Funeral directors, funeral consumer alliances, and cemetery staff are good sources of information about burial-related end-of-life questions. People at some cemeteries may not be adequately informed or up to date on funeral and cemetery law; some think embalming is required, for example. If you need help sifting through conflicting information, please contact us for assistance.

Hospices, doctors, hospitals, and nursing homes are the place to go for information about medical end-of-life questions, such as how to get and fill out health-care proxy forms and what a living will is. Your county or community may also have non-profit or governmental organizations that provide information on end-of-life issues.

For hospice in Tompkins County:

Hospicare and Palliative Care Services
172 E. King Road, Ithaca NY 14850
607-272-0212 |  607-272-0237 (fax) |

Local nonprofit or governmental organizations that provide information on end-of-life questions include:

Lifelong, Enhancing the Second Half
119 West Court Street
Ithaca, NY 14850


Tompkins County Office for the Aging
320 North Tioga Street
Ithaca, NY 14850
607-274-5495 fax

Each county in New York has an Office for the Aging ( The New York State Senior Citizen’s Hotline is at 800-342-9871.


Health Care Proxy

Cayuga Medical Center in Tompkins County will keep your health care proxy form on file, whether you are a patient or not. Be sure you tell your proxy—the person whom you’ve designated to make medical decisions for you, should you be incapable of doing so—where your living will is.

Cayuga Medical Center at Ithaca
101 Dates Drive
Ithaca, NY 14850

Funeral Consumers Alliance of the Finger Lakes
P.O. Box 134
Ithaca, NY  14850

The Funeral Consumers Alliance of the Finger Lakes, Inc. (FCAFL) is an all-volunteer, nonprofit, public-service organization that is committed to providing members and the public with unbiased information about funeral planning, practices, and costs.

Planning the Funeral Ceremony - Alternatives

A funeral celebrant is commonly a non-clergy resource who can help families plan a custom funeral ceremony based on secular beliefs, or on the unique beliefs, cultures, and values of the family.

Visit the Celebrant Foundation and Institute to learn more about funeral celebrants and to locate one in your area.