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Showing posts with label Spend Too Much On A Funeral. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Spend Too Much On A Funeral. Show all posts

Saturday, November 10, 2007

"Grace & Mercy Twelve Reasons Why People Spend Too Much for a Funeral.

1. Fulfilling the role of grieving "helplessness." Many people feel so devastated and overwhelmed at a time of death that they assume they should leave all funeral planning to the funeral director. That's like giving the funeral director a blank check. Being actively involved in funeral planning can be very therapeutic, and you won't be grieving over the bill later.
2. Guilt or proof of love. People often think that the amount they spend is a demonstration of how much they love someone. And spending is often a way to make up for perceived omissions - "I should have visited the nursing home more often."
3. A poor family planning.
When Mom dies, it may be altogether too easy to say, "I want one just like Dad's funeral," without looking at the actual cost to see if that would make a difference. If Mom had always said she wanted something "simple" and you aren't sure what she meant, you may end up purchasing a great deal more than something truly "simple." Or perhaps Mom told everyone what kind of funeral she wanted, but she had no idea that it would cost far more than anyone could afford. One gentleman was still paying for his wife's funeral when he died eight years later.
4. "What will other people think?" Fear of being "different" or "cheap."
Funeral sales literature today commonly refers to a "traditional" funeral package (meaning an elaborate one with a good profit margin for the mortician), with one funeral often looking just like the next. Families can enjoy making their own traditions. A unique and personalized memorial observance is what others will remember.
5. Status in the community.
One may feel obligated to put on a big "show" when the deceased has been prominent during his or her lifetime. But you should make the decisions about spending the money where it counts for your family.
6. Didn't shop around for a funeral home with ethical prices.
Many assume a funeral will cost just about the same anywhere. Or perhaps there's only one funeral home nearby, so why bother. Surprisingly, you can save thousands of dollars if you take the time to get prices before the moment of need.
7. Failure to get or read the price list.
This is related to the previous item, but is especially important if you choose a funeral home without shopping around.
8. Legal misinformation.
For example, embalming is not routinely required. Some circumstances may precipitate the need for embalming, but in no state is it necessary when burial or cremation is planned within a day or so.
9. Ill-informed about deceptive funeral practices.
Although the Federal Trade Commission's Funeral Rule says that morticians may not lie to consumers, many uses devious ways to suggest that some caskets are "protective" while others are not.
10. Ill-informed about the true cost of caskets and other funeral merchandise.
Few consumers realize that caskets are usually marked up 300-500% or more. A casket that is listed for $1295 at the funeral home might wholesale for only $325. That same casket is probably available from a casket retailer for $650.
11. Not asking enough questions.
If a funeral home price list includes a statement regarding cash advance items that reads: "We charge you for our services in obtaining these items," did you realize that the funeral director will be making a profit on placing the obituary, for example -- something you could have done yourself? If the General Price List shows that caskets begin at $595, will you ask to see one even though it is not on display?
12. Skilled (or manipulative) sales tactics of the mortician.
The industry knows that most people pick the price in the middle. Therefore, few casket displays will have the low-cost ones included, assuring that what looks like the "middle" casket is actually an expensive one, yielding a good profit. Or, if you have chosen cremation, you may be told you must purchase an urn or temporary container. Not true. Or maybe it's a little more subtle: "Now it's time to pick out the urn."