A quality funeral home will assist you through a tough time in life by laying your loved one to rest and honoring their life. It is crucial that you keep in mind that funeral homes are businesses seeking to make a profit. So, though you may want to leave the decision-making to them, you still need to know how to pick a funeral home, what they provide, how to stay within your budget, and what your rights are as a consumer.
Funeral service providers are required by state and federal laws to provide customers with their prices, both over the phone and in print. Funeral homes are also mandated by Federal Trade Commission (FTC) laws to allow you to select the services you want without having to buy a package. Also, before there is any discussion of funeral arrangements, Tennessee law requires funeral homes to give consumers a comprehensive service price list. You can also:
Bring an urn or casket you have bought elsewhere for the funeral home to use.
As soon as you make your arrangements, you can get a written list with prices of all the items and services you choose.
Turn down embalming. Before embalming, Tennessee law requires funeral service providers to get your written or spoken permission.
Regardless of where you live, you can pick a container other than a casket for cremation.
It is fairly rare for Knoxville-area funeral homes to list their prices online. However, you can still get pricing info by submitting online forms. For instance, Holley-Gamble Funeral Home has a form that asks for basic information, including potential sources of financial assistance. Heritage Cremation Provider offers online quotes as well. And, you are under no obligation to commit to anything.
Shop around for funeral services before you need them if at all possible. Consult with family, coworkers, and friends for their recommendations. See what previous clients are saying on online review sites. Research accreditation with the Better Business Bureau of Greater East Tennessee. At the Tennessee Department of Commerce & Insurance website, you can verify the license of any funeral service provider.
Compare prices once you find a few places that sound promising. You can visit each home and request the General Price List and a list of prices for outer burial containers and caskets, or you can get prices over the phone. A good tool for taking notes is the FTC’s Funeral Pricing Checklist. When you contact each provider, make note of the quality of service they give you.
Most of us have a concept of what we want to spend to honor our loved one, but this differs from how much we can afford to spend. Making emotional decisions can cost you. You do not want to be reminded of the debt associated with a funeral every time you think about a cherished family member. By deciding what you want before you contact a funeral home, you can avoid overspending on funeral costs. The Funeral Consumers Alliance of East Tennessee can point the way to low-cost cremation providers in Knoxville when keeping costs as low as possible is important.
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