Frequent Questions

Frequently Asked Questions

Have you ever had a question and didn’t know where to find the answer? If so, you’ve come to the right place. This section is a compilation of answers to the questions most commonly asked by our constituents. Just start by following one of the links below.

If you can’t find the question you wanted to ask, don’t hesitate to contact us.

  1. Why choose PEOPLE’S MEMORIAL?
  2. What is the difference between PEOPLE’S MEMORIAL™ Association, and The Co-op Funeral Home?
  3. Do I need to register at a funeral home?
  4. How will the funeral home know I am a member of PMA?
  5. Who do I call at time of death?
  6. What paperwork should I fill out?
  7. What do I do with my funeral pre-planning documents?
  8. Are the prices the same at all PMA contracted funeral homes?
  9. Can I send PMA a check to pay for my plan?
  10. How does Neptune Society compare with PEOPLE’S MEMORIAL™?
  11. If I pre-paid with another funeral home, do I have to use them?
  12. If the cemetery where I plan to be buried also has a funeral home, do I have to use their mortuary?
  13. What if my loved one was taken to the wrong funeral home by mistake, can I still have a PEOPLE’S MEMORIAL contracted funeral home handle the arrangements?
  14. Why am I not receiving mail from People’s Memorial?
  15. Can I sign up family members or friends?
  16. What is NOT included in the PMA prices?
  17. Are PMA prices guaranteed?
  18. Is my membership valid in other parts of the United States?
  19. Can I transfer my membership if I move?
  20. Why do you ask for my Social Security number?
  21. What is the General Price List?
  1. Why choose PEOPLE’S MEMORIAL?

    PEOPLE’S MEMORIAL is a leader in offering simple, dignified cremation and burial arrangements since 1939.

    Our contracted funeral providers are selected for their quality of service and business integrity.

    With PEOPLE’S MEMORIAL you will receive no sales pressure at any point in the process and there are no surprises in our pricing.

    Whatever plan you choose includes the items necessary for that type of service–so we do not offer a cremation plan that does not include the requisite containers or a burial plan that does not include a casket.

    Unlike some funeral homes, we do not charge you extra if you die at home or outside of business hours.

    As a nonprofit organization, our purpose is to provide simple, quality, supportive services to our members, so that their funeral arrangements are consistent with their values and within their family’s budget. That’s the PMAdvantage.

  2. What is the difference between PEOPLE’S MEMORIAL™ Association, and The Co-op Funeral Home?

    PEOPLE’S MEMORIAL™ Association is a 501(c)(3) non-profit membership organization which was founded in 1939 to provide consumer education and advocacy. All gifts to PEOPLE'S MEMORIAL are fully tax deductible.

    The Co-op Funeral Home of PEOPLE’S MEMORIAL was created in June 2007 and is a licensed funeral home on Capitol Hill in Seattle. The Funeral Cooperative is incorporated as a cooperative and is owned by the members of the Association. Non-members can use The Co-op Funeral Home. The Co-op Funeral Home contracts with 17 funeral homes to provide low-cost burial and cremation options for the members of People's Memorial Association.

  3. Do I need to register at a funeral home?

    No. And you don’t need a reservation! At the time of death, your member benefits are good at any of our contracted funeral homes. It is not necessary to contact them ahead of time.

  4. How will the funeral home know I am a member of PMA?

    Your next–of-kin should present your PMA membership card and funeral planning paperwork when they make your final arrangements. If not, they should tell the funeral home that the individual was a PMA member and the funeral home can verify the membership with us.

  5. Who do I call at time of death?

    At the time of death, contact the PMA contracted funeral home of your choice. The funeral home will come and pick up the body.

    If you are unsure which funeral home to use call our toll free Time of Death line at 1-888-762-2762 and our answering service with help you choose the funeral home nearest you.

  6. What paperwork should I fill out?

    A Disposition Authorization is a legal document that, when properly signed and witnessed, provides legal authorization for your cremation or burial. If this form is not completed and signed prior to death, authorization for cremation must be obtained from next-of-kin.

    A Putting My House in Order form is another important document. The first section allows you to specify details for your final arrangements. The second section includes important information that will be needed to complete the death certificate.

    A third form called a Designated Agent form is like a power of attorney for funeral arrangements. Normally a power of attorney ends when you breathe your last breath. This allows you to designate a specific person to oversee and authorize your funeral arrangements for you.

    Completing these forms and discussing them with your next of kin will help assure that your wishes are honored and spare family and friends any undue stress.

  7. What do I do with my funeral pre-planning documents?

    Make a copy for your loved ones–whomever will be making your arrangements at time of death.

    Have a discussion with them about your wishes.

    Keep the original documents with your important papers at home–make sure your survivors know where they are located. They will need to take these documents to the funeral home at time of death when they make your arrangements.

  8. Are the prices the same at all PMA contracted funeral homes?

    All 19 PEOPLE’S MEMORIAL select contracted funeral homes charge the same member prices for our six plans, ranging from $755 for simple cremation to $2,915 for a complete funeral services with metal casket. Current prices are always posted on our website.

  9. Can I send PMA a check to pay for my plan?

    No, PEOPLE’S MEMORIAL Association does not accept prepayment.

    We encourage pre-planning, but advise that you educate yourself regarding the risks, benefits and options of pre-payment before you put any money down.

  10. How does Neptune Society compare with PEOPLE’S MEMORIAL™?

    People’s Memorial Association (PMA) is a non-profit association while Neptune Society is a for profit corporation, owned by SCI, the largest funeral corporation in the world.

  11. If I pre-paid with another funeral home, do I have to use them?

    NO! It is the funeral home that provides the actual funeral services is the one able to collect from any prepaid funds.

    Be sure your survivors are aware of any prearrangements you have made and they have access to the appropriate documents, including proof of prepayment.

  12. If the cemetery where I plan to be buried also has a funeral home, do I have to use their mortuary?

    NO! Any funeral home can handle the burial arrangements at any cemetery.

  13. What if my loved one was taken to the wrong funeral home by mistake, can I still have a PEOPLE’S MEMORIAL contracted funeral home handle the arrangements?

    Yes. Notify contracted funeral homes you choose and have them pick up your loved one.

    There will be charge from the first funeral home for the transportation from place of death. You will probably need to pay this amount before they will release the body.

  14. Why am I not receiving mail from People’s Memorial?

    Each Spring, we email our annual newsletter to our membership. We also send monthly E-Newsletters to our member about upcoming events and education about any changes in death care.

    We lose contact with many of our members when they move into a retirement community or nursing home. Please help us keep our database up to date.

  15. Can I sign up family members or friends?

    Definitely. You can also give gift memberships to loved ones.

  16. What is NOT included in the PMA prices?

    Sales tax.

    Medical Examiner Taxes. In King Country it is $60 per death.

    Certified copies of the death certificate. The funeral home will file the original death certificate and assist you with ordering copies.

  17. Are PMA prices guaranteed?

    The PEOPLE’S MEMORIAL™ contract usually runs for a period of two years and prices are fixed during that time period. When the contract is renegotiated, prices may change.

    While it is reasonable for our contracted funeral homes to ask for modest price increases to keep up with inflation, the funeral industry, particularly the cremation market is extremely competitive.

    Historically, PEOPLE’S MEMORIAL prices have gone up at less than the rate of inflation.

  18. Is my membership valid in other parts of the United States?

    Yes, but prices and the availability of services will vary depending on where you are.

    A list of all local membership groups affiliated with the national Funeral Consumers Alliance is available on the FCA website.

    Not every affiliate secures reduced mortuary prices for their members.

    Some affiliates simply provide consumer education and advocacy, however they mey be able to provide you with recommendations.

    Many of the FCA affiliates are volunteer run and may not have regular business hours.

  19. Can I transfer my membership if I move?

    If you move outside of Washington State or Northern Idaho you can transfer your membership to another affiliate at little or no cost.

    Notify us of your new address and ask for a transfer letter.

  20. Why do you ask for my Social Security number?

    For security reasons, we only keep the last 4 digits of your social security number in our database.

    However, with more than 75,000 members, there are many people with the same or similar names.

    Some people change their names over their lifetime and we are not always notified.

    The Social Security number provides a way to ensure we update the correct records and quickly get the information you or your family need.

    The Social Security number allows us to remove deceased persons from our database by comparing our files to social security records.

    If you prefer that we not use your Social Security number as identification, that is fine. Please supply us with your date of birth instead.

    We do not share our database with any outside group, other than the contracting funeral homes which need to be able to identify whether someone is a member. Our contract limits their use of your personal information.

  21. What is the General Price List?

    The Federal Trade Commission enforces a funeral price disclosure law called The Funeral Rule. The Funeral Rule requires that every funeral home make available to the public a General Price List (GPL) with their prices for common services. They must provide this list to you if you ask for it when on the premesis. They are not required to send it in the mail, however. Many Funeral Home now post their GPL on their website.