How to keep funeral costs down
Even if you or your loved one enrolled in a life insurance policy to help pay for the funeral, it’s still important to set a budget for your expenses. To help prevent both financial and emotional overspending, try some of the tips detailed below.
Get price lists from multiple funeral homes
As with any big purchase, you’ll want to shop around for funeral services. In the same way that you’d get multiple dealer quotes when buying a car, it’s smart to contact several funeral homes and ask for price lists from each.
Funeral homes are required by law to give you this information if you request it, so make sure you’re exercising this right. Once you’ve gathered your options, you can compare prices and choose whichever goods and services are the most affordable for you.
Opt for cremation
When it comes to funeral services, cremation is typically cheaper than a burial. If you or the person you’re planning for don’t have a preference, opting for cremation can help save hundreds of dollars depending on where your funeral is located.
Shop for your own urn or casket
The key to keeping your funeral costs low is to compare prices not only for funeral services, but for goods like an urn or casket, too. You have every right to purchase a casket or urn from a third party and request that your funeral home use it instead of buying one that doesn’t fit your needs or budget. By shopping for your own funeral items, you or your family can save thousands of dollars while also creating a memorable and meaningful experience for your loved ones.
Not all states require routine embalming, so you can eliminate this cost altogether by forgoing embalming. Embalming costs about $800 on average, so you can choose refrigeration as a preservation method or skip preservation and opt for immediate burial or cremation. Keep in mind that some states will require embalming if the deceased is not cremated or buried within a certain time frame, but this is not a requirement everywhere.
Use a private residence for the memorial service
Funeral homes charge you for services and staff if you use their facilities for a viewing or memorial. Instead of purchasing these services, a cheaper and more meaningful alternative would be to have your memorial at a private residence.
If you’re able to, pick a private place that has meaning and hold the funeral ceremony there. After the ceremonies have taken place, the funeral home will take care of the burial. You can also save money by using easily personalized memorial service program templates.