A funeral is never a great time and is often a very sad and somber occasion. There is a lot that goes into planning a funeral service for a loved one. They can be as simple and basic or as detailed and personalized as you want. Modern funerals look vastly different than they did even just a few generations ago and many today are seen more like a life celebration and memorial than strictly a sad service. Modern features many people are considering include things like funeral webcasting for family members who are unable to attend in person and moments of sharing and remembering by those in attendance. The services that are included in a funeral will go a long way in answering the common question of how much a funeral costs.
The average cost of final expenses depends on a lot of factors, one of the most obvious being what kind of funeral service you are planning. A cremation usually costs less than a traditional basic funeral service and burial and a closed casket viewing can cost less than a larger full casket display funeral. Working with local funeral home directors and planners ahead of time can help ensure your final wishes are met and can also help make the funeral more affordable when that time comes by working out the average cost of prepaid funeral services.
If you have lost a loved one, there is a lot that goes through your mind. Most of that is emotional and based off of the loss of someone important to your life. Sadly, there is also the logistics of funeral planning that you have to deal with as well. To help you through this time, here is a list of 10 tips about funeral planning.
- Ask for Services and Costs – Luckily, it is your legal right to know the funeral costs of anything that you might put into the funeral. As such, it is best that you ask away. If you are visiting a funeral home to figure out the price of things, they are legally obligated to tell you before you even see anything. In addition, the same can be said for if you call over the phone.
- Choose Packages – In addition, you are in control when it comes to choosing packages. You can know what goes into each package and you can pick and choose the items within these packages. That’s right, you are legally allowed to pick items, and you don’t have to take them all.
- Have the Wake on the Same Day – One other tip is to have the wake on the same day. By doing so you reduce the cost overall. This is because you have to pay for the venue by hour. If you pay for the wake one day and the burial the next, you also have to pay for the time in-between. This is why you should be away for the cost of every aspect of your funeral arrangements.
- Save Receipts – And in that vein, make sure that you know every dollar that you are spending with your funeral arrangements. Keep your receipts. This can help you in the long run because it will make it easier to protect yourself from inheritance tax exposure.
- No Fees For Buying Elsewhere – In addition, you don’t have to worry about paying fees if you have funeral caskets from anywhere other than the funeral home. For instance, if your loved one was kind enough to prepare some of the funeral ahead of time like buying a casket, that pre-bought casket one incur a fee from the funeral home you go to now.
- Save By Not Embalming – Most people think that embalming is the only way to preserve a body after its death and before its funeral. That is not the case. In fact, there are other ways to do it. And if you skip out on embalming you can end up saying a lot of money. Embalming is not cheap.
- Refrigeration Instead of Embalming – In fact, you can go with refrigerating your loved one’s body instead of embalming. This will have the same effect and it will ultimately be cheaper on your wallet. Just find a professional place to keep the body and don’t try to put it in a questionable frozen locker.
- Get A Grave Liner – Another trick and trip is to get a grave liner. You don’t have to get a burial vault to keep the ground from sinking. Get a much cheaper grave liner and it will be fine.
- Understand Cemetery Fees – You should also make sure to ask your funeral home for information about cemetery fees. Funeral homes are not the ones in charge of these fees, but they do know the most about them and act as the liaison for those in charge. As such, you should ask all you can about these fees that will come later.
- Be Mindful of Criminal Activity – Lastly, you should be aware that there are always people out there looking to do wrong to you. When you put your funeral arrangements in the obituaries, there may be criminals who are jotting the info down. They will then plan to arrive at your or your loved one’s homes while you’re at the funeral and try to rob the place. Have security or a trusted friend there to protect the place while you’re away.
- Consider Webcasting – When loved ones can’t attend a funeral, webcasting a live funeral so that everyone can pay their respects is an excellent option to consider. Funeral homes can help you to handle either a burial or a cremation while adding webcasting to your services. Planning a funeral can be difficult enough without adding the tragedy of loved ones not being able to attend. When you’re webcasting a live funeral, you don’t need to deal with any extra stress. Your funeral provider will set up the webcasting service and ensure that everything runs smoothly so loved ones around the world can pay their respects to the deceased.
Losing a loved one is one of the most difficult life experiences out there. Adding to that grief and trial is the fact that you now have to worry about funeral arrangements. Use this list to help ease the burden on both your mind and your wallet.