Planning a Funeral Service –
the 5 important things to do
Planning a funeral service can
be a daunting task. There are a number of preparations to co-ordinate,
important documentation to be located and completed, decisions to be made
– and all this often in a short timescale. To help you we have listed
below 5 top tips to help you plan a dignified, yet affordable, funeral
or cremation service.
#1 Compare Funeral Prices
When ever possible, always try
and get more than 1 estimate from a funeral home for the cost of the funeral
service required. Prices can vary greatly between different funeral
homes, and don't forget that you can order a funeral casket from a different
company and the funeral home must use the casket and cannot charge any
extras for this.
#2 Know the ‘funeral rule’
Always acquire the funeral home’s
price list. All funeral homes in America are required by Federal Law to
provide everyone with a written price for all services and funeral related
products that they offer. Check out the related article below
on ‘Understanding the funeral rule’.
Do not allow yourself or
your family to be pressured by the funeral home or funeral director into
ordering extra items or services that you feel you do not want.
Remember to try and avoid
spending too much money on the funeral service, you do not have spend a
small fortune to have a dignified funeral, whether it be a burial service
or a funeral cremation service. A dignified service can be
achieved for a modest amount.
#3 Be clear about how state
funeral legislation affects you
Know your rights as a consumer.
Funeral laws are not the same in every State and it is very useful to know
which items are required by the law for a funeral service and which items
are added extras and are not required by state law.
There are 7 states in the
U.S. where you are legally required to employ a licensed funeral director.
There are also varying regulations about your rights to purchase caskets,
burial vaults, conduct a burial on your own land or scatter cremated remains.
Check our state-by-state
funeral-planning guides in the resource section at the bottom of this article.
Each state guide provides a section by section account of your rights in
terms of purchasing funeral services and merchandise.
#4 Use a checklist to help you
plan your funeral
As I mentioned above, it can
be overwhelming knowing where to start when you have the task of planning
a funeral. Let’s try and keep it simple, and use available tools
to assist you. There are numerous funeral-planning checklists available
today. Whether you download one from a website, use an online tool,
or one provided by your funeral home. There are checklists available
on our page about how to ‘Save Money Arranging a Funeral’.
When determining the actual
price of a funeral service, there are several different things that need
to be established before hand. The cost of the funeral will in part
depend on what type of funeral service you choose. What kind
of extra, or ancillary, services you contract from the funeral home, or
Using a checklist to plan
the funeral can also help you keep focused on just the services, and budget,
you have outlined. During the distress of arranging a funeral, often
family can find they end up being swayed to purchase products and services
that they really did not want.
#5 Carefully consider burial
or cremation as funeral options
Although burial still outweighs
cremation as a funeral option, 4 out of 10 funerals are now cremations.
Cremation is the cheaper option when compared with a burial, however, a
cremation funeral service is no less dignified and has become much more
popular over recent years.
When arranging a burial there
are other costs like the actual grave plot, which can sometimes cost thousands
as more and more cemeteries become full. Opting for a cremation can
significantly reduce the funeral services and products you require, and
generally cuts the cost of funeral expenses by at least 50%. You
can even reduce them lower, if you decide upon a direct cremation without
Also, bear in mind --
The choice of casket or coffin
can add greatly to final cost of the funeral service, some Name Brand Caskets
today cost more than the actual funeral service itself.
The number of family members
and friends attending the funeral service will also add to the cost as
will the number and types of vehicles required.
Remember, some of the larger
corporate owned chains of funeral homes trade under many different names
and it can be very difficult to tell the difference between an independent
family owned business and a corporate owned funeral chain.
||Expert Author: Sara
Sara is the Editor in Chief
for US Funerals Online and has been researching and writing about the death
care industry in the US for the last 5 years.
State Funeral-Planning Guides – Top tips to arranging a funeral and how
state laws affect decisions
Last Revised: 04/09/2013