If you haven’t made prearrangements, having to choose the right funeral home when someone passes can be extremely difficult. You are tasked with making probably the hardest decision of your life up to this point and your emotions are everywhere. You don’t have time to shop around and 9 times out of 10, the first place that is recommended to you or you find is the place you choose. Unfortunately, we know of someone or we ourselves have been through this. It is not common knowledge to know what our rights are as consumers and to know what we need versus what we don’t need when making final arrangements.
For starters, consult with your family and decide what you would like to do. Would you like to go with burial services or cremation? If burial, do you or a family member own a plot? Next, decide on a budget. Depending on your budget, there are plenty of funeral homes, small or large, willing to negotiate. Some may be able to add some services for no cost to gain your business. During this whole process, we forget that selecting a funeral home is like shopping at a retail store. That isn’t our fault as our head is clouded and anything that is told to us we usually go with. It can be hard to gauge whether a funeral home is taking advantage of your emotions, but it is always best to have a family member present to assist you and to have a second opinion.
Keep in mind, you do not have to buy the casket or the urn at the funeral home. There are outside companies who focus solely on these items and are at a lower cost than what the funeral home offers. Quick tip, if you are making cremation arrangements, embalming is not required by law. It’s been said in the past, funeral homes advised families that embalming is required. Embalming can only be recommended, such as for a viewing. For a direct cremation or cremation in general, embalming is not needed. Also, a casket for cremation is not required. What is required, depending on the state, but in California, a container is required. Do not be tricked into purchasing a casket to adhere to the law of using a container. Funeral homes are required to offer a cardboard container, also called an alternative container, to follow with the law.
These are a few tips to look out for when looking for a funeral home. If you are pre-planning or experiencing a loss and are unsure of your options, whether it be a traditional funeral or direct cremation, please do not hesitate to contact us. Even if you are not using our services, we’ll be happy to help! Contact us at (323) 644-3323.