Dealing with the passing of a loved one can create quite a number of unforeseen challenges. Not only is there emotional pain and grief to deal with, but planning a funeral also necessitates a significant outlay of time, energy and money. Wrestling with these emotions while also needing to make sound, coherent choices for the family can often lead to frustration and dissent. Managing funeral costs can become quite the arduous task if not properly prepared. The average cost of a standard funeral ranges anywhere between $5500 and $7500. You should ask yourself if all these costs are indeed warranted. Oftentimes, due to the mental wear and tear from the overwhelming grief, as well as the need you feel to properly remember your deceased loved one, it is quite difficult to constrain your funeral expenses. Standard shopping tactics such as price negotiation and price comparison can be overlooked in such chaotic times. This leads to the majority of people paying much more than they reasonably should for funeral proceedings.
Overnight Casket’s goal is to not only deliver quality, dignified products suitable for your loved ones, but also to do so in a manner that successfully helps you manage your funeral costs. Therefore, we have put together a guide of simple steps you should take while planning a funeral.
Pre-Plan in Advance
While it at times cannot be pleasant, thinking about funeral plans in advance (if possible) of the death of your loved ones gives you an extremely large advantage in regards to funeral arrangements in a variety of ways:
- Expand Your Options – Planning in advance gives you the advantage with talking to multiple funeral homes, mortuaries, funeral agencies to get the best possible deal. Pre-planning allows you to comparison shop without pressure or time constraints. When you have time to make decisions, they are more likely to be informed.
- No Time Constraint – Planning in advance takes away any time constraints from your decision. Taking your time in any decision allows you to become more informed about the process.
- Remove Emotionial Distraction – Planning in advance helps you make a sound decision, without the distraction of grief being involved. The outburst of emotion can tend to cloud judgment.
- Scout Location – Selecting the cemetery plot for your loved is also best planned in advance. It ensures the family is in agreement on a resting site. It also gives the person a chance for some input in regards to his/her final resting place.
Also please note, your wishes about your funeral may be formalized in many states by entering into and funding a preneed funeral contract. In some states, simply making your family members, friends, attorney or a trusted partner aware of your wishes, in writing, will suffice. Please check your state law to determine how conveying your wishes will be effective.
Funeral Home Tips
Consumers shopping for funeral necessities are protected by the United States Federal Trade Commission's 'Funeral Rule'. These procedures ensure fair trade practices and protection for consumers. Please, for your protection, take a moment and review the FTC’s Funeral Rule prior to your purchasing of any funeral services and products.
Here are some additional tips that can help in your dealings with a funeral home:
- Always negotiate – It is your right to negotiate a fair price. Oftentimes you will get a better price by bargaining.
- Familiarize yourself with the local funeral and burial laws. Funeral homes must specify any local law requirements in regards to services or expenses.
- Compare our General Price List to that of a few other funeral homes.
- Alert the funeral home to fact that you are a comparison shopper. Make sure to get a list of all expenses and fees they charge.
- Purchase only the products and services that you want and need. Some funeral homes offer funeral packages, but they may include items you do not want or need, resulting in an extra expenditure for you.
- If you end up purchasing a casket online, the funeral home must accept it. The FTC Funeral Rule requires the funeral home to accept any casket the family chooses, regardless of where it was bought.
- Do not reveal to the funeral home if insurance benefits are covering the funeral costs – with this information, they will often adjust their costs upwards to claim the entire amount.
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