By honoring the life of your loved one and laying them to rest, a good funeral home will assist you through hard times. However, you should keep in mind that these businesses are for-profit. This means that though it may be easy to leave the decision making to them, you should still know what services they provide, what your rights are as a consumer, how to pick a funeral service provider, and how to stay within a budget.
According to federal and state laws, prices must be given to you by the funeral home by phone and in print. You do not have to choose one of the funeral service provider’s package deals. The FTC (Federal Trade Commission) mandates that you can pick the services you want. Additionally, California law requires funeral homes to give their customers a full list of their services before there is any talk of funeral arrangements. Those seeking funeral services also have the right to:
Get a written list of the prices for all services and items you pick immediately upon making your arrangements.
Select a container other than a casket for cremation use no matter where you live.
Bring a casket or urn you purchase elsewhere for the funeral service provider to use.
Pass on embalming. Funeral homes are required to get your spoken or written permission before embalming under California law.
The prices for several Fresno funeral homes are published online. For example, the Fresno Funeral Chapel lists their entire General Price List on their website. Wildrose Chapel & Funeral Home also gives a detailed, item-by-item General Price List that is quite current. Nova Cremation Services includes package pricing on their site.
If at all possible, it is smart to search around prior to needing a funeral service provider. Talk to loved ones, coworkers, and friends about their recommendations. Visit online review sites to see what previous customers have to say. See if they are accredited by the Better Business Bureau of Central California and Inland Empire Counties. You should also go to the California Cemetery and Funeral Bureau website to confirm that they are licensed.
Look at the prices of the most promising homes. You can call them for pricing on the phone or visit each service provider and request a General Price List as well as a list of prices for caskets and outer burial containers. The FTC’s Funeral Pricing Checklist is a helpful tool for taking notes. Pay attention to the level of service each provider gives you as you contact them.
There is usually a difference between how much we can afford to spend to honor a family member and how much we want to spend. You do not want your memories of a loved one to be associated with the debt of their funeral. You can avoid spending too much when you figure out precisely what you want before calling a funeral service provider. And, when your main concern is keeping costs low, the Funeral Consumer Alliance can find you inexpensive cremation providers.
Find assisted living in Fresno near you.