Funeral Homes

Funeral home visits can be morbid at best, but you should know the different ways to plan a funeral home visit and pick the right funeral director for your ceremony.

If you live in a large area, it's likely that you have seen a few funeral homes. They have an odd way of advertising because it's rather morbid to advertise coffins and burial plots on television, so most of their advertisements are roadside or even on the radio. Simply put, funeral directors know that the business will come to them. However, that means consumers need to really check out a funeral home before deciding to choose one. You can find a lot of places that review and take comments or complaints on funeral homes, some that are probably within your area. You may have friends or family who has used a funeral service before, so talking to them about a suggestion will share the burden and also get some ideas flowing for the right funeral home to pick. In addition, price will be a huge factor. While you don't want to pay an exorbitant amount for a small funeral, you also don't want to hire the cheapest services, which has led to problems with efficiency and comfort when you need it the most.

Finding Funeral Homes to Contact

You can look online to get started. There are likely a dozen or more in a small metro area, and larger metro areas will have over two dozen. If you live in a smaller town, you may only find a handful. Check out the funeral home on the website first, but don't just look for price. See if they provide galleries, extra information and a testimonial section. Do they make you aware of the laws regarding burials and funeral services? You'll find that funeral homes will tack on different services, but they aren't necessarily allowed to do this unless you specifically ask for a service. Just like with other consumer protection laws, there are rules in place to protect you from previous misconduct by a funeral director. In general, after you've contacted about five funeral homes by phone, pick three to visit or go to all five. Each one will try to sell you on their services at the home, but you should only agree when you've found a director that truly understands what you want and doesn't push for more. In addition, ask about their license and insurance policies.

The Laws Regarding Funeral Homes

There are rights that consumers have in regards to funeral homes. These were created to protect consumers from the blatant misuse of information and power by funeral directors in the past. Now, the FTC enforces The Funeral Rule, which protects you when you are buying funeral goods and services. The rule is for whether you are making arrangements for an immediate burial or for something in advance. It also protects you from paying for services that you did not agree to, getting a price over the phone, and being supplied with a written, itemized list of all that you are purchasing from the funeral home. You can read all the rules for funeral homes at the FTC site.

Talking to Funeral Directors

Funeral directors don't really want you to know how much funerals will cost, because they want to make the most money possible in most cases. Some funeral services can cost well over $20,000, including the gold plated casket. However, you don't want to be pressured into buying unnecessary services. You also shouldn't treat a funeral director as if he or she is a member of the clergy. They are business people with an eye for business. They may tell you that embalming is required when it isn't. Embalming isn't usually required when a person will be buried within 24 to 48 hours. Many funeral directors will also promote an open casket, because it costs more to embalm and fix up a body for presentation, but it's actually not that beneficial and there aren't any studies that promote the claim it helps with the grief process. It's just important to recognize a scandal before buying into something but also treating your funeral with expectations that are worth your money.

Finalizing Plans

After you speak to a funeral director and make your selections, you should receive an itemized list with prices so that you can talk over any prices and remove any services that you do not want. You should also make a schedule and set up different services, including times and dates. Once you finish your plans, the plan should be put in motion and you should be notified of any problems.