Choosing a funeral home
Personalize a funeral in any way you want, according to the deceased's wishes.
Few of us know exactly how to plan a funeral and how much it should cost. Yet, when a loved one dies, we need to make important decisions and sometimes spend thousands of dollars, all during a time of emotional strain.
A trend in funeral home operations has been toward consolidation, which means that many funeral homes are owned by large corporations even if the funeral home outwardly seems like a small business. If it's important to you to find an independent funeral home, inquire about who owns the business.
According to the Federal Trade Commission, there are three basic types of funerals, (with some leeway in variations).
The Federal Trade Commission requires funeral directors to offer their clients an itemized list of how much everything involved in a funeral will cost, including the casket, grave liner, vault, container, embalming and more.
They often will include alternatives at lower prices. Specific price information may be given out over the phone, and the FTC even advises "price shopping" funeral homes over the telephone to avoid undue stress.
However, if a client chooses to purchase a package, the funeral director does not have to provide an itemized list with the package price. Because you are generally making decisions quickly and under emotional duress, you may want to take along an objective friend or family member to help you make informed decisions.
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