Schnider Funeral Home Great Falls Montana


Social Security Benefits

What is the Lump-Sum Death Benefit?

A one time lump sum payment of $255 is paid to the family from social security if the following criteria apply:

  • A surviving spouse.
  • A dependent child under the age of 18 (or under 19 if a full-time student)


Funeral Arrangements

What is the purpose of a funeral?

The funeral is an opportunity for the gathering of family and to remember and celebrate the life of the deceased, as well as to lend support and comfort to the family. This can be done through religious ceremonies, private ceremonies or public gatherings. We believe the funeral service should be personalized and be a reflection of your loved one.


Does a dead body have to be embalmed?

No. However, embalming would be required when the deceased is to be transported across state lines; or when burial, cremation or refrigeration cannot take place within 48 hours of the death. In addition, for the safety of the public, we require embalming for public viewing.


What is the purpose of embalming?

Embalming sanitizes and temporarily preserves the deceased, extending the time between death and final disposition. This allows the family time to gather and arrange the type of service most comforting to them.


Can a mortician come to my home to make funeral arrangements?

Absolutely. Within the local area, the mortician will bring all necessary items to make arrangements in the comfort of your home.



Can I have a viewing and a funeral if I want cremation?

Yes. This option allows time for the family and friends to gather and spend time with the loved one who has died. For many, it provides the perfect opportunity to face the reality of the death and to say goodbye. Cremation can then follow after the service.


Is cremation a substitute for a funeral?

No. Cremation is an alternative to earth burial or entombment for the body’s final disposition, and often follows a traditional funeral service.


Can a body be cremated immediately following the death?

According to Montana state law, a body must be held for at least 24 hours from the time of death and final disposition must take place within 48 hours if refrigeration or embalming does not take place.  All cremations must receive coroner's authorization.


Funeral Costs

Why do funerals cost what they do?

There is a great range in prices for services and merchandise depending on the type of funeral you purchase. The perception that funerals are costly usually can be attributed to a lack of familiarity with the normal price range.

It is unfortunate that the ending of a life is not valued and celebrated as much as the beginning. Many of the details in planning a funeral are similar to that of a wedding. Yet, due to the excitement and joy of wedding, the cost is rarely criticized, even though it often costs three times as much as a funeral.

The funeral business is unique and very labor-intensive. It takes special people and training to deal with emotional and sometimes extreme grief that comes with the death of a loved one. If handled correctly, the funeral business is a mission. We are available 24 hours a day and have extensive facilities with viewing facilities, chapels, hospitality rooms, and vehicles.

The cost of a funeral includes not only merchandise, such as caskets; but also the services of a morticians and staff in making arrangements, directing funeral services, filing appropriate forms, dealing with doctors, ministers, florists, newspaper staff and others, and seeing to all the necessary details of the funeral service.

We believe that how the process is handled can make a difference on how a family will deal with their grief and may ultimately have a life time effect. For that very reason, we will not skimp on the service we provide. As we learned from the cradle… “There is only one way to do things, and that is the right way.”


Can the family of the deceased control the total price of a funeral?

Yes. The family has full control over the cost of the funeral based on the choices they make. At Schnider Funeral Home we offer many options with a wide selection of merchandise at a varied price range. We pride ourselves on making every service memorable, without regard for the type of service or the amount of money spent.


Making Pre-Arrangements

Can I pre-arrange my funeral?

Yes. Pre-arrangements have become very popular over the last several years. It provides an opportunity to handle details early and lessens the burden on family members. Pre-arrangements can be as simple as gathering biographical information for the death certificate and having it on file at the funeral home or as extensive as arranging the entire funeral service; choosing the casket, music, minister, etc., and placing funds aside to pay for it. The information you wish to place into your pre-arrangement is totally at your discretion, as is the amount of funds, if any, you wish to set aside.

Assisting with pre-arrangements is a courtesy to our families. There are no funeral home charges involved.


Where does the money go?

Funds can be used to purchase a funeral insurance policy or they can be placed in a trust fund. Both options have benefits depending on your individual situation. In Montana, 100% of all the funds must be placed in a qualified trust fund or be used to purchase funeral insurance. There are no administrative costs.


Can I transfer my pre-arrangements from one funeral home to another?

Yes. The funds set aside in you prearrangement are yours. Should you move or wish to choose a different funeral home, those funds can be transferred at your discretion. We can easily assist you with this process.


What To Do if a Death Occurs

What should I do if the death occurs in the middle of the night or on the weekend?

We are available 24 hours a day, seven days a week and should be notified as soon as the death occurs, regardless of the time of day or night. We will then guide you in the next steps that must be taken.


Will personnel from the funeral home pick up the deceased right away?

Should the death occur inside a facility, we will coordinate this with the staff. If the death occurs at home, we will come to the home as soon as the family wishes. If a coroner contact is required, we must wait until coroner authorization is received.


If a loved one dies out of state, what steps should be taken?

Again, call the funeral home and share with the mortician what your wishes are for the deceased.  The mortician will contact the local out of state funeral home and handle all funeral and transportation arrangements per your wishes.


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