If you’re looking for options for a final resting place – yours or a dearly beloved’s – there will be many that you can consider. This will hardly be a pleasant decision for you to make, but it is important nonetheless.
Here are the most crucial issues involved in choosing a funeral home:
Funeral homes are usually chosen on the basis of proximity to home. There are those that locally owned, while others are owned by large corporations. In general, you will find three types of funeral homes in terms of services provided.
Full-Service Providers can offer everything you’ll need, including facilities, vehicles and merchandise. This is what people usually have in mind when they think of a funeral home.
Specialized service providers are “storefront” versions of full-service providers, offering similar but limited options.
Limited Service Providers take care of direct cremations or immediate burials, but there will usually be no ceremonies of any kind.
Over the past few years, people’s view of funerals has evolved. Now, there are many nontraditional elements included.
For those who want more financial flexibility, some funeral homes now offer prepayment programs. Even for providers that belong to the same category – for example, full-service – their actual inclusions and costs can still vary significantly, so it’s really important to do some research.
Probably the best thing you can do when looking for a funeral provider is to comparison-shop. This is particularly useful when done in preparation for the future. Based on the Funeral Rule, any person who calls a funeral provider to inquire about their services, must be given a pricelist of all products and services they offer. If you’re doing some pricing research, you can start with the Internet and call the funeral home directly. You don’t have to drive to the place, thus saving you money.
The Funeral Rule
The Federal Trade Commission is in charge of implementing the Funeral Rule, which affects all funeral arrangements, whether pre-need or at-need.
The following are the major features of the Funeral Rule:
> Consumers can decide what goods and services they would like (with some exceptions).
> The general price list of the funeral provider must state this right in writing.
> If an items is required by state or local law to be purchased by the consumer, this should also be stated in the price list, along with the referenced law.
> The funeral provider may not collect charges for a casket purchased from a different supplier, or refuse to handle the same.
> If cremation is offered by a funeral provider, customers should be offered different choices of containers.
No matter what your preferences are, choose a funeral provider that can give you plenty of options.