Saying Goodbye to a Loved One

What You Need to Know About Funeral Home Costs

Losing a loved one can be an emotionally wrenching experience. This pain can stop you from making the correct decisions regarding the preparations to send your dearly departed one to his or her final resting place. One of the key decisions that you may have to make regards the choice of a funeral home. The costs vary so much from one funeral home to the other. This article discusses the general categories into which those costs are divided. Use this information to help you select a funeral home whose prices are competitive.

Basic Services Fee

This cost covers the unavoidable or basic costs that are incurred by the funeral home as it handles the remains of your loved one. For instance, the funeral home may incur costs to file documents related to the deceased. Such documents can include registering the death with the municipal authorities in your area. The funeral home may also incur costs while getting in touch with the cemetery or crematorium where the deceased will be taken. This basic services fee is usually a flat fee.

Costs of Additional Goods and Services

Additional goods and services are optional items or services that you can choose to purchase from the funeral home. They include items like a casket, hearse, urn, limousine and embalming services. Some people can even opt to buy burial clothing from the funeral home. Getting these goods and services from another source doesn't usually attract any surcharge from the funeral home that you select.

While these additional goods and services are optional, some funeral homes may require you to purchase some of them as a must if you have made certain arrangements with them. For instance, you may be required to pay for embalming and cosmetic preparations of the remains in case you would like to have the body viewed at the funeral home.

Cash Advances

Cash advances refer to the money that you are required to give the funeral home so that they can purchase goods and services from third parties. For example, you may be required to provide money to compensate the clergy or the person officiating at the funeral service/ceremony.  Cash advances may also be required to pay cemetery fees and the cost of hiring the musicians (organists, for example) who will perform at the funeral ceremony.

As you can see, it may be a mistake to select a funeral home based on their basic services fee only. It is advisable to find out what all the possible costs will be in the three categories discussed above so that you make an informed decision. Contact several funeral directors so that you select one whose total package addresses your needs.