Choosing a funeral service provider

It’s quite common most Americans don’t realize that in most states its not legally required to use a funeral home. But this is not a surprise as very few people have the experience with the legalities and procedures of a funeral, especially due to the emotional stress a funeral can cause when its time to plan for a funeral.

Only until the last few years have more Americans become more educated and familiar with their funeral options, including such things as purchasing a coffin or casket online or another 3rd party retailer versus directly through the funeral home.

While many will find comfort in the services of a funeral home to take care of all the arrangements, it also can come at a great cost. Until recently with the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) invoking the Funeral Rule, has empowered reduce the cost of the high-ticket items of a funeral, such as the purchase of a casket, by allowing other 3rd parties to enter the market and legally enforce funeral homes to accept these funeral products.

For example, more individuals turn to the web to quickly educate themselves on the proceedings of a funeral, funeral home costs, and even the options available for ordering a casket or coffin directly. More consumers are now turning to local casket stores, or online to casket retailers as CasketandCoffin.com to purchase a casket at almost wholesale costs, and receiving same-day delivery direct to the funeral home.

Most families tend to select a funeral home or cemetery close to home, as its either served the family in the past or a matter of local convenience to be close to visit their loved one.

However limiting your search to just one funeral home can create a high-risk environment where you may end up paying a lot more of funeral services or products than browsing other available options.

Funeral products as caskets and urns is a good example, where more consumers are now buying caskets and urns directly from online retailers, and getting overnight delivery shipped directly to the funeral home, or location of preference.

IMPORTANT: Comparison Shop for a Funeral Home & Casket

It may have been seen as unconventional a decade ago, but a booming market over the last 10 years has been comparison shopping online for funeral products as caskets, coffins, urns and keepsakes. Additionally, comparison shopping for funeral homes has become a common trend among families, especially it its performed prior to the funeral if there is indication of a loved one is to pass soon.

A little pre-planning, or quick research when someone passes can help you make informed decisions about funeral arrangements, as well as saving you literally thousands of dollars that could be applied to support the widow or donated to a charity of choice.

Comparing funeral home services will help you select the services and products you need, versus want. And compare the value and depth of services you get for the price when comparing more than one funeral home pricing. You would do it before buying a home, a car, a TV or even a vacation package…so why wouldn’t you do it for a funeral?

As a good first step ask the funeral home director for their general price list (GPL). The funeral homes by law must provide you this list, which contains an itemized list of items, their costs and services.

When it comes time to research and browse for a casket or coffin, if the funeral homes general price list (GPL) does not include the specific prices of a the casket or burial containers, then ask. The law requires a funeral home director to provide you the casket price list, among other funeral products, before showing you the products.

Planning for a funeral can be emotionally stressful, so its recommended for convenience and less pressure to price shop from home. Browse the web and phone the funeral home. The FTC funeral rule requires by law that a funeral director provides you the pricing information over the phone to anyone who asks – or alternatively have them email you their GPL. Doing this you can quickly compare funeral home services, and comparison shop with online retail shops who sell caskets, urns and other funeral keepsakes.

It’s important when you compare pricing with funeral homes and funeral products that you compare the overall package, and individual items. For example, you may find a fair-value price for a funeral home services, but save $3,000 on ordering a casket online at with overnight delivery.

Funeral home packages may cost less than purchasing individual items or services, but again there are certain high-ticket funeral products such as caskets that you may find advantageous to purchase from a 3rd party store or retailer.

Offering package funerals is created by law, as long as an itemized price list also is provided. But remember you cannot accurately compare total costs of a funeral unless you review and use the funeral home general price lists (GPL).

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