
International Cemetery and Funeral Association (http://www.icfa.org/)
National Funeral Directors Association (www.nfda.org/resources)
Diamond Certified www.diamondcertified.org
National Funeral Directors and Morticians Association (http://www.nfdma.com/)
Federal Trade Commission Facts for Consumers (www.ftc.gov/bcp/conline/pubs/services/funeral.shtm)
The Prime Buyer's Report provides information for the TOP 10 Funeral Homes in Alameda County within the following zip codes:
94501, 94502, 94536, 94537, 94538, 94539, 94540, 94541, 94542, 94543, 94544, 94545, 94546, 94550, 94551, 94552, 94555, 94557, 94560, 94566, 94568, 94577, 94578, 94579, 94580, 94586, 94587, 94588, 94601, 94602, 94603, 94604, 94605, 94606, 94607, 94608, 94609, 94610, 94611, 94612, 94613, 94614, 94615, 94617, 94618, 94619, 94620, 94621, 94623, 94624, 94661, 94662, 94701, 94702, 94703, 94704, 94705, 94706, 94707, 94708, 94709, 94710 and 94712
Funerals Alameda CA
Alameda Cremations Alameda CA 94501
Greer Family Mortuary Alameda CA 94501
Nautilus Society Pre-Need Dept Alameda CA 94502
Funerals Berkeley CA
Bayview Chapel Berkeley CA 94704
Harris Funeral Home Berkeley CA 94702
Funerals Castro Valley CA
Air Scattering Castro Valley CA 94552
Guerrero Motuary Castro Valley CA 94546
Jess C Spencer Mortuary Inc Castro Valley CA 94546
Neptune Society Castro Valley CA 94546
Funerals Dublin CA
A Special Touch Funeral Service Dublin CA 94568
Deer Creek Funeral Service Dublin CA 94568
Funerals Emeryville CA
Apollo Crematorium Emeryville CA 94608
Pacific Interment Service Emeryville CA 94608
Funerals Fremont CA
Berge-Pappas-Smith Chapel Fremont CA 94538
Chapel of the Roses Fremont CA 94536
Fremont Memorial Chapel Fremont CA 94536
Grissom's Cremation & Burial Fremont CA 94536
Lima Family Milpitas Fremont Fremont CA 94539
Neptune Society Fremont CA 94539
Funerals Hayward CA
Bay Area Crematory Hayward CA 94542
Casket Outlet Headquarters Inc Hayward CA 94541
Hayward Mortuary Inc Hayward CA 94542
Holy Angels Funeral Center Hayward CA 94542
Holy Sepulchre Cemetery Hayward CA 94544
Lifemark Group Chapel of Chime Hayward CA 94544
Mission Funeral Home Hayward CA 94541
Sorensen Brothers Mortuary Hayward CA 94541
Funerals Livermore CA
Bay Area Cremation & Funeral Livermore CA 94551
Callaghan Mortuary & Livermore Livermore CA 94550
St Michael Cemetery Livermore CA 94551
Funerals Oakland CA
Albert Brown Mortuary Oakland CA 94611
Baker Funeral Homes Oakland CA 94607
CP Bannon Mortuary Oakland CA 94621
Caporgno & Co Evergreen Chapel Oakland CA 94605
Chapel of the Chimes Oakland CA 94611
Clarence N Cooper Mortuary Oakland CA 94601
Colonial Chapel Oakland CA 94619
Ellis-Olson Mortuary Oakland CA 94611
Fouche's Hudson Funeral Home Oakland CA 94609
Fuller Funerals Inc Oakland CA 94601
Grant Miller-John Cox Mortuary Oakland CA 94609
Lotus Memorial LLC Oakland CA 94612
McNary-Morgan-Greene Oakland CA 94609
Nautilus Society Oakland CA 94605
Neptune Society Oakland CA 94610
Thompson Funeral Home Oakland CA 94603
Whitted Williams Funeral Home Oakland CA 94605
Funerals Pleasanton CA
Graham Hitch Mortuary Pleasanton CA 94566
Funerals San Leandro CA
Deer Creek Funeral Service San Leandro CA 94578
Guerrero Mortuary Chapel San Leandro CA 94577
Santos-Robinson Mortuary San Leandro CA 94577
Funerals San Lorenzo CA
Grissom's Chapel & Mortuary San Lorenzo CA 94580