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Funeral home

Save Money on Funeral Costs by Making Arrangements at a Low-Priced Funeral Home and Cemetery

Many people don’t realize that prices can vary greatly between funeral homes.   Over just the last three years many family-run funeral homes (and local cemeteries) have been taken-over by big global corporations.  These big corporate funeral homes often keep the original owner’s family name on the door so they don't scare away their old customers.  Unfortunately, these corporations often raise prices by 30% to 50%.

Don't just the pick the same old funeral home

This is why you should NOT automatically use the same funeral home you have used in the past UNTIL you check to see if they have SINCE become part of one of the big funeral corporations – as so many have!

Negotiating a Discount from the Funeral Home and Cemetery

Contrary to popular belief, most funeral directors are willing to give discounts to families that ask in an appropriate manner.  Many goods and services provided by a funeral home can easily be discounted by several hundred (or even several thousand) dollars before the funeral home starts to lose money.  Since most funeral homes buy their merchandise from the same few suppliers, they should be able to sell their goods and services for a similar price.

What's the Difference Between a Funeral Service and a Memorial Service?

  • December 14, 2019

Funeral homes provide different services depending on the needs and preferences of the decedent’s family.  While many people use the phrases "funeral service" and "memorial service" interchangeably, they are actually different services.

A “funeral service” is any official ceremony that takes place in the presence of a casketed body.  In other words, the body (inside a casket) is present during the ceremony.  The casket lid may be open or closed.

A “memorial service”, on the other hand, is any official ceremony that takes place without the casketed body being present.  For example, the ceremony might take place with just an urn containing cremated remains (i.e. “ashes”) serving as the focal point of the ceremony.  Alternatively, the focal point could be just a picture of the deceased displayed on an easel.

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.

Find trusted funeral homes near you to compare quality and prices

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.

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

What's Included With a Traditional Funeral Service?

A "traditional” funeral involves the laying out of a casketed body for friends and family to pay respects.  The casket itself may be either “open” or “closed”.  An open casket is one in which the casket lid is left open so that the deceased is visible throughout the ceremony.  A closed casket ceremony means the ceremony is held in the presence of the casket, but the casket lid is closed.  The decedent’s family decides which option they prefer after considering the manner of death and condition of the body.

Consider More Affordable Funeral Suppliers

Sometimes it makes more sense to buy certain funeral items from someone other than the funeral home handling your service.  These other suppliers usually offer more reasonable prices than the typical funeral home.

Make an effort to locate other sources that sell funeral merchandise

See what they charge for the items you're thinking about buying.  Even if you don’t buy from someone else, just knowing that less-expensive options exist can often get your funeral home to give you a big discount to remain competitive.