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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, 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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