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When it comes to funeral arrangements, it’s often a stressful time while emotions are running high. Through grief comes great responsibility and planning, making the best decisions possible to honor your loved one or even plan a funeral for yourself.
Funeral directors are keenly aware of the sensitivities that families undergo during this process. Working with countless families each year, a funeral director can help guide you through the planning, budgeting, and arrangements.
However, these are a few things that funeral directors don’t want you to know.
Embalming is the process of preparing the body for viewing at a funeral, making the person look more alive. However, it is very rare that embalming is required by law.
In fact, embalming is only common in the US and Canada. While the process may help with closure at a funeral viewing, know that it is mostly used by funeral homes for commercial purposes. You do not have to opt for embalming, although a funeral director may advise against a public viewing in this case.
An airtight casket does not entirely prevent a body from decomposing. Although airtight caskets keep out insects and dirt, nature will still take its course. Some airtight caskets may ultimately explode, especially in warmer weather. This is due to anaerobic bacteria, fluids, and gases.
Caskets that allow a little air inside can help prevent this scenario.
It’s no secret that funerals are expensive. Depending on the geographical area, the average funeral cost runs from $7,000 to $10,000. Some of the most expensive aspects of a funeral are the casket, the headstone, and the cost of the gravesite.
Luckily, there are several ways to save money when it comes to planning a funeral. Shopping around for different costs and services can save you hundreds of dollars---if not thousands.
You don’t necessarily have to buy an entire package that’s presented to you by a funeral director. You may be presented with a package that includes a variety of services and products that will cover everything you need for funeral arrangements.
Know that many times you can pick and choose what you want from these packages. Tell the funeral director what you do and do not want out of the bundle. Not only can this result in a more customized funeral, but it can also help you save money.
You may have an opportunity to help cut expenses by way of your community. Some families resort to GoFundMe, which allows friends and family to contribute to the cost of a funeral. Make sure you read into the policies before you begin collecting money.
Another option is to look into your local chapter of the Funeral Consumers Alliance. It is available in 46 states and provides plenty of resources, including tips on financing.
There are plenty of honest funeral directors, but at the end of the day, the funeral service is a business like any other. Doing your research and working with a reputable funeral home can make your experience much more pleasant and affordable.