Mortuary / Memorial Park in Orange County with Kathy DePeri, Harbor Lawn – Mt. Olive Memorial Park & Mortuary

Funeral Director Orange County

Funeral Director Orange County - Kathy DiPeri - Harbor Lawn & Mount Olive

Good afternoon, I’m a funeral director, so basically I’m an undertaker. My responsibility is to make sure when someone dies, to take care of the disposition. That’s what undertaker means. I work for a very large company, Service corporation , we own an incredible amount of mortuaries and cemeteries, so if you ever have an issue, call me, and chances are we own the property and I can take care of it. My facility is in Costa Mesa and it’s called Harborline Mt. Olive Memorial Park and Mortuary. We have a mortuary, a crematory, and 2 cemeteries. The Mt. Olive part is its own cemetery, a Jewish cemetery, we have a few temples that own property in our cemetery so we’re quite familiar when it comes to burials, the traditional way for Jewish families, we know how to do it. One of our other specialties, a good tip for me is anyone who is Asian and they do cremations, they have a service at our facility followed by cremations. That’s a really good tip for me, we do a lot of, especially Laotian services. We are the Laotian mortuary of Southern California and it’s amazing. A couple of us, we became close friends to a Laotian monk and when he died, he was like the leader in the U.S. and we became the Laotian mortuary, the community has adopted myself and another person I work with. We do ship-outs if you have someone that you need to ship listed in New York or Florida, or anyone around the world. That’s a good tip for me, too.

Do you speak Laotian?

I haven’t a clue. And that’s funny, but I can tell you, we do a lot of Laotian services. Something unique about my cemetery is we allow monuments and for people into genealogy that’s very important for them, so that’s also a good tip.

Do you do a ceremony around a cremation?

Yes, we do that a lot. If you know someone who wants to witness a cremation, send them my way, we can help with that. Are there any questions? We can also help you pre-plan. I’m not a huge fan of pre-planning unless you plan to stay local in the area, there are some good products out there, but if you know you’re going to stick around, that’s when you want to pre-plan. Also, really important folks, you need to do your trust, you need to have a health care directive. Go see John. I’ve had two people who’ve taken up residence with us, going on about 2 months for this one lady because her family did not put anything in place, she lived with someone 20+ years, there’s no way, she did not get married in the state of California, he’s not next of kin, we’re not sure what’s going to happen to her. We had someone get buried last week, same situation, except he lived with a gal, reaise her daughter, they came in thinking they could take care of everything, state of California said no. Luckily he was a veteran and we were able to bury him over in Riverside. Veterans get free burial, all cemeteries pay for them, you just need your mortuary, so that’s something you might want to look into. It saves you a lot of money doing that. Are there any questions?

Why are funerals so expensive? Because normally you’re paying thousands of dollars for the land? And you’re the cheapest? Out of everywhere I look, you’re the cheapest.

It’s all based on the industry and what the industry can get. We’re in the middle. But as cemeteries become full, their property’s going to be more expensive, just what they can get. You look at the overhead, the huge facility, the maintenance. Don’t buy cemetery property that’s not an endowment cared park. It’s pretty expensive to take care of cemeteries. Endowment means special funds are set aside to help maintain the property, especially after it’s sold out. Some of these dilapidated cemeteries have no money to take care of it. So make sure you purchase property in an endowment care park wherever you are, New York, California, wherever.

Some of you come to me and say, I need to do this, that for my family but I have a lot of brothers and sisters. You’ve got to do something, everyone has to be on the same page, go see John. I can’t tell you how important that is because if you have raised a child and it’s actually a stepchild, state of California, means nothing. They have no rights. I just went through that with two gals who adored their father, their stepfather actually, and it was a problem for months. You really need to make sure things are in order because otherwise if it isn’t, you’re going to spend a lot of money going through probate. If you don’t have anything, if you do have assets, families come to me a year or two later and have lost a lot because they didn’t have everything in order. Not to scare you, but it’s a fact of life right now. Mark, John, we all have horror stories about that. Any other questions?

What entails pre-planning?

for one, Ron has a good product, the Final Expense, you can take it anywhere, but let’s say you decide, especially if you have problems with your family. Say you want cremation, that’s where pre-planning is excellent, you set it up, you pay for it, it’s a done deal, your final will, your family can’t change it, that’s when I really like pre-planning, especially if you’re having problems, don’t have any family, that way your wishes are carried out, the state of California won’t step in and take care of it. Especially for those of you that want burials, it’s important to write down what you need. You come in, pick out everything you want, your casket, and pay for everything in advance os it’s a done deal.

What are the legal places you can spread someone’s ashes?

Now, there’s a lot of, basically, if you’re going to do federal property you have to get permission from the federal government. Legally, you can 500 miles off the coast, you can’t go Newport Bay or Long Beach Bay. Private property, you have to get permission from the owner. You can google it and they’ll tell you. There’s a lot of information out there now. You can’t go out to the cemetery without permission.

1625 Gisler Ave.
Costa Mesa, CA. 92626
Tel. 714.540.5554
Fax 714.540.3628