There is substantial money that can be saved by shopping wisely for all the expenses associated with a funeral. I have outlined some tips for saving funeral money below.
Talk to family members about your funeral. When you die, grieving survivors may be vulnerable to the subtle ploys of the funeral director to spend a lot of money. If your wishes are in your will, it may not be read until after other arrangements have been made. Make sure that your family knows what your wishes are.
Price shopping in person, by phone, or via the internet can save you thousands of dollars. To try to accurately calculate the time spent for each funeral option, add an hour or two for behind the scenes work. Be sure to ask if there will be any other charges. If you calculate paying more than $100 per hour, your mortuary is very high priced. On the other hand, if the cost seems reasonable, be sure to check the cost for caskets. In the past, mortuaries had a high markup for their caskets.
Choose a simple, wood casket. It is currently illegal for mortuaries to charge a handling fee for bringing in an outside casket. Some cost-conscious individuals choose a minimum priced casket from the mortuary and drape it in material that the deceased loved one would like.
Many people are choosing cremation over a traditional burial. It costs much less to have the cremated remains sent from one state to another. The space that the cemetery charges will probably cost less than the space needed for a body burial. Or, you can opt to have the cremated remains buried or scattered in a special place of your choosing. If you choose to have a memorial service sans the body, there is no need for embalming, a fancy (and expensive) casket, or transporting of the body back and forth. You can use a park, church, or community center for the service, without paying for the funeral home staff.
A lesser known option is to donate your body to a medical school. In many cases, there is no cost to the family. An attractive option to this is that the cremated remains are usually returned to the family after scientific study.
If you prefer a traditional, body burial, opt for the grave liner. For all intents and purposes, it is just a box for a box. The outer burial container has become a way for morticians to increase their bottom line. Remember that it just gets covered by the cemetery lawn.
Funeral directors are not necessary. You can handle all arrangements by using a third party. There are numerous resources available that tell you what permits are required, when and where to file them, plus a lot of practical information for families.
Join or communicate with a Funeral Consumers Alliance. Many of these alliances have contracts with mortuaries for discount services. They have the price shopping already completed and can help if you die or move to another state.
A funeral is an extremely sad, hectic and expensive time in the life of a family. Following the tips that I have outlined should help with the burden of traditional and non-traditional, funeral planning.