Losing a loved one is hard and can take a toll on your emotions. Using a good funeral home to help you plan a suitable memorial service can help you grieve and say your farewells. However, remember that funeral homes are in business to make money, and may try to sell you things you don’t need. You will want to compare multiple funeral homes for the best price and the memorial service you want.
State and federal laws require that funeral homes should give you a price list of all products and services before your begin planning. Funeral homes have a General Price List to show the various costs of services. You can also request pricing over the phone. The Federal Trade Commission Funeral Law requires funeral homes allow you to purchase services not included in a package. Once you make your selections, the funeral home will give you a detailed list with a breakdown of all costs.
You have other rights including:
You can decline to embalm, which is not mandatory. By law, funeral homes are required to receive your consent before beginning the embalming process.
You can use a container or casket purchased at any location for burial. You do not have to buy from the funeral home. You can purchase burial containers online.
You can use a variety of burial containers for cremation, not just caskets.
The funeral home will give a detailed list of prices for the products and services you selected before the funeral, so you have all your costs up front.
To help you with your search, some funeral homes will provide their General Price List directly on their website, such as Willwerscheid Funeral Home & Cremation Service. Another feature that some funeral homes offer is online planning, like Mueller Memorial.
The price of caskets varies significantly, and most funeral homes only list a range. Since you do not have to purchase a casket from the funeral home, online sites such as Overnight Caskets gives you a wide selection and you can compare prices.
Pre-planning is best when it comes to avoiding emotional stress, but it is not always possible. Start shopping by getting referrals from your friends, family, and co-workers. Search for online reviews. You can look for a Better Business Bureau accredited funeral home. You should also verify a funeral home’s license on the Minnesota Department of Health’s website.
After you narrow down your search, use the General Price List from a few funeral homes and put together the same memorial service. Check to see if the prices are similar. You will also need to consider prices of caskets or cremation containers. The Federal Trade Commission provides a Funeral Pricing Checklist to help you with your funeral arrangement planning.
Remember funeral costs can add up quickly, so you don’t want to get the best of everything. You can save money and still have a nice memorial service. Set your budget and stick to it. Tell the funeral director on how much you can spend. The Funeral Consumers Alliance of Minnesota provides valuable resources for memorial planning and can help you save money.
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