Dying Is So Expensive!
So true. Today’s very average funeral in the Midwest region is about $7,000 to $10,000, not including burial space and a marker. So how can we decrease the expenses?
First of all, planning ahead is essential. Educated and informed decisions are the best decisions and usually the most cost-effective. That is true in any area of life. Taking the time to do the research and price comparisons can almost always save you money. Also, did you know that you are not required to buy merchandise from a funeral home? You may purchase items from elsewhere, and they may be significantly less expensive. That includes everything from caskets to guest books. The funeral home is required to use what you purchase elsewhere, and may not charge you a fee for doing so. Many families choose to make their own personalized service folders (typically passed out at the funeral). It is acceptable to do so and can save you, in some cases, hundreds of dollars. Eliminate “extra” items that you do not wish to have, for example, a family limousine. You are not required to pay for any item that you do not choose.
Secondly, explore the options. Cremation is a much less expensive option than traditional burial. However, cremation is not for everyone. Explore the option of Direct Burial. This is the option where the body is buried (usually within 24 to 48 hours). There is no embalming, no dressing/cosmetizing, and no open casket at visitation or funeral service, causing Direct Burial to be significantly less expensive. Think about the survivors, and about the person’s final wishes. Is a viewing/visitation service desirable? Is an open casket desirable? If not, then Direct Burial may be an option worth considering.
Make choices according to what you want to spend. For example, many times an elderly person has outlived a majority of their friends. If there would be only a very few who are able to attend a visitation, deleting that service would decrease the final bill by a few hundred dollars. If you desire a visitation, consider having it the day of the funeral service, about an hour before the service, at a cost significantly less than a visitation the day before. Consider having only a graveside service, as opposed to a funeral service followed by a graveside service.
There are many other ways that Essential Arrangements can help you save signficantly by planning ahead and making informed decisions. Call us today to start your plan!