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Funeral Planning Guidance

How to Compare Funeral Prices

Today, with the average funeral cost nearing $8,300 for a traditional burial, the death of a loved one is a huge financial burden. This means finding and choosing the correct funeral home is very important.  Since many people are often distraught and emotionally drained when a loved on passes, consumers don't have the time or energy  to spend copious hours comparing funeral homes and services.  Luckily, there is a site that can aid you in finding the right funeral home quickly and easily online.

Parting.com helps you easily compare funeral homes online for free.  This is the most comprehensive resource available for comparing prices, viewing photographs, and reading reviews of all the funeral homes in the United States.

 

Understanding Immediate Burials: The Advantages, Disadvantages, and Cost Considerations

This article describes the benefits and costs of choosing an immediate burial instead of a traditional funeral.

Advantages of an immediate burial

The most obvious benefit of choosing an immediate burial is its lower cost. An immediate burial often costs less than half what a typical traditional funeral costs.

An immediate burial is simpler and more expedient than conducting a full-scale funeral service. This lets you avoid pomp and unnecessary goods and services.

Common Funeral Terms

ARRANGEMENT CONFERENCE - A meeting held between the funeral director and family members of the deceased to finalize funeral arrangements.  During this meeting the funeral director will discuss the family's wishes and budget and prepare a binding contract for the funeral goods and services selected by the family.  This meeting usually takes place at the funeral home shortly after death has occurred.  However, it may also be held at a hospital or the family's home.

ARRANGEMENT ROOM - A room at the funeral home used to make the necessary funeral arrangements with the family of the deceased.

BEREAVED - (N) The immediate family of the deceased. (V) suffering from grief upon the death of a loved one.

BURIAL - Placing of a dead body in an underground chamber - earth burial- interment

Planning an Affordable Funeral

This article shows you things you can do to plan an affordable funeral.  With the typical funeral now costing more than the price of a decent used car, many families need help planning a more affordable funeral (or cremation) service.

Typical funeral costs vs. affordable funeral costs

Most American funerals now cost between $8,000 and $10,000.  Unfortunately, as baby boomers age, demand for funeral services will grow and drive funeral prices up even further.  Some experts predict that within three years the average traditional funeral will cost nearly $12,000.

With proper planning and a little foresight, you can realistically reduce out-of-pocket funeral expenses by at least 50%.

Find trusted funeral homes near you to compare quality and prices

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.

What is a Cremation with Services?

This article explains cremation with services.  Families choosing cremation have two options: direct cremation or cremation with services.

Cremation with services often includes elements similar to what you would find in a traditional funeral; however, instead of a casketed body serving as the focal point of ceremonies, the cremated remains are the centerpiece of a memorial service.

With cremation the body is exposed to high heat and reduced to the consistency of sand.  In the case of cremation with services, the cremation itself could occur after a traditional funeral has been held or the body could be cremated first and the cremains used as the focal point during a memorial service.

A memorial service is any type of service that commemorates the life of the deceased while an urn containing the cremains (i.e. ashes) is in the room.  A funeral service is any type of service that commemorates the life of the deceased while the casketed body is in the room.

Depending on the timing of cremation, the body may need to be embalmed.  If the body is cremated before any type of formal ceremony is held, embalming is usually not necessary.  If cremation takes place after the body is viewed, embalming is usually required.

Get the Facts about Cremation

This brief article shares facts about the cremation process.  Most bodies that are cremated are placed in something combustible.  Typical cremation containers include heavy cardboard trays, cardboard or wood caskets, or canvas body bags.

Only 15 percent of cremations include the use of a casket.  This means nearly 85 percent of cremations take place using a less expensive cardboard container or canvas bag.

Get Smart Before Planning a Funeral

Before planning a funeral you should know that death care in America is a business. There are service providers (e.g. funeral homes, cemeteries, and headstone dealers) and there are consumers (people like you and me who need to make funeral arrangements).

Like any business, funeral homes and cemeteries should provide their goods and services on an honest and fair basis. Unfortunately, this rarely happens as several characteristics unique to the funeral industry place the consumer at a significant disadvantage when making funeral arrangements.