how to plan a more affordable funeral

How To Pre-Plan a More Affordable Funeral

Most funerals in the United States cost between $7,000 and $12,000 with the average cost being around $9,000. How does a funeral end up costing that much? It’s hard to have an affordable funeral because there are so many added fees. Funeral homes charge a lot of fees. These can include ones for their services, their space, embalming, and for digging and closing the grave. On top of that, most funeral homes markup casket prices to cover their overhead. This means that you may end up paying up to $10,000 for a casket alone. 

The Key to an Affordable Funeral: Pre-Planning

No one wants their loved ones going into debt in order to prove them with a dignified funeral. One of the best ways that you can make your funeral more affordable is by pre-planning. This entails you pre-purchasing the casket you want and laying out all your wishes ahead of time. When you leave your loved ones to plan a funeral while still grieving, they are not in the best place to make the best financial decisions. However, when you pre-plan your own funeral, you are able to take your time, compare prices, and make good financial decisions. 

There are many benefits to pre-planning your funeral: 

  • You can spare your loved ones the burden of planning and paying for an expensive funeral
  • Pre-purchasing allows you to lock in a price on a casket. This way, you won’t have to worry about price inflation in the future 
  • You can make choices that better suit you and pick out something that you want
  • The best way to avoid funeral home markups on caskets is by buying online 
  •  You will be prepared when the time comes

Overnight Caskets makes pre-planning and pre-purchasing your casket easy. First, you shop around on our online store to select a casket that best suits your personality and needs. After you check out, you will receive confirmation paperwork and a receipt. You should notify your loved ones of your wishes and your purchase and give them the paperwork. At the moment of need, they will have to contact us to arrange shipping. Finally, when the time comes, a friend or family member will need to call us at Overnight Caskets. We ship caskets in 1-3 days, so that your casket will arrive quickly when you need it. 

How Pre-Purchasing a Casket Can Make a Funeral More Affordable

Caskets are one of the biggest costs that come with planning a funeral. Whether you choose burial or cremation, you are probably going to need a casket. One way that caskets can get expensive is when funeral homes mark up the prices. Funeral directors may also only show people the most expensive caskets that they have. This means that families are not made aware of the more affordable options. Many families are pressured into buying a more expensive casket than they would have liked. 

The best way to get around these pushy, upselling tactics is to pre-purchase your own casket online. The average funeral home charges between $2,000 and $5,000 for a regular casket. A fancier casket can cost up to $10,000. At Overnight Caskets, our prices range from $850 to $3,200. The average price is in the ballpark of $1,000 to $2,000. The reason we can sell caskets at a much more affordable price is because we get our inventory directly from the manufacturer. We do not have the high overhead that funeral homes do, therefore we don’t need to markup prices. When we save money on our inventory by cutting out the middle man, we can keep our prices low. 

Pre-purchasing a casket online is one of the best ways to ensure an affordable funeral. Not only are our prices reasonable, but by pre-purchasing you can lock in a price on a casket now. This way you won’t have to worry about price inflation in the future. The FTC Funeral Rule requires that funeral homes accept any independently purchased items without imposing any added fees.

Here are some other tips for planning an affordable funeral:

Choose a Different Casket For an Affordable Funeral

This does not mean that you have to choose a cheap casket. One way to cut funeral costs is to choose a casket that is simpler but still high-quality. It can be hard to buy affordable caskets when you visit a funeral home because they will often steer you towards the most expensive caskets in the showroom. However, when you buy a casket online, it is easy to research the features that you want and only pay for what you need. 

For example, if you want a minimalistic wood casket either for yourself or a loved one, then you may want to consider a cremation casket. These are generally more affordable than other caskets. Our poplar veneer wood caskets are made with high-quality materials and outstanding craftsmanship; they are guaranteed to provide yourself or a loved one with a dignified exit, without breaking the bank. Our other wood cremation caskets cost a little over $1,000. We carry both solid wood finishes and veneer wood. 

man placing hand on casket | affordable funeral | overnight caskets

Another choice you can make to have an affordable funeral is to choose a metal casket without a gasket seal. Many metal caskets are desirable because they have the ability to be sealed. However, this extra feature can be a little bit more expensive than non-sealing caskets. Overnight Caskets offers non-gasketed metal caskets, available for pre-purchase, for around $850. For comparison, our full rubber gasket sealer caskets start at $1,100. If affordability is more important to you than preservation, then purchasing a non-gasketed casket is an ideal way to save money. 

In general, one great way to select a more affordable casket is to ask yourself, “what features do I actually need?” Pre-purchasing your own casket is actually a lot like buying a car. In the same way that cars have extra features like heated seats, multizone climate systems, and blind spot alert, caskets also have features. When buying a car, you wouldn’t spring for a feature you don’t want, like a rear entertainment system. So don’t waste the money paying for extra casket features that you don’t want. If preservation isn’t important to you, then there is no need to pay extra for a casket with a gasket sealer. Similarly, if you are a no-frills kind of person, then you would probably prefer not to spring for added detailing and decoration on your casket. 

Decline Embalming 

Embalming is a procedure where a mortician uses chemicals to preserve the body of the deceased to stave off decomposition. When a funeral home provides you with a price list, there will usually be a fee for embalming that ranges from $500 to $700. Whether you are making the decision for yourself or for a loved one, the choice whether or not to be embalmed is very personal. It will depend on your wishes and how you want to say goodbye. 

Funeral directors may try to pressure families into choosing embalming. However, federal law does not actually require embalming for a person to be buried. Certain local or state laws may require embalming, however, so you may need to check your local ordinances. According to the FTC, if embalming is not required by local law, then the funeral home must obtain explicit permission from the family in order to embalm. 

If you or a loved one would prefer a more natural conclusion, then deciding to forego embalming may be the right choice for you. Not only is declining embalming a way to reduce costs to have an affordable funeral, it is also an opportunity to go out on your own terms. Many people try to avoid putting chemicals into their bodies during their lifetimes; declining embalming allows them to continue after death as they had in life. 

Have a Home Funeral

When a loved one passes away, the norm now is for the family to call a funeral home to pick up the body and handle all the arrangements. However, it wasn’t always this way, all funerals used to take place inside the family home. Now, home funerals are making a comeback. Instead of handing their loved one off to a funeral home, more families are choosing to keep the deceased at home and to say goodbye in their own way. 

Having a home funeral is completely legal; in most states, the law allows the family to keep the deceased’s body at home. However, in certain states, the law does require some involvement from a funeral director in tasks related to getting a death certificate and overseeing the burial or cremation. 

A home funeral significantly more affordable because you save money on funeral home fees. Additionally, it can be especially healing because it allows the family to say goodbye on their own terms. If you or a loved one would like a home funeral, you may want to pre-purchase a casket online. This way, you can be ready when the time comes and be prepared with a dignified place to lay the body while friends and family say goodbye. 

Consider a More Intimate Service

Funerals are a lot like weddings: there is pressure to turn it into a very large affair and spend a lot of money. However, in the same way that weddings are about what the couple wants, funerals should be about honoring the wishes of the deceased and the immediate family. One way to plan a more affordable funeral is to keep it small and intimate. Whether you are planning a funeral for yourself or for a loved one, you should consider what size funeral would be suitable. 

man putting flowers on a gravemarker | affordable funeral | overnight caskets

For some people, bigger funerals are better because they were social butterflies in life. However, for our introverted loved ones, it may be better to honor them by keeping the funeral small. Not only can this help cut down on the costs of serving food, having flowers, and renting space, it can also be a good opportunity to remember the deceased with only those who knew them best. 

Buy Funeral Materials Online

Overnight Caskets also offers other affordable funeral products online, including burial vaults and headstones. As with caskets, funeral homes are required to accept any materials that you purchase from vendors without charging any added fees. Buying a vault and a headstone online can be a great way to save money by avoiding the funeral home’s marked up prices. Some funeral homes charge as much as $3,000 for a burial vault, while Overnight Caskets offers high-quality vaults starting at $1,395. Our headstones are also a much more affordable option than buying directly from a funeral home. We offer simple flat markers for between $200 and $500. Our upright headstone monuments range from $1,400 to $6,200 depending on the size and design. 

At this time, burial vaults and headstones are not available as part of our pre-planning option; however, buying these items online is much more affordable than buying them from the funeral home. When you pre-purchase your casket, you may want to also pick our a burial vault and a headstone at the same time. Then notify your family of your wishes, so when the time comes, your loved ones will be able to utilize the casket and headstone that you picked out.

Learn More About Pre-Planning an Affordable Funeral

If you have questions about how pre-planning works or just need advice on selecting the right casket for you, please contact Overnight Caskets. Our toll-free number and online chatbots are available 24/7 to answer all your questions. Our team is happy to talk you through the pre-purchasing process. 

If you are ready to plan a more affordable funeral, you can start today by browsing our online catalog

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