Almost anyone who has recently lost a loved one will tell you that funeral services are getting increasingly expensive. Today, people can expect to pay upwards of $3000 just for a regular funeral with the bare essentials which is a lot more than what it used to cost five or six years ago. Unknown to most people there are a number of steps that they can take in order to reduce the cost associated with the funeral of their loved ones.
Some of the steps discussed below may not work for everyone depending on their cultural background but nevertheless they do help save quite a bit of money.
Be open about death
You should always speak to friends and family member’s way ahead of time so that you are familiar with their wishes and they are familiar with yours. If you are assuming that you will mention your wishes in a will then the chances of it being read are slim, they may only be read it long after all the arrangements are made. Being clear about everything ahead of time just so that the right arrangements can be made when the time comes is the first step to saving money.
Always shop around for pricing
Price shopping has the potential of saving you thousands of dollars. Consider that the funeral home near you may be more than three times expensive than the one half ways across town. It is the law in many states for funeral homes to give their pricing over the phone or it should be on their website or they should have a general price list.
Also ask for items which are or were on display since those are cheaper, if you are quoted a price for something like a casket make sure that you take a look at it in person and compare prices based on your personal assessment of its quality.
Buy only what you need
If you are planning the funeral services of a deceased friend or family member and shopping for items at the time of their death always take someone with you. This person will ensure that you do not buy more than you can afford or intended because you are guilty. Many people think that how much they spend on a funeral is their representation of how much they love the person who is now deceased.
Also, when you buy less do not worry about being called cheap or different or what most people will think. There are many funeral services that have literature which refers to some packages as being “traditional” but in reality it’s just a very expensive package and like the very next that they offer.
Buy a casket online
Many funeral services overcharge for caskets. Interestingly you can find kits or caskets for a fraction of their offline price online. In many countries it is illegal for the mortuary to charge people a handling fee for caskets which are brought in from elsewhere which is all the more reason to buy one yourself.
Alternatively, you can also choose a minimum container from any mortuary and then spend some money to drape it in beautiful material like a handmade quilt or probably a flag. Consider the fact that caskets are marked up at 1000% of their original manufacturing price so it pays to find a better deal.
Dirt burial or immediate cremation to save money
These are special plans which many funeral services do not openly advertise because it does not necessitate that people buy huge caskets, spend money on embalming, and cosmetic touchups etc. Also, cemetery space for a person’s cremated remains are in most cases not as expensive compared to regular space needed to bury the body. Also, cremated remains can easily be scattered or buried anywhere you want. This means that you do not need to use a funeral home.
Consider the fact that embalming is not required routinely by law. There are some circumstances which may perhaps precipitate the need for embalming the body but it is not necessarily needed for cremation or burial which is planned within 24 hours.
Skip grave liners
There are some cemeteries that may require a grave liner or perhaps a vault but not every cemetery requires this and there aren’t any laws which require that you get one. If you prefer to bury the body then ask for a ‘grave liner’ as opposed to a ‘coffin vault’ which is available for a fraction of the price, once again shops around! Consider the fact that morticians increase their income via the outer burial container but which adds more money to your funeral budget.
However, trustworthy funeral services like Australia based Heavens Own also suggest that people on a budget choose their “Silver Package”.
- Ten Tips for Saving Funeral $$$
Mark has been a funeral director for over fifteen years. Over the years he has helped dozens of families with their funereal services and arrangements. His approach to delivering these services is less commercial and more humanitarian which is why the popularity of his services have grown tremendously over the past few years.