Tips to know before arranging a funeral

Arranging a funeral can be a stressful and emotional time. While many funeral professionals are caring and will listen to your wishes, others may be working on commission and have an interest in upselling you. Here are some tips to help you plan the service that you want.

  • Comparison shop. Although more emotional, it’s worth treating a funeral like other transactions and that means shopping around. Prices can vary considerably.
  • Ask what isn’t included. Funeral homes may often quote a price that doesn’t include expensive extras like casket, urn, burial or cremation.
  • If you can, take your time. Establish which provider you want to use before having the body moved, or find out what the fees will be if you change your mind later.
  • Bring a friend. It can help to have someone less emotionally involved there with you to keep track of costs.
  • Know your rights. Funeral homes often pitch package deals which include many services that are optional. You have the right to decline them, and you have the right to buy items like flowers, caskets and urns from other suppliers.
  • Embalming is optional. Funeral homes often pitch embalming to temporarily preserve a body. It very rarely required and does not protect public health. Refrigeration can often perform the same purpose under short time frames.
  • Consider alternatives. You don’t have to use a funeral home. There are alternatives like transfer services that can move the body, register the death and transport the body to a cemetery or crematorium.

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