We pride ourselves on providing the funeral service that meets your needs and desires.  Our funeral home provides a full range of funeral service options, from the traditiional funeral service (i.e. viewing followed by burial) to immediate cremation service and combination thereof.

We are happy to explain each option:

Steps to Take at the Time of Death: 

     Death in an institution - When the death occurs at a hospital or nursing home, the medical staff should take care of all necessary legal steps.  You just need to notify the medical staff that Woodyard Funeral Home is handling the funeral arrangements so they can have you sign the necessary release paperwork.

     Anticipated death at home - Today, more people with terminal illnesses are electing to die at home under the care of hospice.  In this situation, you just need to notify Hospice that Woodyard Funeral Home is the funeral home of your choice.  They will then take care of all necessary legal requirements.  Many times when someone has a terminal illness, the family will elect to make pre-arrangements with us so they are not overwhelmed with the many important decisions at the time of death.

     Unanticipated death at home or elsewhere - In these situations, immediately call 911.  The police and emergency medical personnel will then determine the appropriate steps to be taken.  Often, the police can release the human remains directly to our funeral home.  However, in certain cases, the body may need to go to the Medical Examiner's office so that they can determine the cause of death.

     Death out of the Monterey County area or state - If the death occurs outside of the Monterey County area or California, you should call Woodyard Funeral Home at (831) 678-9100.  We can coodinate with a local funeral director at the place of death.  Having connections with numerous companies, we can often save families money by having our firm make the arrangements.  Shortly after the death occurs, you will meet with us to arrange the funeral service for your loved one.  During this conference, we will ask for personal information about the deceased in order to help plan the funeral and complete the necessary documents.

Funeral Arrangement Conference:

The arrangement conference provides the family the opportunity to create the funeral service that will be meaningful to them.  To ensure we meet all your needs and wants, this meeting can last approximately 2 hours.  Although the vast majority or arrangement conferences are handled at our funeral home, we are available to come to your residence.

When you come to the conference, please bring the following information / items:

Information belonging to the deceased required for CA Death Certificate

  • Social Security No.
  • Date of Birth
  • Birthplace
  • Highest Level of Education
  • Father's Full Name & Place of Birth
  • Mother's Full Name (including Maiden Name) & Place of Birth
  • Occupation / Industry (if retired, what occupation was held for most of the person's life)
  • No. of Years Person has Lived in Monterey County
  • Military Discharge papers (form DD214)

Items required for the funeral service you select

  • Information you would like placed in the obituary
  • Photograph for the obituary and/or preparation purposes
  • Clothing (all normal items including undergarments)
  • Jewelry and personal items
  • Eye glasses if desired

During the funeral arrangement conference, we will ask you how many certified copies of the death certificate are needed.  As part of our services, we will obtain certified copies on your behalf.  To assist you in ascertaining the number of certified copies needed, plan to order one for each instance:

  • Life Insurance Co.
  • Bank
  • Pension, IRA or other Retirement Benefit
  • Stock and Bonds
  • Titled Real Estate Property
  • Titled Motor Vehicle
  • Probate of Will
  • Final Tax Return
  • Your own Files

Value of Funeral Service:

The purpose of a funeral service is to provide a way of commemorating a life and drawing together friends and family members so that they can support each other as they share memories.  Although different religious communities have created set formats or rituals that they follow in conducting funeral services, there really is not a right or wrong way to do a funeral.

The most important thing to keep in mind when creating a service or commemoration is that it should be reflective of the person who has died.  While religious elements may play a part, it should also include stories about the person's life that help everyone recapture and revisit their own memories.  Sometimes this is best accomplished by having friends or family members share their reflections as part of the service.  Some people personalize the service with special music.  Others bring in pictures to have at the service.  Sometimes favorite things that belonged to the deceased are integrated into the ceremony such as golf clubs, paintings, or even a motorcycle.

The goal is to give a true sense of who this person was.  There is nothing wrong with telling funny stories about the person who died; a funeral recognizes the sad event of death, but can include humor.

Whether or not an open casket is part of the ceremony is an individual family choice.  The main reason that we have any "viewing", is because that allows people to have a physical presence to focus on when saying goodbyes.  A funeral helps people begin to complete their relationship with the person who died, and sometimes seeing the body helps.

The value of the service depends on how it is constructed.  Our family attempts to create funerals that leave families and friends feeling very lucky that the deceased was part of their lives; the music, the stories, the whole nature of the person being well integrated into the service that it captures just who they were.

Traditional Service:

Many people want to have a traditional funeral service complete with embalming, viewing, and ceremony the following day with burial at the local cemetery.  While there is no law in California which requires embalming, most families ask that we do so in order to view the loved one.

Often a preference of casket, prayer cards, and music are expressed during the arrangement conference.  Other details such as flowers, clergy, death certificates, obituary, and casket bearers are decided at this time.  We will coodinate such details in time for the service.

     One Day Service -  Some families want the convenience of having a viewing, funeral, and burial all in the same day.  The one day service works well for survivors who have to travel a distance, have a small family, or simply don't want the process of an evening viewing.  What ever the preference, we can accommodate.

     Graveside Service - A simple farewell for aloved one - usually a public or private ceremony at the cemetery just prior to burial.

     Memorial Service - A memorial service can be religious or secular, with or without the body present.  Though they are often held at our funeral home, memorial services can also take place in other meaningful areas.  More than one memorial service may be held, particularly if friends and relatives located in different parts of the country are unable to travel to one location.


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