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Funeral Home Rip Offs

Photo by Malcolm Green on Unsplash
Funeral Home rip-offs are often an unfortunate result that is born after a family tragedy.  This is a time when the entire family is completely devastated and not thinking clearly.  Many emotional feelings consume us and cloud our judgment when making important financial decisions.  Especially, when an unexpected tragedy occurs that tosses our world upside down and decisions and preparations must be made quickly when we are the most vulnerable.  That is when funeral home rip-offs are most likely to occur.

     Most people do not realize that funeral home rip-offs even occur.  Most assume the cost of a funeral is going to be outrageous and they want the best for their loved one no matter the price.  Most funeral homes are more than happy to sit down with you and make sure nothing is forgotten during your time of sorrow.  You are either on this side of the coin trying to save money or on the other side trying to meet preconceived expectations. If not prepared you’ll have no idea how you are possibly going to afford this expense and you feel you may let your loved one down.  This is far from the truth cause my friend, your loved one is no longer here.

     The more you know now about funeral home ripoffs the more you will save later.  You should know that the Federal Trade Commission came out with the Funeral Home Rule.  These are some of the services that you are entitled to by law.
  • Purchase only the arrangements that you want.
  • Price information must be given out over the phone.
  • Written itemized price list must be provided to you.
  • Get a casket price list before viewing the caskets.
  • Get the outer burial container price list.
  • Embalming is not necessarily required.
  • Previously purchased caskets and urns have to be accepted.
  • Caskets and embalming are not required for cremation.  
     What made me write an article about funeral home ripoffs?  I found out you can buy a nice coffin at Costco, even Walmart sells them.  That got my curiosity up and then the more I explored, I read somewhere in my research that the average funeral should cost less than $4,000.00 and I instantly knew this is an article I have to write.  I am going to provide you with some links that I think will help you make informed decisions and reasonable purchases.

     To learn more about expectations and laws concerning your state go to this site.  If you would prefer someone else check prices for you some sites will handle this for a small fee and check around at about 8 different funeral homes.  Everest Funeral Concierge and funeral are two such places.  The Funeral Consumer Alliance will also provide assistance for those who qualify and have a wealth of information on their website as well.  Furthermore, you can volunteer and become a part of their network if you so desire.  For caskets check out Costco, Walmart, and Best Price Caskets , or check for other sites online.  You can also get possible discounts for the military here.

     Please do your research well if you want to pay respect to your family member properly.  I will leave you this last thought from someone in the business.  Read at your own risk and I apologize about the language, but it is a real eye-opener.  

Here is a Checklist to use from the Federal Trade Commissions Website

Funeral Pricing Checklist

Make copies of this page and check with several funeral homes to compare costs.
“Simple” disposition of the remains:
Immediate burial __________
Immediate cremation __________
If the cremation process is extra, how much is it? __________
Donation of the body to a medical school or hospital __________
“Traditional,” full-service burial or cremation:
Basic services fee for the funeral director and staff __________
Pickup of body __________
Embalming __________
Other preparation of body __________
Least expensive casket __________
Description, including model # __________
Outer Burial Container (vault) __________
Description __________
Visitation/viewing — staff and facilities __________
Funeral or memorial service — staff and facilities __________
Graveside service, including staff and equipment __________
Hearse __________
Other vehicles __________
Total __________
Other Services:
Forwarding body to another funeral home __________
Receiving body from another funeral home __________
Cemetery/Mausoleum Costs:
Cost of lot or crypt (if you don’t already own one) __________
Perpetual care __________
Opening and closing the grave or crypt __________
Grave liner, if required __________
Marker/monument (including setup) __________