It’s no secret: Funerals are among the most expensive purchases consumers make. It ranks just behind buying a new car or a new home. While there are many who are reinventing the way they conduct or organize funerals, funeral directors remain a critical component in this service.
Hiring a funeral director can be a double-edge sword. Others have started organizing funerals themselves simply because of the costs. However, a funeral director can be instrumental into putting together a more organized, convenient and less stressful service.
Putting a loved one to his/her final resting place is both difficult and expensive. That’s why we’ve prepared essential information below that may help you along the way. Here are facts and secrets funeral directors won’t tell you.
- The best time to choose a funeral director is long before you need one.
Pre-planning your funeral is a highly feasible and more affordable option. You have more time to choose among packages and compare quotes. Furthermore, you can gather enough recommendations to come up with the best funeral director you can afford.
- Keep your money in a pay-on-death account
Yes, you can plan your funeral well in advance. However, remember that you risk losing your money should the funeral home go out of business. Don’t just pay in advance. Keep your money in a pay-on-death account so you have peace of mind.
- You can buy caskets from a third party seller
Most of us believe that we need to buy everything from the funeral home. From the urn to the casket, we have this misconception that we have limited options. However, you can buy caskets and other funeral items from other manufacturers and sellers. This will save you a lot of money not to mention widen your choices.
- Renting a casket is as common as buying one
This maybe unbelievable news to many but casket rentals are more common than you think. Many have chosen this option especially when they are trying to cut back on costs or want a better environmental choice. A thick cardboard is usually placed inside the rental casket and then removed for cremation or burial.
- Ask for a low-cost casket even if it’s not displayed
One must understand that funeral homes are businesses too. They don’t exist simply to help families go through the grieving process. They also exist to make a profit. Most of these funeral homes only display high-priced caskets in their showroom. Even if there are no low-cost caskets displayed, ask to see one anyway. Chances are, they have plenty of it in the back.
- DIY home funerals are legal in many jurisdictions
Funerals can cost an arm and a leg. That’s why it comes as no surprise than more families are opting for a DIY funeral. You’d be surprised to learn how common and legal it is in many places in the country. Just remember to ask around first and find out what the laws are surrounding DIY funerals.
- Funeral homes offer specific services
Like buying caskets, funeral homes can also offer their services ala carte. Whether you only need embalming or transferring the remains of your departed, you can choose specific services that are only necessary for you. Keep in mind: You don’t always have to go for the set packages most homes would prepare.
- Ask for an individual price list
Many funeral directors will present their clients with set packages or fixed prices on certain services. Even if this happens, ask for an individual price list anyway. Like what we mentioned, you may not need every bit of service in the package being given to you. This can be a very helpful step if you want to save money on other unnecessary expenses.
- Embalming is optional
Embalming isn’t mandated by law. In fact, you have full freedom as to whether or not you want the body of the departed embalmed. Those who will undergo cremation need not avail of this service. So if you come across funeral directors who tell you that embalming is required, you may want to move on to the next.
- Funeral directors are open to negotiation
No, it isn’t tacky to ask for a lower price. Believe it or not, plenty of funeral directors are sincere and altruistic in nature. They want to do what they can to help alleviate the pain and stress that comes with funeral arrangements. So don’t hesitate to negotiate with prices. Many funeral directors would be more than happy to adjust their prices. Try asking for discounts on extra services that can be easily tweaked.