After a loved one has passed, you quickly learn funeral services are expensive. It becomes an even greater financial burden without life insurance. However, there are ways you can minimize burial costs.
1. Compare Services and Burial Costs
Whenever you are making a big purchase or incur a large expense, you should shop around. Burial expenses are no exception. There are hundreds of websites that help you find low cost funeral services near you. They provide free and instant quotes online for you as well. Once you have chosen a funeral provider, they will request email contact information to send estimates.
It is also wise to think ahead and talk about what kind of memorial service your loved one wants. Planning ahead gives you more time to discuss details and shop around to find the best deals. You can also prearrange services and work out a payment plan to ease the expenses later on. Furthermore, most insurance companies will also work directly with the funeral homes. When payments come due, this is one less obstacle for you to deal with during such a difficult time.
2. Minimize Burial and Cremation Costs
The package deals and additional services can push the total costs well over $10,000. If you need ways to minimize burial costs, you can begin with the final resting place. You don’t always need to buy the casket or urn from the funeral home. Instead, you can look for cheaper options elsewhere. Check online for bargains, especially with discount buying clubs like Costco. Just be certain your state doesn’t have any laws requiring you to purchase one directly from the funeral provider.
For those looking for the simplest funeral with minimal costs, direct cremation is the best option. If you skip the embalming, you will further reduce the fees. These services take place outside of peak hours and do not permit family or friends to be present. Your loved one will then be returned in an urn to be interred.
3. Host a Wake or Memorial Service at Home
Costs can quickly get out of hand if you host an elaborate memorial service. Remember, there is no right or wrong way to honor someone’s memory. Many funeral homes can arrange everything from start to finish, but eliminating the memorial service from their package saves a ton of money. Traditionally wakes were held in the home of the family or the deceased. This is a very personal and intimate way for mourners to say their goodbyes. It is also an excellent way for them to contribute and help the family when they need it most. If each attendee brings one dish for a potluck style meal, it completely removes the bill for food and beverage services. Relieving a financial burden is a tremendous comfort for a grieving family.
4. Cut Transportation Fees
Another easy way to minimize burial costs is by providing your own transportation. The funeral procession usually consists of hearses and limousines for the mourners. Cutting out unnecessary vehicle rentals is a great way to stay under budget. Family and friends can arrange transport to the cemetery with private vehicles. The money saved on transport can then be used in other areas.
5. Donate Your Body to Science
For those wanting to help others after death, there is no cost for donating your body. The medical school will even cover the cost of transporting and handling the remains. However, there are some important points in the fine print.
Donation occurs from the time of death. So, the body may not be available for burial services right away. Some schools arrange memorial services for the family at a later time. The remains are cremated and returned to the next of kin when they complete the study.
Although it is difficult to discuss death, you should discuss arrangements before your loved one passes. Not only will they be a part of the services, but it also alleviates a heavy burden from friends and family. The sooner you begin making funeral arrangements, the less stress there will be when it comes time for a final farewell.