Saturday, June 28, 2014

10 Facts Funeral Directors Don't Want You to Know

10 Facts Funeral Directors Don’t Want You to Know
By:  Ellen Goodstein –
  1. Shopping around for funeral services can save you thousands of dollars.
    1. Funeral directors must provide a price list
    2. Shop around.
    3. Get price lists by phone or in person from at least 3 funeral homes before making a decision.
  2. Funeral directors are not clergy.
    1. They’re in the business to make money
    2. Be sure they are licensed and have a good reputation
    3. Speak with the funeral director before visiting
  3. Embalming is rarely required when the person will be buried within 24-48 hours.
    1. US & Canada are the only countries who embalm.
      1. Centers for Disease Control says embalming doesn’t serve any public health purpose
      2. Refrigeration is a legal alternative – just as good if not better
      3. Embalming not required for viewing – except in MN
      4. Know your rights!
  4. Seeing your loved one prior to burial without the benefit of embalming will not leave you with unresolved grief issues.
    1. This is a myth!
    2. Embalming is extremely invasive – it is a temporary cosmetic and preservative process.
  5. Sealed caskets cannot preserve a body
    1. The cost of “seals” is about $12.
    2. Sealed caskets cost hundreds of dollars more than unsealed caskets.
    3. Caskets cannot protect or preserve the body!
    4. Sealer vaults offer no advantage except to the income of the funeral director.
  6. A funeral provider may not refuse or charge a fee to handle a casket you bought elsewhere.
    1. You can buy a casket from anyone.  Even the
    2. Federal “funeral rule” says it is illegal to charge a handling fee if you bring your own casket.
  7. You don’t need to spend more than $400 to $600 for a modest casket.
    1. A $1295 casket can be purchased wholesale for $325
    2. Low-priced caskets hidden or ordered in ugly colors
  8. You do not have to buy the whole bundle of services
  9. You can plan and carry out many things on your own to honor your loved one without paying for services from a funeral home.
    1. Save money by doing it yourself
    2. It’s more personal
  10. Local funeral and memorial societies can help consumers find ethical establishments and often negotiate discounts for their members.
    1. Funeral Consumers Alliance – 115 chapters in 46 states
    2. Run by volunteers
    3. Have info on local funeral homes & price surveys
    4. In Houston, the FCA of Houston is at 5200 Fannin.
    5. Phone:   713-526-4267   or   888-282-4267

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