The best businesses anticipate their customers’ needs and provide a service personalized for each one of them, and that includes Berry-Bell & Hall Fallbrook Mortuary. Funeral directors Scott and Steve McGargill, along with Kristie Meregillano and Dave Martin, are ready to help local residents now and in the future with their funeral arrangements from start to finish.
While some people may not want to think about the end of their lives, for those who like to plan ahead the McGargills and their staff can help with the planning of all aspects of one’s future funeral and burial needs. Approximately 35 percent of their customers preplan their end of life services, according to Steve. The majority of the people who preplan are above the age of 60, but it is never too early to make those arrangements.
Steve said that one of the reasons for preplanning funeral and burial arrangements is that “it allows you, yourself, the opportunity to determine exactly what type of final disposition you want. It allows you to put it down in writing, and pre-pay for your arrangements, so there are no questions as to your final wishes.” He added, “Probably the most important reason people want to preplan, is that they want to save their children or family the burden of trying to make these decisions and pay for it at the time.”
Many people find it difficult to handle the details of a loved one’s funeral and burial, even with the help of a caring funeral director, so planning ahead can lessen the stress for everyone involved. The McGargills, owners and managers of the business since 2001, offer many options for those people who want to work out the details to their own satisfaction before they die, and be assured that their plans will be carried out as they planned them.
Scott said, “People can come in and get all of their plans, no matter how simple or detailed, written down on paper, without prepaying anything at all. They can come in and prepay for just a portion of the arrangements now, with the balance being due upon death, from their family. Or they can pay for everything in full. Whatever they wish to do, we will try to accommodate them.” The process can also be started by filling out a form on their website, www.berry-bellandhall .com, where more information can be found.
They said that the only information that needs to be brought to the mortuary is the person’s social security number, parents’ names and military records (separation papers) if any, all of which is required for a death certificate. One can also think about what he or she wants to include in the plans, whether one wants a visitation to be held, what kind of funeral and/or committal service, a family gathering or not and the type of final disposition (burial, cremation or mausoleum entombment). All of those can be either open to the public or private, and the services can be held at the mortuary or at another location.
Berry-Bell & Hall does not require prepayment with the preplanning, but paying ahead of time can mean saving money as the cost of everything goes up with time. Steve estimated the average cost of the mortuary’s services to be $6,000; the average cemetery property to be $4,000 and the average cost of cremation to be $1,300. The prices of each will vary with the details each individual might want.
Berry-Bell & Hall works in conjunction with the Fallbrook Masonic Cemetery to offer burial plots in their cemetery. Steve explained, “Because they do not have a business office, and because it is just a ‘small country cemetery,’ we have worked out an agreement with them to act as their business office.” So the mortuary manages the care of that cemetery and sells plots there. The McGargills and staff are happy to offer guidance in what other cemeteries or mausoleums in the area offer, but they do not handle any purchases of property outside of the Masonic cemetery.
Additionally, they can handle the submission of an obituary to local papers as well as all options pertaining to military veterans including paperwork with the Veterans Administration, setting up military honors and burial at a national cemetery. They will also help with applying for any applicable government reimbursements for veterans.
Berry-Bell & Hall Fallbrook Mortuary is located at 333 N. Vine Street. For more information, call (760) 728-1689, email [email protected], or visit