A funeral is always a sad affair and is definitely one of the steepest expenses that we face at several stages of our life.
Funeral plans are usually done by consumers from an emotional point of view. They sometimes do turn a blind eye to the possible expenses incurred in the process and take the leap of faith with their eyes closed.
I understand that people want to say their final “goodbye” to their loved ones in the grandest possible way. But that doesn’t mean they should take no notice of the possible expenses that’s going to get incurred in the process.
Let’s be a bit frank here. No matter what you spend in a funeral, it’s not going to bring the person back from his/her unfortunate death. Even if you spend a dime in the service, it would not mean that you love the person any less.
Hence, it’s advisable to keep everything within a reasonable budget and plan the program wisely. These tips might come in handy for you.
1. Know your rights as a consumer
As per law, anybody who opts for a funeral service must be given a general price list of available services. If you go to a funeral home in person, you should be given a price list based on the nature of the service that you can take home for further considerations.
If you book a service via phone, the receiver must provide you8 with the details of the available services on the call itself.
Funeral homes usually provide their services via packages but it isn’t compulsory for consumers to opt for services in packages only. They can pick and choose if they want and pay accordingly on basis of that.
So take some time and make your decision wisely. You definitely won’t regret it.
2. Don’t overspend emotionally
Overspending is quite a common occurrence especially when this funeral business is concerned. Like I already pointed out before, grief and emotion can actually compel families to spend way beyond their projected budget.
Try to not do that. Chalk out a budget in your head and stick to it all cost. Always remember that your homage is what counts especially when this occasion’s concerned. A grand funeral can hurt your finances extensively.
P.S. Planning an extravagant farewell for the dead is good indeed. But always remember that your priority should always be more to the living. Think of them first and then spend.
3. Know the basics of caskets and other funeral equipment
Your charges can actually range from a few hundred dollars to around five thousand dollars depending on the choice of your casket.
All funeral homes should provide you with a detailed list of their available casket prices. If you think that the prices are overpriced way beyond your expectation, don’t hesitate to ask for a mid-priced or low-priced casket. By law, they should comply immediately.
You should also do the same thing for grave liners, vaults, and other funeral equipments. Remember you have the freedom of information act in your favor. The funeral supplier should not suppress any information from you especially when that’s related to his/her business.
4. Embalming isn’t compulsory
There’s this common misconception around that embalming is absolutely mandatory in funeral services from the point of view of the law.
Now that’s completely wrong. The law doesn’t mandate embalming in any way. You are free to either go for it or not. Information like these should be disclosed on the funeral home’s service list.
5. There’s help available if you feel that the costs aren’t right for you
If you feel that you are getting ripped off by a dishonest supplier, don’t hesitate to opt for help. Always remember that helps is available who actually ask for it.
If you feel that a funeral home is charging unreasonable prices for their services, you can lodge a complaint against the funeral home to the Government through email or by post. The authorities would look into your complaint ASAP. Necessary steps would be taken on basis of that.
You can also call the National Funeral Directors Association (800-228-6332) to register your complain with the authorities. For more details about complaints, you can refer to this page.
Lastly, I would like to repeat the very same thing that I have said countless times up above. Do not take rash decisions in any way whatsoever. Think clearly, take a bit of time and come up with a reasonable decision. And do try NOT to decide anything from an emotional point of view. Logical decisions are the best ones especially when funerals are concerned.
September 16, 2017 at 2:59 pm
I like your point about asking the funeral home for a list of detailed caskets and their prices. Comparing the differences between mid-priced and low-priced caskets could really help someone make an informed decision. I would also think that speaking with a funeral home professional might be able to help with the rest of the details of planning a funeral.
August 24, 2018 at 2:00 am
This is some really good information about planning a funeral. My grandmother isn’t doing too well at the moment. It is good to know that you don’t have to do the embalming. That is a good thing to know because my grandmother is a bit of a hippy and wants as natural of a burial as possible.