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Frequently Asked Questions

Membership

If you can’t find an answer to your question, don’t hesitate to contact us.

  1. People's Memorial has been a leader in advocating for and educating about 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 negotiated member pricing.

    Whichever plan you choose includes the items necessary for that type of service. Our cremation and burial plans include the requisite container or casket.

    Members are not charged 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.

  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 Association 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 Home is incorporated as a cooperative and is owned by the members of the Association. Non-members can always use The Co-op Funeral Home. People's Memorial Association has negotiated contracts with 20 funeral homes throughout Washington to provide low-cost burial and cremation options for members.

  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 providers

  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 Disposition Authorization allows you to authorize your choice of cremation or burial as well as where you choose as your final resting place.   Complete the form online, print, sign and keep with your important papers.  Be sure to discuss your wishes with your survivors and let them know where your original documents are filed so they can present them to the funeral home at time of death.
    A second 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 or 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 20 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 prepayment before you put any money down.

  10. 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.

  11. 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 the contracted funeral home you chose and have them pick up your loved one.

    There will be a 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.

  12. 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 members about upcoming events, education opportunities, and any changes in death care.

    We lose contact with many of our members when they move. Please help us keep our database up to date by notifying us of any address, phone, email, or name changes.

  13. Can I sign up family members or friends?

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

  14. What is NOT included in the PMA prices?

    Sales tax.
    Medical Examiner Taxes. In King County, it is $70 per death.
    Certified copies of the death certificate. The funeral home will file the original death certificate and assist you with ordering copies.

  15. Are PMA prices guaranteed?

    People's Memorial negotiates contracts with participating funeral homes every two years. During that two-yer period, prices are fixed and guaranteed. When the contract is renegotiated, prices may change, which is why its important for you to remain connected with PMA through the e-newsletter.

    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.

  16. 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 may be able to provide you with recommendations.

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

  17. 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.

  18. 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.

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