By honoring the life of your loved one and laying them to rest, a good funeral home will help you through a hard time in life. Yet, it is important to know that these businesses are also looking to make a profit. So, though it may seem easier to leave the decision-making to them, you still must know how to stay within your budget, how to pick a funeral home, what your rights are as a consumer, and what services they provide.
Federal and state laws require funeral homes to supply consumers with their prices, both in print and over the phone. The FTC (Federal Trade Commission) also requires funeral service providers to allow you to pick the services you want without forcing you to choose a package. Plus, Florida law mandates that funeral homes give customers a full service price list before there is any talk of funeral arrangements. You are also able to:
Pass on embalming. Funeral homes are required by Florida law to get your spoken or written permission before embalming.
Bring a casket or urn you have purchased elsewhere for the funeral service provider to utilize.
You can choose a container other than a casket for cremation no matter where you live.
Get a written list with prices of all the services and items you pick as soon as you make your arrangements.
Some funeral homes offer a General Price List on their website. For instance, you can find one on the site for Lewis Funeral Homes. Affordable Cremations and Horizon Funeral Home has an online planner, and they offer fast quotes. You can also get quotes within fifteen minutes when you fill out the contact form at Hodges Funeral Home.
If at all possible, look around for funeral services before you actually need them. Seek referrals from coworkers, friends, and family members. Check out online review sites to see what previous customers have to say. Go to the Better Business Bureau of West Florida to research accreditation. You can also verify the license of any funeral home by visiting the Florida Division of Funeral, Cemetery and Consumer Services’ website.
Once you find a few homes that sound promising, compare their prices. You can call for their pricing, or you can visit each service provider and ask for a list of prices for caskets and outer burial containers as well as the General Price List. Consider using the FTC’s Funeral Pricing Checklist to take notes. Make note of the quality of service each provider gives you as you contact them.
There is a difference between how much we can afford to spend to honor a family member and how much we want to spend. It can be costly making emotional decisions. And, each time you think about a cherished loved one, you do not want to be reminded of the debt of their funeral. You can avoid spending too much on funeral services by figuring out what you want before calling a funeral service provider. When affordability is a main priority, the Funeral Consumer Alliance can point the way to cost-effective cremation providers in Naples.
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