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Understanding Funeral Home Services

Many people want to know what services are offered by a funeral home.  Funeral homes, cemeteries, and memorial dealers all play an important role in caring for a deceased family member.  However, funeral homes normally handle the actual funeral or memorial service.

Different funeral home services

But not all funeral services are like.  In fact, funeral homes offer a range of services designed to accommodate different wishes and budgets.

Here are the most common types of services offered at most funeral homes:

    •  traditional funeral service
    • immediate burial
    • direct cremation
    • cremation with services
    • donation
    • memorial service
    • graveside service
    • private service

Choosing Cremation With Services: The Advantages and Disadvantages

Choosing cremation with services has advantages and disadvantages.  In many ways this choice combines the benefits of traditional funeral services with the cost savings associated with cremation.

Cremation with services: advantages

Choosing cremation with services can be more therapeutic than choosing direct cremation for some families.  Because this choice includes some type of remembrance ceremony (e.g. a viewing or funeral ceremony), many families find this more comforting than direct cremation.

The viewing or memorial service allows friends and family to share in commemorating the life of the deceased and gives friends a chance to comfort the family.

Cremation can also be much less expensive than a full traditional funeral.  Choosing cremation allows you to eliminate many costs associated with funerals including the casket, gravesite, cemetery fee, and headstone cost.

Many people also consider cremation a more environmentally-friendly option because no land is disturbed for burial purposes.

Another benefit of cremation is that it provides portability of cremains.  If surviving family members move away, they can easily take cremated remains with them.

Cremation also allows for a wide variety of disposition options.  While some families do decide to bury cremains in a cemetery, most families simply take the cremains home.  However, many other options exist.  Please see the Funeral Saver's Kit for a complete discussion of cremation options.

Find trusted funeral homes near you to compare quality and prices

Choosing Lower-Priced Funeral Options

Choosing certain types of funeral or cremation arrangements can eliminate many unnecessary funeral costs.  Choosing wisely will prevent you from being charged for lots of “extras” no one told you about.

Since most families do not plan funerals very often, they usually don't realize what's included (or excluded) in the decisions they make.  All too often a family simply agrees to the funeral director's recommendations - only to end up surprised when their final bill is 30% higher than expected.

Even though many of the goods and services offered by a funeral home are priced on an individual basis, certain selections you make will automatically trigger additional costs.  Unfortunately, most families don't find out about these additional costs until after the service is over and they get the funeral director's bill.

Moving When You’re Mourning: Relocation After a Loved One’s Death

This article previously appeared on the Sparefoot.com Moving Blog

When someone you share a home with dies, your grieving process can become even more complicated if you’re dealing with a potential move.

Motivational speaker Carole Brody Fleet, author of “Happily Even After: A Guide to Getting Through (and Beyond) the Grief of Widowhood,” faced this decision after the death of her husband, Mike Fleet, in 2000. Mike had suffered from Lou Gehrig’s disease.

Not only was she living in an area that was in decline, but Fleet had emotional reasons for finding a new home.

“Living with all of the wonderful memories combined with the memory of him dying at home proved to be overwhelming,” she said.

If you’re thinking of making this type of move, consider these four pieces of advice for overcoming the logistical and emotional challenges.

In conjunction with National Moving Day, which in 2015 falls on May 26, SpareFoot is sharing various stories about people who’ve moved amid life-changing events. This story focuses on relocating after the death of a loved one.

Questions?