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Six tips for choosing a funeral home and funeral services

Written by Diane Archer

It’s difficult enough to plan a funeral when someone you love dies. Selecting and paying for the funeral home can easily add another level of stress. Funerals can cost a big chunk of money. Here are six tips for choosing a funeral home and funeral services.

  1. Comparison shop among several funeral homes; prices can vary significantly. Unfortunately, funeral homes do not have to post their prices online.
  2. Pick only the services you want in addition to the basic services; you do not need to buy the full menu of services offered.
  3. If you’re planning a viewing or visitation, you may need embalming services, which can cost hundreds of dollars. But, you do not need embalming if the body is buried or cremated within a few days of the death.
  4. If the body is being cremated and you are not planning a viewing or other ceremony with the body, you have the right to buy an unfinished wood box or alternative container. If the body is being cremated and you are planning a viewing, ask about your option to rent a casket for the viewing and funeral.
  5. Ask for an itemized statement confirming the services you’ve chosen and the cost; the funeral home must provide it.
  6. Check back with the funeral home to see whether it’s possible to get a lower price.

For more information, go to FTC.gov, funeral costs and pricing checklist. It’s helpful to use the FTC checklist to understand the array of services available and their respective costs.

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