Funeral Pre-Planning Can Be Tricky But It Can Also Be A Wiser Choice Rather Than Waiting
Imagine there was only one food store in town. The only time you were allowed to shop there is two days after you ate your last bit of food.
Think the store owner could sell you anything he wanted at any price he wanted?
Sure he could.
Let’s compare this type of emotional and physical vulnerability with the emotional and financial vulnerability many people experience when a loved one dies unexpectedly. While most providers in the funeral business are honest, sadly there are those who will take advantage of that vulnerability. To help you plan for the day when you or your loved one needs funeral services, we have put a few tips together to help you navigate this arena of funeral services and funeral items.
Choosing A Funeral Home
Most states do not require you use a funeral home to plan and conduct a funeral, yet most Americans do. It is wise to get three quotes just as you would for any other significant purchase. Consider packages as most funeral homes offer breaks in cost when you choose a package deal. Note: Federal law requires that funeral homes offer direct burial and cremation costs right along with their other package plans AND the funeral home cannot charge extra if you buy your casket or urn somewhere other than at their funeral home.
Prepaying For Funeral Costs
It makes sense to prepay your funeral expenses if you are preparing to go on Medicaid right away. You can prearrange WITHOUT prepaying. Planning ahead helps you make more logical decisions without the complication of emotions. Bring a family member or a trusted friend along to help.
More Legal Rights
The FTC has set forth many rules to protect vulnerable people from manipulative or unsavory funeral service directors. You may: Buy only what you want and can buy items separately, such as embalming and caskets; Get pricing over the phone; See the pricing for the burial container; Receive a detailed written statement before you buy; Get an explanation describing legal or crematory requirements; and Make funeral arrangements without embalming.
For more detailed information about funerals and consumer rights, visit the Funeral Ethics Commission at FuneralEthics.org or Funeral Consumers Alliance at Funerals.org.