• Set a budget after visiting multiple funeral homes. Ask each for a General Price List, which breaks down the cost of each service the business provides.
• Make sure the funeral home has the proper licensing.
• Save copies of all signed agreements.
Tips for planning a loved one’s funeral:
• Remember funeral homes offer a variety of package plans, however the Federal Trade Commission Funeral Rule, allows you to buy only the goods and services you need. Do not feel pressured into buying a specific package from a single home.
• Do not let your emotions cause you to overspend.
• Research your state’s funeral laws. Understanding what services are required and which ones are optional can save money.
• Keep in mind the funeral provider must not refuse or charge a fee to handle a casket or urn you bought elsewhere.
• Tour the facility before you decide. Funeral home staff should be willing to show you around as part of your consultation.
• Do your research. Be sure the website is professional and up-to-date. Information should be readily available and credible. Check online reviews left by former customers. Be sure to check the BBB website for a list of BBB Accredited funeral homes and Business Profiles on ones you’re considering. Visit bbb.org or call (937) 222-5825 or (800) 776-5301.
• Get everything in writing. The written statement should describe in detail all the services you are purchasing and include any extra fees.
Planning a funeral for a loved one is never easy. But, doing a little homework can make a tough time a little easier.
John North is president of the Dayton Better Business Bureau.