Funeral Planning Tips

The most important thing to remember is that a meaningful, heartfelt memorial doesn't need to cost more than your family can afford. Whether you spend $600 or $10,000, you'll love and miss the deceased just as much. It's the coming together of family and friends to laugh, cry, and love each other that makes a funeral meaningful, not the amount of money it costs. -Josh Slocum, Funeral Consumers Alliance executive director
  • Here are some tips to help you save on funeral costs

  •     Cost Savings Checklist
        1) Shop around

        2) Get a price list FIRST!
        3) Purchase a casket or urn outside the funeral home.
        4) Do not add unnecessary services/goods
        5) Use your local church or chapel for the services
        6) Have your pastor or bishop officiate the service
        7) Limit the viewing to one day or an hour before the funeral
        8) Dress your loved one in a favorite outfit  instead of costly burial clothes.

    • Shop around in advance if possible -Shopping in advance allows you to comparison shop without time constraints.  Compare prices from at least two funeral homes. Remember that you can supply your own casket or urn.  Shopping Funeral Services
    • Ask for a price list first – The first thing you want to do is ask for a price list.  The law requires funeral homes to give you written price lists for products and services.  Once you have a list of prices then you can let the funeral home know you already have a casket for your loved one.
    • Resist pressure to buy goods and services you don’t really want or need.  – Do not feel pressured to purchase unnecessary items.  Caskets do not have to be gasketed and some funeral homes will charge a lot more for that.  Some states don’t require vaults so make sure you know what laws govern your area.
    • Avoid emotional overspending – Make decisions as a family BEFORE you arrive at the funeral home.  If you have decided to purchase a casket online or have your pastor officiate the service, stick with your decisions regardless of the pressure you may feel at the funeral home.  It’s not necessary to have the fanciest casket or the most elaborate funeral to properly honor a loved one.
    • Recognize your rights – Laws regarding funerals and burials vary from state to state. It’s a smart move to know which goods or services the law requires you to purchase and which are optional.
    • Apply the same smart shopping techniques you use for other major purchases – You can cut costs by having the viewing and or funeral service in your local church or chapel.  You can save by limiting the viewing to one day or one hour before the funeral, and by dressing your loved one in a favorite outfit instead of costly burial clothing.
    • Federal Trade Commission Website:
      http://www.consumer.ftc.gov/articles/0070-shopping-funeral-services