Year on year, funeral businesses generate billions of pounds each year. Like it or not, death is an inevitable part of life, and funeral homes are the best place to celebrate the impact that life had on you. But funeral services are also notoriously expensive, which leads reasonable people to question whether funeral home owners are just taking advantage of people when they’re most vulnerable. Here are 10 ways funeral directors won’t tell you on how to save money.
1. Carry out comparison shopping to explore your options
There is no regulation for pricing in the funeral industry – but federal law does require them to provide pricing in advance over the phone. Don’t just walk into the first funeral home you see and accept their prices without doing a bit of research first. Personal recommendations from friends and neighbors can be helpful, too.
In addition, Many funeral homes will offer packages that are designed to help you save when purchasing a variety of services, but these can often include things you may not want or even need.
Funeral homes are required to provide itemized price lists for all services if you ask for one. You can even do this without leaving your home – consumer protection laws require that funeral costs be provided over the phone if you call in.
Some funeral homes aim for a “high end” clientele and will have nicer, more spacious facilities and little conveniences like complimentary coffee or a play room for children. Other places might not have all the bells and whistles, but equally great service and the exact same products for a fraction of the price.
So call up a couple of funeral homes and compare prices, then do a bit of background research on their websites and social media before going in. This shouldn’t take more than half an hour, and it could save you thousands of pounds.
2. You Can Sell Assets After death
Liquidate post assets to help acquire the funds to pay off the funeral bills. This really should be a last resort because assets must go through the probate process before you can access those funds. For that reason, there will be a substantial amount of time between a date of the deceased as to when you’ll have the cash in hand to pay for the funeral. However, if all other options are not available, this might very well be the only way to pay off the funeral expenses.
3. A morning funeral may cost less than an afternoon ceremony
Different time slots can command different prices and as morning is considered ‘off-peak’, some funeral directors may offer you a reduced rate if you choose to conduct the funeral before noon, especially if the business is slow.
4. Consider Direct Burial & Cremation
Consider A Direct Cremation– A direct cremation is a barebones cremation without a funeral service of any kind. You are just paying for the cremation of the body along with a very simple container to hold the ashes.
Consider a Direct Burial- A direct burial is a burial service that does not include any sort of service for the funeral ceremony. You are just paying for the cost of labor to process the body and bury it in a plain box rather than a casket. Direct burials usually cost around $3,000 to $5,000 depending on your area.
5. The major funeral home chains do not necessarily offer the best service
You might think that the larger companies would provide a more professional and cost-effective service than independent ‘mom-and-pop’ funeral homes. In fact, many smaller firms offer a more personal service and better value for money. Because of this, carry out some research to find your local Funeral Directors.
Organizing a funeral for your loved one
Your funeral director may boast years of experience and bundles of compassion but family and friends always have the deceased’s best interests at heart. Don’t be afraid to question anything you’re unsure about and request changes if necessary. Be sure to carry out your research on multiple Funeral Directors.