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1. Pre-plan, but don’t pre-pay
Pre-planning your funeral and making your final arrangements in advance is a great idea. Not only does it save your loved ones from being forced to make difficult and emotional decisions, but it will give you peace of mind knowing that things are in order.
But pre-planning does not need to mean pre-payment…
2. You can rent a cremation urn or casket for the memorial service
Most funeral homes offer rentals which you can use for the memorial or funeral service. This is a great tip that can save you from paying too much for a casket you can’t afford or an urn you don’t want from the funeral home, and can also help you save on costly overnight shipping charges when ordering an urn or castket online.
- Casket rental
- Urn rental
3. You can purchase cremation urns or caskets online at much cheaper prices
Speaking of shopping online, the prices on the web will almost always be more affordable than the exact same item at the funeral home. Despite any impression to the contrary you may receive from a sales-focused funeral director, you are not required to purchase an urn or casket from them.
4. Funeral homes usually keep the low-cost caskets and urns in the back
If you’re not comfortable shopping online, or if you just don’t want to hassle with another thing to do, you can still find more affordably-priced caskets and urns at the funeral home.
5. You can use an “alternative container” for cremation
There is no law that requires you to use or purchase a casket for cremation. Every provider of cremation services is required to inform you that alternative containers (such as cardboard) are available.
6. Veterans with honorable discharge get free burial service
7. You can ask for a price list for all services
8. Most services are optional
While most funeral directors are honest and helpful, you may get a pushy-salesman type who will try to sell you more than you need. Or perhaps you feel pressure from family and friends to make everything “just right”. Or maybe without any explicit prodding, the vast arrange of options makes you feel like you need to accept more of the services the funeral home offers than you might under different circumstances.
9. Funeral adjectives are relative
Since funeral arrangements are often a new experience for most people, the words and terminology used can subtly influence how you think about the options and services available at a funeral home…
10. You can receive a written statement of costs before you pay
If you ask, funeral homes must give you a written statement and explanation of all costs associated with the funeral, burial, and/or cremation services you have chosen. This is helpful in making sure that you aren’t charged unneccessary fees for services or products you do not want.
Bonus tip: Bring a friend