A loved one has died and you are the one to plan and pay for the funeral. Congratulations!

After making several calls, you find a funeral home that you are comfortable working with. However, they tell you that they will require full payment up front. They give a price for the services you selected and you are shocked. Relax– the are some things you can do to save on funeral expenses.

It is not uncommon to have funeral expenses in the $8000 range for a traditional funeral.

Costs vary widely depending on location and options selected.

Save on Funeral Expenses – These Point Will Help

It may no be possible i every case, but pre-planning for a funeral is a great idea. We are all going to pass from this life and if is far better from both an emotional as well as financial point of view to prepare in advance.  It allows time to carefully research your choices. Planning ahead does not mean you have to prepay. We have some information you many find helpful Pre-Need Funeral Planning.

If pre-planning has not been an option there are still many things a person can do to save on funeral expenses. The 5 points below are good to keep in mind when looking to save on funeral expenses.

1.) Decide the Type of Funeral You Wish

Funeral preferences are determined by traditions, costs and personal preferences. A traditional funeral has a viewing, a formal  service and burial. This type of funeral is always the most expensive. A direct burial is when the body is buried shortly after death. A memorial service may be held at the graveside or at a later date.

Direct cremation is when the body is cremated without embalming. The resulting cremains (ashes) can be kept or scattered in a meaningful place. Cremation is always less expensive than body burial, simply because there is no casket (generally) and plot size is less if there is an interment at all. Funerals Your Way has many cremation and scattering options for consideration.

2.) Pick a Funeral Provider

You really need to use a funeral home. In California, the death registry system is completely on-line and you need access to this system to legally process a death. Funeral homes are required by law to give you their prices (know as General Price List) if you ask. Our price list is posted on our website.

As well, the Federal Trade Commission has information explaining your rights under a law called the FTC Funeral Rule.  After some investigation, and a few phone calls, you should have the information you need.

Smaller family run funeral homes with less overhead will generally be less expensive and very appreciative of the business.

3.) Dealing with a Dead Body is Expensive

A service with the body viewable in an open casket is expensive.  You have the cost of a nice looking casket, embalming, venue cost, body transport with hearse, clergy costs.  It adds up fast, so if you do not need the deceased present it will save money.

4.) Try to Use a Free Venue

If you wish a service, perhaps you can use a free (or almost free venue).  The family church or a hall that the family has access to is great.  Not using a paid venue will save a lot.

5.) Make a Clear Distinction Between Wants and Needs

Decide what additional options you would like. Funeral providers will have a list of the items they can provide that range from very expensive caskets, to paper items such as memorial cards. You can save money here by shopping for the items you want to have, but would like to save over the price of the funeral home.  Don’t over spend – Make a clear distinction between Want and NeedsSpending more money does not equate with love!

If you really want to save money and give a gift to humanity at the same time, you can always donate the remains to science.  When doing so transportation, cremation, and return of cremated remains to the family are arranged, often at no cost.  This is really a lovely gift to give the world.

The last thing to remember is that it is OK – even good to feel bad and cry. This helps start the healing process.

Funerals Your Way
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