Whether you want to be proactive in picking out your own funeral home or must find one for a deceased loved one; it is essential that you’re able to be objective when looking at the options presented to you. It’s easy just to choose a funeral home that is close by or that you are familiar with. However, if you do not compare the experiences you will get, such as prices, services, and a number of other components, then you will not be certain that you’re picking out the right funeral home for your situation. When a loved one passes away or when you are faced with your own death by looking at funeral homes, it can be tricky making a decision. Here are six things to think about to make picking out the right funeral home an easier process.
1. How Many People Will Be Attending the Funeral?
Funeral homes come in a range of sizes and so having a general count of how many people will participate in the funeral will give you a good idea of the funeral home size you are looking for. When considering the size of the funeral home you need, it’s important that you keep in mind the kind of service that will be held. For instance, if the service is going to be held at the funeral home then it will likely be easier to have one big room instead of a wrap-around ancillary so that everyone can have an unobstructed viewing. Otherwise, you may want several adjoining rooms so that people can gather in a similar fashion to how they would in a house.
2. What Type of Funeral Arrangement Do You Want?
Do you want or will there be a cemetery burial, service, or full viewing? Otherwise, will it just be a simple cremation with a service to scatter the ashes in a lake? Deciding on the type of funeral arrangement is often tough, especially if you are choosing it for yourself. In the case of deciding on a funeral home for your loved one, the hope is that he or she made the decision before their passing otherwise it is often a decision that must be done with other family members that are tasked with planning the burial.
3. What Are Your Priorities When Making Funeral Arrangements?
When thinking about your priorities for the funeral arrangement, you must consider both convenience and personal choice. If you want the funeral home’s location to be close to the cemetery or your home, then it will be best to pick a funeral home that is close by. If you want the burial to go by particular religious’ practices, then ensure that the funeral homes you are considering are comfortable and even have experience with those practices. By having a well-rounded set of priorities, you will know what components of the funeral home you can sacrifice and which ones are non-negotiable. Be aware that you may have to do some trade-offs in picking a funeral home, but just ensure that your family agrees on the things that are must-haves.
4. Will There Be Handicap Attendees?
If the funeral procession will have a large gathering, then there more than likely there will be some handicap attendees. The chances of this increase tenfold when the funeral will be made up of an older crowd. If so, then take into consideration whether a particular funeral home has exterior access ramps, as well as handicap bathrooms so that all of the attendees can feel comfortable. Moreover, if there will be handicap attendees, then it is best that all of the public areas are on the ground floor.
5. What is Your Budget?
Choosing a funeral home is a similar process to shopping around for a car. You must decide on the benefits and features you want, as well as the price that you can afford. It is recommended that you have a family discussion to figure out a budget that won’t break the bank and is reasonable to determine your funeral home budget. You will want to decide on what you and your family want in a funeral to come up with a viable budget.
6. Do You Want to Have Printed or Multimedia Materials?
Digital slideshows, music, and videos are not always wanted. However, they are becoming a staple in many services. If you want these sort of materials at your service, then you should look for a funeral home that will provide them. Many funeral homes now offer digital presentations and will create a slide show in-house for the service. Additionally, if you want guest books or prayer cards at the funeral then look into those funeral homes that provide them so that you do not have to purchase them elsewhere.
No child is too young to go to a funeral, as long as they are prepared for the process and what he or she can expect to see at the funeral proceedings. If you plan to bring a child to a funeral, then it is also important they be guided lovingly throughout the entire process. This is the best thing you can do to aid in their grieving and is much better than shutting them out, as this gives them the feeling that they are alone and that both grief and death are things that are too terrible to face. Instead, children need to learn that loved ones do pass away, but there will always be someone to look after them. Let’s take a look at some tips for preparing children for a visitation, viewing, wake, or funeral.
Explain the Proceedings Thoroughly
It is important for children to have a grasp of exactly what they will be doing and who will be at the proceedings. Additionally, you should explain where and when the service will be occurring. By filling in all of the gaps in your child’s knowledge, you will be able to make the whole idea of a funeral less foreboding to them.
Take Them to Visit the Location Beforehand
If it is a possibility, you may want to consider taking your child to see the funeral home, house of worship, or mortuary beforehand. It is a good idea to show them around and point out the drinking fountains, restrooms, and play/rest area. Let them know that they do not have to stay there for the entire time if they don’t feel up to it. Explain that they can go for a walk or play outside with an adult.
Let Them Help with Some of the Funeral Activities
If your child is up for it, let him or her help with some of the funeral activities, which will aid them in feeling more involved with the entire process. For example, you can get them to help pick out a casket, choose jewelry or clothing for their loved one to wear, and select readings, songs, or music for the funeral. It is also a very good idea to ask them to draw a picture or write a note to put inside of the casket.
Ensure They Understand the Reason for the Event
Make sure that children understand that the purpose of a funeral is for friends and families to come together to tell their deceased loved one that they love them and to say their goodbyes. It is also a time to celebrate the life of the person who passed away and pay their respects to them, as well as receive support and comfort and be around people who care. Ensure that you explain all of these reasons to your child so that they can grasp the reason everyone is gathering after the passing of his or her loved one.
What Do You Do If Your Child Does Not Want to Be in Attendance?
It is important to encourage your child to attend the memorial service or funeral. Let them know that as a family; it is important to go to a family event and that you expect them to attend with you. You may want to say that it is important to you personally to have them go with you and so ask that they go for your sake. If saying all of this has no impact and your child still refuses to go, then it is best that you don’t push the matter. Instead, it is important that you don’t make your child feel guilty for not going and to take photographs or make a video of the proceeding if they want to watch it at a later date.
In the Case of a Cremation
If the deceased family member is getting cremated, then it is important that you skillfully explain the cremation process to your child. You can tell them that there is a building called a crematorium, in which there is a room that has a special fire unlike any that he or she has seen. Make sure that they know that the deceased loved on will not feel any pain or heat, because he or she has passed on and so a body that doesn’t have life will not feel anything. Explain that the cremation is extremely hot so that it will turn the body into a very soft and fine ash, which is called the cremains. Teach them that these may be placed in an urn and buried, placed in a special building, or could be scattered in a beautiful area that is special to the deceased loved one, such as his or her favorite fishing spot. Explain a cremation as gently as possible to your child, but still to be truthful
Chances are if you find yourself searching for a life insurance policy you may be wondering where to start first.
With so many different ways to compare providers and policies, the process can seem overwhelming, to say the least. Not to mention the fact that it can be an emotionally taxing event.
However, there is something that can make this process a bit easier. And that process starts with knowing how to compare providers. After all, understanding how to evaluate policies and providers is crucial to ensuring you make a worthwhile investment.
Luckily, we’ve compiled the top tips you need to know when it comes to comparing providers.
Price Check Premiums
Let’s face, the price we pay matters. And besides, who doesn’t want to get a great deal? It’s important to remember when comparing providers for a final expense insurance policy to compare premiums.
In order to maximize your savings, you are going to need to price check your premiums. Providers each have a unique set of qualifying criteria, which means you may pay may or less for coverage depending on what provider you select.
So, no matter what type of policy you plan to invest in, be sure to check more than one source. By doing so, you could save yourself hundreds and even thousands in the long run!
Evaluate Quality of Coverage
In addition to comparing price, you will also want to evaluate the quality coverage. After all, just because a policy might be great for your wallet, it may not be worthwhile if you don’t do your research.
Be sure to read the fine print of your policy. In addition, take the time to consider just how much coverage you will need. Although this is an individual decision you will need to make, consider the following:
*Funeral services – what type of funeral services are you planning on having? For example, are you looking to have formal funeral service? If so, you’ll need to account for the costs of the funeral director or facility.
*Casket – if you’re planning on burial, you will also need to account for the cost of the casket. Casket price typically ranges from $5,000-15,000. However, keep in mind that prices heavily depend on the type of material.
SEE ALSO: What Is The Average Amount Someone Can Expect To Pay For A Casket?
*Cremation – if you’re planning on cremation over burial, you will likely be able to reduce the amount of coverage you need. With the average cremation costing $2,000 or less, the savings can be significant.
*Outstanding debts – any outstanding debts such as a mortgage of federal loan should also be taken into account when determining final expense insurance as a policy can be used to offset these costs.
Research History of Provider
After you have determined that price and quality of a provider, you will also want to go ahead and research the history of the provider. Or in other words, take a look at their track record.
For example, is the company established or recent startup? What do their customers have to say?
You want to develop a clear, accurate, and unbiased perspective of a provider as much as possible. After all, you may discover a lot about a provider by taking a look at their history.
Don’t delay; an affordable final expense insurance policy that is right for you is out there. Take action today by comparing providers and policies with our FREE term life insurance quote comparison service.
Best of all? We don’t ever ask you to provide any personally identifiable information. In fact, the only thing you will need is your zip code for access to the best rates from the best providers.
So, what are you waiting for?
In theory prepaying for your funeral sounds like a good idea, and you likely have good intentions by considering it. Most people consider prepaying for their funeral so that their heirs or children do not have to handle the expenses while going through their grieving process. However, before purchasing a funeral prepayment plan, you must be aware of all of the factors that go into such a decision. Not all funeral prepayment plans will deliver what they promise and so you must consider all facets of such a plan. Here are six things you should know about funeral prepayment plans so that you can make an informed decision on whether or not to obtain one.
1. The Funeral Home May Not Be Around When You Pass Away
Purchasing a funeral prepayment plan is banking on the fact that whatever funeral home you are using will be around when you pass away. However, your prepaid funeral contract may not be able to deliver on its promise if the funeral home goes out of business or even changes hands. Although a funeral home can give you a sense of security when you are purchasing such a plan, this is often false, and so you must take it with a grain of salt.
2. You Must Comparison Shop This Type of Plan
Funerals cost an average of $6,500, which does not include additional cemetery costs such as obituary notices, limousines, and flowers, which can push the price up to over $10,000. However, may people who consider a prepayment plan do not comparison-shop to find the best deals for their funeral or burial. If you are considering going this route, then it is critical to comparison shop multiple prepayment plans and not just purchase one from the funeral home that is nearest to your home. Additionally, you do not have to buy the first policy that a funeral director throws your way. Instead, you can decide on the particular individual services and goods that you want at your funeral and only prepay for those.
3. Funeral Director Has to Disclose Where Your Money is Going
It has been noted that 53 percent of those who prepay for their burial or funeral pay the entire lump sum, whereas 44 percent pay installments over a period. Whichever category you fall into, it is crucial that you know exactly where your money is going if you prepay for your funeral. Funeral homes are required by law to disclose exactly where your money is going. However, one study found that 40 percent of seniors who purchased a prepayment plan had no idea what the funeral director is planning to spend the money on. Usually, the funeral director will put the money into a trust fund account or buy a life insurance policy that all of the expenses will be used for.
4. Cancellations and Refunds of Your Policy
In most states, the funeral director does not have to give you a full refund on your prepayment package if you decide to cancel it. Find out the circumstances that let you cancel the contract and the percentage of the money you paid that will be returned to you if you decide to change plans or go about your funeral in a different manner. You do not have a guarantee that you will receive your funds back or get the same amount of money that you initially put into it.
5. Funeral Prepayment Plans Have Fine Print
Contracts vary widely from plan to plan. It is crucial that you read the fine print on your prepayment agreement. Even if you purchase a guaranteed installment plan that the funeral director says will cover all of your funeral expenses does not mean that it will actually include all of the expenditures when your family attempts to cash out. For instance, if you pass away outside of the funeral’s service area, then your family may have to pay an additional fee to move you to the funeral home.
6. The Medicaid Factor
A benefit of purchasing a funeral prepayment plan is the Medicaid factor that goes with it. Prepaying for your burial or funeral will shelter that money from Medicaid. This is because the money that you set aside for this expense will not be factored into your net assets when considering your eligibility for Medicaid or Supplementary Security Income (SSI). To ensure that this exemption occurs you should make sure that you purchase a legitimate plan that is Medicaid-exempt. Additionally, be aware that if there is any money left over after your funeral expenses, then it will be subject to being recovered by Medicaid.
Although no one particularly enjoys planning for a funeral, it is a reality that must be faced. With funeral costs in the United States reaching well over $6,000 on average, there are plenty of reasons why you would want to prepare for a funeral in advance.
After all, the last thing you want to do is to leave your loved ones with a burden of debt.
Which is why it is so important to put a plan into place. However, before you decide to purchase the first policy that comes your way, there are a few things you’re going to want to know.
1.) It pays off to shop around
It is common for many people to pick the first funeral home they come across. Whether it is out of convenience or because it’s the place where their family has always used, few people explore their options.
However, this is by far one of the biggest mistakes you can make when it comes to final expense insurance. Comparing prices from providers can save you hundreds if not thou
While funeral home directors may tell you that they have the lowest prices possible, it’s always a wise move to double check. After all, a funeral is no small expense.
2.) Cremations can save you significantly
Did you know that cremations on average cost half of what a traditional funeral costs? In fact, cremation services on average only run about $3,000 with an urn costing as little as $30.
While funeral home directors may try to upsell you on full funeral services, keep in mind there is nothing wrong with opting for a cremation. Saving you and your family potentially thousands, cremations can be an affordable option.
The key takeaway here? If you think a cremation is an option you want to explore, do not hesitate to do so.
3.) You do not have to purchase products directly
Sure, funeral home directors make it convenient to purchase products directly, but that doesn’t mean you should. While you can certainly purchase plenty of high-end (and often overpriced) caskets from funeral homes, you can also purchase from other sources.
For example, did you know that you can save significantly by purchasing items such as urns and caskets online? Not to mention that you can also save by price checking various retailers in your area as well.
Remember, just because it is available through a funeral home does not mean it is the best option.
4.) You do not have to spend a fortune on a casket
Just as you do not have to purchase products directly from a funeral home, you also do not have to spend a fortune on a casket. Contrary to popular belief, it’s not necessary to spend thousands of dollars.
In fact, if you want, you can find a basic casket such as a pine box for as little as $500. Now, if you’re looking for a full-scale mahogany or bronze casket then go for it, just keep in mind that this is a personal decision to matter.
The reality is that there is no right or wrong universal answer here, it is about what is best for you and your loved ones.
5.) Funeral directors are business people first
While countless funeral directors may have honorable intentions, it’s also important to remember that they are also business people first. After all, funeral home directors are not clergy.
While funeral home directors can conduct services, at the end of they are running a business.
This is not to say that funeral home directors have bad intentions but rather to show you just how critical it is to be objective as possible Although it can be an emotional process, by taking a critical comparison of your options you’ll be able to maximize your options.
Have questions when it comes to funeral planning or just final expense insurance in general? If so, be sure to check out Final Expense Insurance Blog for more answers.