Because death has a devastating effect, dealing with the loss of a loved one is tough, which is why you wouldn’t want to plan or even think of the funeral. However, making funeral arrangements in advance ensures those left behind won’t have to negotiate for services as they grieve. According to funeral home directors, funerals are not for the deceased. Apart from providing closure, laying down a loved one helps the bereaved to heal.
Although the services offered by funeral homes are of vital importance, you should exercise caution to prevent them from taking advantage of your vulnerable state and overcharging you. To ensure you know your rights and what to expect, here are some guidelines.
Despite the fact that shopping around might save you money, most people opt for the nearest or most familiar funeral homes. You won’t necessarily score a good deal just because your family has used that funeral home before. In truth, you can get a better deal and end up saving a lot if you compare different funeral homes. Compare the cost of everything offered from caskets, urns, embalming, and transport, to wakes, quick burials, and cremation.
Get a clear, upfront pricing
According to the Federal Trade Commission, funeral homes must provide a written and itemized price list detailing every product and service offered. The price list needs to include a service fee payable by every client, one that covers professional services. Funeral home customers are also entitled to price lists detailing every casket, including any low-price model not on display.
Cremation offers a way to save
Cremations cost an average of $3,200, less than half the cost of a traditional funeral. Apart from ruling that a casket is not required for cremation, funeral home directors are required by the Federal Funeral Rule to provide options, including a cardboard box.
Freedom to purchase urns or caskets from alternative sources
The Federal Trade Commission requires funeral homes to allow the use of urns or caskets bought elsewhere. In addition, you shouldn’t incur any extra cost if the casket or urn handled was purchased somewhere else. However, if you buy a casket from the funeral home you chose, you will most likely get a discounted package price.
Eliminate unnecessary services
Funeral home directors often insist on services that are not required by law. For example, managers can inform you that embalming is a legal requirement for a wake. Unless a body is not buried or cremated within a specified period, embalming is not required. Since it might prove useful in case of delays, you should ask about preservation techniques such as refrigeration. While liners and casket vaults are not legal requirements, cemeteries usually insist on them to keep the graves from sinking in once the caskets start to deteriorate. You may be interested in the resources available at the Aftercare Cremation & Burial Service website.