Tips to Avoid Overpaying for Cremation
Experiencing the passing of a loved one can leave us in an emotional and vulnerable state of mind. Navigating grief during this time can make planning and executing cremation funerals especially difficult, and sometimes people take advantage of this. But there are ways to protect yourself and your finances when making these arrangements.
Some examples of ways to avoid overpaying for cremation include:
- Doing research
- Getting price confirmation ahead of time
- Finding your own urn
- Planning your own ceremony
Take Time to Shop Around
It is common for people to utilize the services of the first funeral home they contact, but you are not limited to any one funeral home and have options that may be a better fit for your needs.
It would be best if you were willing to call several different providers and compare their cremation and service costs. While cremation is more affordable than traditional burial, the price can still vary from provider to provider.
Some locations may offer a discount cremation, or if you are preparing for someone to pass away, affordable cremation preplans are locked in at a fixed rate. While facilities such as hospitals, nursing homes, and hospice care centers often maintain lists of funeral homes for the convenience of their patients, there is no guarantee that they are recommending providers who will meet your needs.
When creating your cremation plan, you will want to compare the costs for transport, urns, the cremation itself, and any other additional services required.
Start by calling funeral homes closest to the deceased, roughly within a 25-mile radius. If you do not find one that meets your needs, expand the parameters until you find a provider within your budget.
Get Price Confirmation Ahead of Time
The Federal Trade Commission enforces a law known as the Funeral Rule, which requires funeral directors to provide upfront pricing for any services rendered, and everything must be clearly itemized.
You do not have to accept a package of items that you do not want. You can call any funeral home and ask for the prices of their services without being required to give them personal information such as your name, address, or phone number. You can ask for cremation costs, transport costs, urn prices, and other fees.
The Funeral Rule stipulates that you will receive a written statement listing all of the items and services you will be charged for before payment. In addition, any legal requirements that you will be charged for will be listed as well.
Find Your Own Urn
One of the regulations outlined in the Funeral Rule is that families are allowed to purchase their own cremation urns or caskets:
“The funeral provider cannot refuse to handle a casket or urn you bought online, at a local casket store, or somewhere else – or charge you a fee to do it. The funeral home cannot require you to be there when the casket or urn is delivered to them.”
You do not have to buy an urn or casket from that specific funeral home. Instead, you can find, build or buy your own urn, which would ultimately be more cost-effective than using one provided by the funeral home.
This is also an opportunity to do something unique with your loved one’s cremated remains. If you purchase one in advance, you can save money and time and have greater control over the design and materials. The most important thing to remember when selecting an urn is the capacity rather than the exact measurements.
Plan Your Own Ceremony
You do not have to use the formal services offered by funeral homes, which can be costly. Instead, you can choose a service such as direct cremation, which involves no embalming, viewing, or visitation, and then plan a ceremony or memorial on your own.
This memorial can be in a park, community center, church, or home and can take whatever shape you and your loved ones deem most appropriate. There are many creative ways to hold a ceremony or memorial that will honor the memory of your loved one on your terms. Keep in mind that there are laws regarding how and where you scatter cremated remains, so be sure to complete appropriate research before the ceremony.
Preplanning is Essential
Making funeral arrangements immediately after a loved one has passed can be an emotionally stressful task. Therefore, it is helpful to create an end-of-life care plan before it is strictly necessary. This foresight and preparation enables our loved ones to have more control over their arrangements, which means that tough decisions do not have to be made during the grieving process.
National Cremation is the nation’s oldest and largest provider of simple and affordable cremation services. Whether you have an immediate need or want to plan your cremation services in advance, we’re always available to assist you and your family. Contact us online or call (855)-469-9474 today.