A Choice Mutual survey found that financial reasons are the top influencer of funeral services for 13% of people. To be clear, cost is a consideration for most families, but about one out of every eight funerals are arranged largely based on how expensive it will be. Considering that a traditional burial can cost over $10,000, the concern is warranted.
No one likes the idea of being limited by a budget, especially when they are making funeral arrangements. But too often, funerals are planned shortly after the loss of a loved one when there isn’t much time to research costs and compare options. With emotions running high, it’s easy to lose sight of staying within a specific budget.
Whether you’re planning ahead or have to make arrangements unexpectedly, the advice below can help you honor your loved one without letting costs get out of control.
Become Familiar With FTC Funeral Rule
The Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regulates what’s known as the funeral rule. The rule requires that all funeral homes provide price information. It also specifies that certain disclosures have to be made. The funeral rule was put into place to protect consumers and make sure they are charged fair prices. For that reason, it’s in your best interest to read through the regulations before contacting funeral homes.
Use the Master Price List to Compare Funeral Homes
One of the funeral rule regulations is that every funeral home must keep an updated master price list and make it available to potential clients. Price lists make it easy to compare funeral homes and find the most competitive prices. Some funeral homes put their price lists on their website, but you can call to request a copy if it isn’t available online.
Don’t Rely on the Funeral Home for Everything
The funeral home will charge you for every single resource they use during services right down to tissues. The more you can provide on your own the more you’ll save. You can even use a casket you provide on your own if you want. The same goes for urns. You’ll save hundreds if the casket is needed for a viewing and potentially thousands if it’s used for burial.
Customize Funeral Services to Your Liking
When a funeral home hands over the itemized price list go over it carefully. There are a lot of things that can be negotiated to reduce the cost and still get the services you envisioned.
The viewing and memorial services are a perfect example. Look to see how many hours the service is supposed to last. Often funeral homes will schedule services for 3-4 hours when two hours is more than sufficient. You can also request that the funeral home not create printed handouts to eliminate another expense.
Go through the estimate line by line to look for ways the services can be customized so they’re less costly.
Have a Memorial Service at Home
You can save thousands of dollars by choosing to hold the memorial service at your home or your loved one’s home. Not only is there no venue cost, you can also save on food and refreshments by having a potluck. Friends and family will already be bringing food by so a potluck shouldn’t be too hard to arrange.
Opt for Direct Cremation or Green Burial
In most instances, eco-friendly options are more expensive. But end of life services are an exception. Both direct cremation (cremation without viewing and memorial services at a funeral home) and green burial are less than half the cost of a traditional burial on average.
Direct cremation and green burial are stripped of all the unnecessary extras that make funeral services more costly for families and the environment. But don’t worry. You can still choose to have a viewing and memorial on your own. Our clients find that this option is often more meaningful than the experiences they’ve had with traditional funerals in the past.
Green Cremation Texas specializes in eco-friendly, affordable direct cremation. Our services are all-inclusive for a single price. There are no upsells, surprise expenses or low-ball estimates. We make cremation services simple so you can focus on being there for your family.
Send us a text, email or call any time of day for more information on cremation prices.