Planning at a Time of Loss
Lean on us every step of the way.
Please accept our sincerest condolences. We are very sorry for the pain and heartache you’re experiencing.
It is our honor to help guide you through this process with care, understanding, and support.
What information will I need to bring?
What is discussed during the appointment?
What are my memorial service options?
We’ll bring your loved one into our care and we’ll setan appointment with a Memorial Counselor for you.
the Time of LossChecklist below
This guide will help prepare you for your appointment.
Why should I select Forest Lawn?
Forest Lawn has over 100 years of trusted service in all your cemetery, funeral and cremation needs. When your loved one is in our care, they are treated with the utmost respect and dignity; because caring service is our reason for being. That is our credo and we take it to heart.
We tirelessly work to try to honor yours and your loved one’s wishes. It’s a very emotional and stressful time, and we promise to be there for you, every step of the way. We do our best in anticipating your needs and that’s also why we have the all-in-one convenience of having our churches, chapels, visitation rooms, reception rooms, cemetery properties, crematories and even flower shops all in one place. We have exceptional facilities to hold funeral or memorial services, and our cemeteries offer world-class properties to create a legacy for your families for years to come.
Why do I have to come into Forest Lawn
to make my arrangements?
By meeting in person with one of our caring and knowledgeable Memorial Counselors, we are better able to provide exemplary service for you and your family. We are able to guide you in accurately completing the documents, plus review options of available products and services with you.
If you reside in another state and are unable to come to one of our 9 mortuary locations in Los Angeles, Orange or Riverside Counties, we can schedule a phone arrangement with you.
We understand that this can be a physically and emotionally exhausting time and we’ll do everything in our power to help you fulfill your responsibilities.
How long is the arrangement meeting?
The arrangement meeting usually takes around 2.5 hours in order to properly give appropriate time to you and your family, and fully discuss final wishes.
During the meeting, we will gather vital information and learn about the life of your loved one, including the life they shared with family and friends. This will help guide the arrangement process. Every person is unique and we will let you know exactly what else you might need to bring.
We will review our traditional packages and cremation packages including the meaningful ways to personalize your service. Additionally, we will review your cemetery property options to select for your loved one’s final resting place.
What are the types of things I will choose during the appointment?
You will be able to choose everything you need to create a lasting memorial for your loved one. This begins with deciding between cremation or traditional burial, as well as other decisions such as flowers, music, caskets, urns and the final resting place. Every family and situation is unique, so we will guide you through all of the property and personalization options available. You will be able to select flowers from our expert designers and take care of scheduling the services, visitation or prayer service. We will walk you through all of the legal paperwork needed and make sure you have everything you need for the upcoming services. If your loved one pre-planned with us, we will review those plans and secure the necessary approvals.
What can I expect when I arrive at Forest Lawn?
When you arrive, you will be greeted by our Guest Services representatives and offered light refreshments. They will guide you to your arrangement room, where you will meet your Memorial Counselor. The Memorial Counselor will arrange all of the details with you in order to create an appropriate remembrance for your loved one.
What are “mortuary” services and what are “cemetery” services?
The Forest Lawn mortuary is where your loved one is first brought to our care prior to the funeral or memorial services and final placement in the cemetery. With the utmost respect, we look after each person we have the honor of laying to rest. Examples of the services provided by our mortuary include: bringing your loved one into our care, preparations like embalming, dressing and casketing, accompanying each decedent to scheduled services, and supervising the final placement in the cemetery.
Forest Lawn is in a unique position of being able to offer the great convenience of 6 cemeteries in the same locations as our mortuaries. Cemetery services include: opening the burial space such as a ground, crypt or niche, placing the casket or urn into a vault, crypt or niche, recording the burial, and placing a meaningful tablet to mark the earth or crypt with the name and memorialization of a loved one.
What are my memorial service options?
Forest Lawn offers many different ways to pay a memorable tribute to your loved one. Our parks all contain beautiful chapels, as well as spacious reception rooms for a gathering of family and friends. You can choose from one of the clergy that we work with, your own, or choose one of our specially trained celebrants who works with your family to create a unique eulogy for the service. If you choose to have a service at your own place of worship, we can still help arrange all the details needed.
What are my property options for traditional services?
Whether you are choosing a permanent resting place in one of our parks with sweeping vistas and natural beauty, or you choose a location inside one of our mausoleums, Forest Lawn has a variety of options for you. Each of our six memorial parks offers cemetery property options such as private or semi-private gardens, wall crypts or distinguished memorials. Your Memorial Counselor will work closely with you to make sure you find a worthy home for your loved one.
Does Forest Lawn sell caskets or urns?
We offer a full assortment of funeral and cremation products and services. We have four convenient funeral packages and two cremation packages. Each package includes the most frequently purchased items, including a casket or urn (also includes a generous casket discount).
I would like to have my services in my family church/synagogue/mosque/spiritual
center. Can Forest Lawn help me with this?
Yes, we can. If you would prefer to have your funeral and/or visitation services in your own place of worship, we can help coordinate the transportation of your loved one to the facility, set up the floral arrangements, and escort your loved one back to our mortuary at the conclusion of services. Hired motorcycle escorts are required for safety of the procession on public streets. Please be sure to meet with one of our Memorial Counselors to discuss available dates for the service before setting a service time with your place of worship.
My family lives all over the country and many will not be able to come in for the funeral; do youoffer webcasting services?
Yes! We offer state-of-the-art, HD quality, webcast services to help families bridge the miles to bring everyone together for the funeral and memorial services. Families receive a password-protected link to the scheduled webcast, and you can send the link to family and friends. When the service starts, access to the service is available. The link is active after the services conclude so regardless of time zone your family and friends lives in, they can still log into the service and watch the prerecorded version.
Does Forest Lawn offer cremation services?
We have been a trusted cremation provider in Southern California since 1917. Cremation Plus® at Forest Lawn is something more–it’s more respectful, more dignified.
We believe that how you say goodbye matters, so we provide many ways to make it more personalized to you and your loved ones’ life story…paving the way for a more respectful celebration of a life.
We have many options that fall under many price points depending on what is a good fit. We have affordable, reasonable and comparable pricing, with no hidden or surprise fees, avoiding more stress and heartache during an already very difficult time.
We set the bar high with the newest facilities in Southern California. Our crematories are within our parks, so we do not send anyone to an off-site facility to handle the cremation process. Families find comfort knowing that their loved one stays in our professional care 100% of the time, and throughout the entire cremation process. Our established protocols, verification processes, chains of command, and certified crematory operators in each of our facilities create the gold standard for the cremation industry.
Can I still have a memorial service with cremation?
Absolutely! We offer a memorial service with all of our cremations and you can personalize the entire service in the same way you would with a traditional burial. A service can also take place at the niche if you’ve chosen that as the final resting place.
Does Forest Lawn have space in the cemetery designed for an urn?
It may surprise you to learn that there are many options for a permanent resting place when it comes to cremation. Forest Lawn is well known for our memorial properties, and we have a wide selection of cremation properties like indoor or outdoor, wall or in-ground, granite or glass-front niches. The glass front option allows for display space of personal items reflective of the life being memorialized. We design our niches to accommodate multiple urn capacities, so please consult with your Memorial Counselor about the number of urns you would ideally like to have placed for your family memorial. For those seeking more natural settings as a way to return to nature, we also offer lush gardens surrounded by native California greeneries, trees, and stone formations called The Woodlands.
We provide other ways outside of just the traditional urn that allow for greater flexibility, such as beautiful keepsakes, like pendants, rings and smaller urns that are designed to hold ashes. This is an option that many families choose so that more than one family member can hold close the cremated remains of their loved one.
It is also still perfectly suitable for families that have prep-planned and purchased a traditional burial space, but have now opted for cremation, to use the full-sized traditional space for placement of an urn.
My loved one prefers cremation, but also wanted to have a funeral service, is it possible to do both?
Yes! By selecting cremation, there are even more options available for how you can memorialize the life of your loved one. We offer value packages with our cremations that include a funeral service before the cremation or memorial services after the cremation. Additionally, you and your immediate family may opt to say goodbye to your loved one in a private setting immediately prior to the cremation.
Does Forest Lawn sell cremation “keepsakes?”
We do have a wide assortment of unique keepsakes and elegant jewelry designed to hold a portion of your loved one’s ashes and allow families to keep them close to their hearts at all times. Our mortuaries have planning centers with these products elegantly displayed so that you can find the perfect piece. Our crematory professionals will fill the selected keepsakes and we will issue the required permits for each of the selected keepsakes.
Am I able to transfer my loved one to a location outside Forest Lawn?
Forest Lawn can make all the arrangements you need if you are sending your loved one to a final destination outside our care. We can help you arrange a transfer anywhere within the United States or even to a different country.
What happens after the memorial and services have taken place?
Our assistance does not end after the service.
We continue to serve your family’s needs by arranging the delivery of your deed and death certificates. This usually happens two weeks after the service. We also stay in contact with you for anything else you may need, including ensuring that your memorial tablet has all the personalization you requested––that they are accurate and complete (such as the wording, the fonts, and perhaps even images). The tablet is typically crafted and installed about eight weeks after the service.
Our grief support also remains available to you for any counseling, guidance and resources you may need. In fact, we offer grief support seminars throughout the year, including a candle light vigil called Lights of Remembrance around the holidays.