Questions & Answers

What is the purpose of the Memorial Society of Northern Virginia (MSNV)?
Our purpose is to educate members of our community about life’s final choices. We provide consumer information about funeral homes and cemeteries, hospice care, advance directives, and more.

What sort of people join funeral consumer associations?
Our members are people who want to ensure that their end of life wishes are known to their loved ones well in advance of need. They want decision-making at the end of their lives to be as easy as possible for their families and friends.

What are the benefits of membership?
Members receive a comprehensive packet of information when they join and two newsletters each year. The fall newsletter contains interesting and useful information about current issues in end of life decisions and care. The spring newsletter contains a cost survey of funeral homes or cemeteries depending on the year. (These surveys are conducted biannually). Members also can attend two informational meetings each year:  the annual meeting in October and the mid-year meeting in early June. In addition, members can always access our phone line for information and advice.

What are four vital choices MSNV helps me make?
   1. What kinds of medical treatment you want or do not want when dying
   2. Who is authorized to make decisions for you if you are incapacitated
   3. Disposition of your body
   4. Distribution of your estate

Does the Association play a direct part in arranging for the funeral of a deceased member?
No, in some states associations have contracts with local funeral homes. This is not legal in Virginia. We do provide information and advice.

How does MSNV help with my estate planning?
MSNV does not provide direct legal services. We can help you prepare for a lawyer’s assistance by providing general information about wills, estate planning, legal power of attorney, advance directives, etc. We also have pointers on making your insurance policies, bank accounts, tax records, and investment accounts available to your family members.

What if I join MSNV and then move to another town or state?
Membership is essentially transferable. However fees will be different.

Who runs the Memorial Society of Northern Virginia?
We have an all-volunteer board. We are always looking for new board members to keep our organization vital. Board meetings are open to all. Contact us at for dates and times.   

How are donations spent?
Our primary costs are for educational materials, newsletter printing, and postage.

How do I join the Association?
Print, complete, and mail the membership application on our Membership page accompanied by a check payable to Memorial Society of Northern Virginia. 

Are inquiries from non-members welcome?
Yes, we are glad to offer assistance to anyone in need and will respond to the extent that our resources allow.


Memorial Society of Northern Virginia