Losing a loved one is hard and can drain your emotions. Having a good funeral home help you plan a suitable memorial service can help you grieve. However, remember that funeral homes are in business to make money, too. You will want to compare multiple funeral homes to make sure you find the best match for both services and price.
State and federal laws mandate that funeral homes give you detailed pricing of all products and services. Funeral homes have a General Price List that shows the breakdown of costs. You can also request pricing over the phone. The Federal Trade Commission Funeral Law requires funeral homes to offer services outside of packages. After you select the services, the funeral home will provide a detailed list outlining all the costs.
You have other rights including:
You can use a container or casket purchased at any location for burial. You do not have to buy from the funeral home. There are websites that also offer burial containers.
You can use a variety of burial containers for cremation.
The funeral home will give a detailed list of prices for the products and services you selected before the funeral to avoid any surprise costs.
You are not required to embalm. By law, funeral homes are required to receive your consent, written or verbal, before beginning the embalming process.
As you are searching, some funeral homes will give you their General Price List directly on their website like Graham Funeral Home. The price listing for caskets is typically a range. Hollomon-Brown shows caskets available, but prices are not listed. Family Choice Burials & Cremations offers an online planning tool and information on planning a funeral.
If you can pre-plan a funeral, that’s the easiest because you aren’t as emotional. However, it’s not always possible. To begin your search, ask family, friends, and co-workers for recommendations. Search for online reviews for honest feedback. The Better Business Bureau will give you a list of BBB-accredited funeral homes. It’s always a good idea to verify a funeral home and funeral director’s licenses on the Virginia Board of Funeral Directors & Embalmers.
After you narrow it down to a couple of funeral homes, review their General Price Lists for comparable prices and services. You will need to include prices of caskets or cremation containers. The Federal Trade Commission offers a Funeral Pricing Checklist to give you information on how to select a funeral service.
You want the best for your loved one, but don’t let it cause you financial hardship. There are ways to save money at a funeral and still have a great service. Determine your budget before you start meeting with funeral homes. Tell the funeral director what you want to spend and plan from there. The Funeral Consumers Alliance helps consumers plan budget-friendly services for a modest fee. They will outline your choices for you and provide ideas to save.
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