How to Plan a Simple and Affordable
Funeral or Cremation Service
The following funeral planning
guide is designed to highlight many of the immediate decisions that need
to be made when planning a simple, affordable funeral service.
Did the deceased make any
provisions for what they would like happen when they die? This could
include a funeral plan with a local funeral home, whereby they have planned
and paid for the funeral and arrangements ahead of time. Some
people also purchase “burial insurance” which will have been set up to
cover the cost of their funeral.
If no funeral plans or provisions
have been made, then the first question needs to be whether the body is
be buried or cremated. Burial has long been preferred choice for
many Americans, however, over the last 10 years, the cremation has rose
to almost 40%. Reasons for the big rise in cremations are that generally,
a cremation service will cost less than a traditional burial.
Advice – Be warned that funeral
homes prices for both burials and cremations can vary by thousands of dollars,
so do shop around and compare costs. Federal Law states that all
funeral homes must provide you with a price list of all their cost including
merchandise like caskets and grave markers.
If you and your family choose
for the loved one to be buried, then do look online at some of the casket
stores. Buying a casket online can save a considerable amount, however,
some funeral homes do not like this. Again Federal Law requires ALL
funeral homes to accept a casket purchase from another company, and cannot
charge you extra for this.
With a cremation, you have
a few choices. If there is to be a viewing, then there are rental
caskets for this purpose. It does seem excessive to spend a lot of
money on a casket and with the cremation, the funeral home can use a much
less expensive coffin or container for the cremation. A basic urn
is usually included in a cremation service. Some families choose
to purchase an urn separately in which to keep the ashes in. You
can also purchase what is known as a keepsake urn, which is much smaller,
and the ashes can then be kept by several family members.
The least expensive funeral
option is a “direct cremation”. With a direct cremation there is
no viewing or memorial service, it is just as it sounds direct. The
body is cremated and the ashes returned to the family in a basic urn.
More families are choosing this option and choosing to have their own memorial
service and ash scattering ceremonies. This can all be done much
cheaper and at a time that may be much more convenient to other family
members. It is all about choice and looking to not overpay for a
funeral is simple common sense.
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