Many people don’t like talking about funerals, but funerals can honor your life, family traditions, religious preferences, and your individual wishes. There are so many decisions to make. Survivors may be pressured to buy more than they can afford. Fortunately much of the stress caused by the business part of the funeral can be alleviated, allowing loved ones time to grieve and begin healing. It just takes some preplanning
Prices can vary a lot between funeral providers. You may want to keep it simple or go for the most all-inclusive celebration of life. It’s your choice, especially if you plan ahead. If you are dealing with an unexpected loss, don’t allow anyone to pressure you into spending more than you can afford. It is perfectly acceptable to compare prices. Here is a checklist form the Federal Trade Commission to guide your research. A few calls can save you thousands of dollars.
1. Check the classifieds to see if anyone is selling a cemetery plot for lower than market cost. Be sure to confirm it is a valid offer with a transferable deed.
2. U.S. Veterans and their spouse qualify for free plots, grave markers and interment at Veteran’s cemeteries across the country
3. Embalming is rarely required. Sometimes a funeral home may require it for viewings.
4. Buy your casket or urn online. Caskets at the funeral home can range in cost from $2,000 to $10,000. They are not required for cremations. A simpler container should be available, and even that may not be needed. If your chosen cemetery allows it you may even be able to use a biodegradable options. You can also supply an alternate container for cremations in many cases.
5. Have the funeral service in a park, or at home
6. You can donate your body to a medical school or research facility. This might require prearrangements to be included in special studies. There is no cost to you.
7. Shop around it only takes a few calls, and some funeral homes list their prices on their websites. For instance, in one community cremation costs varied between $499.00 to almost $2,000.00. The service provided was exactly the same, the standard urns were identical.
8. Order funeral cards online, or print them yourself
9. Order extra death certificates, but don’t go overboard. You can get more if needed and many places will accept a copy.
10. Order the headstone online.
Whatever you plan, a traditional funeral, a quiet scattering of ashes, or an all out rock and roll party, preparation is everything!