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Tips When Pre-Planning Your Funeral Arrangements

Jan 3, 2008
You're neat, detailed, organized... always have been, always will be. Lists are your thing, your desk is often immaculate, and even when clutter springs up, you've usually tackled it within a week.

You planned your wedding from start to finish, you planned birthday parties for the children, graduation parties, surprise anniversary parties, Thanksgiving dinners, retirement celebrations. So why not plan your funeral arrangements in advance to control the final details of your life and lessen the burden on your loved ones?

The casket can be the most expensive part of the traditional family funeral. Loved ones feel especially torn when selecting an appropriate burial container. They wonder if you would have wanted pine or mahogany, they wonder if people will think they are cheap. The truth is, after the funeral, no one will ever see your casket again!

Therefore, you may want to look into renting a casket and selecting a less expensive burial container. If your family is low-key and doesn't care much for appearances, then a simple casket made of plastic or pine will be just fine.

You can also choose from fiberglass, wood, plastic or metal, and you can even find them online! If you do purchase your casket online, then be aware that federal regulations state that funeral homes cannot charge you extra for supplying your own casket.

Instead, you may choose the direct cremation option (which runs from $300 - $600). If direct cremation sounds appropriate to you, then you'll only pay for the funeral director's consultation, a non-metal body container, hearse fees for crematorium transport, and an urn or container for the ashes.

Some Christians desire burial of the ashes, in which case you'll need to buy a grave site, marker and hardier container. Even so, this option is generally cheaper, though it doesn't allow people that elaborate face-to-face mourning.

What is a grave liner or vault, and is it really necessary? A grave liner or vault is required as an outer burial container to surround the casket in the grave and prevent the ground from settling or sinking over time.

The necessity of a grave liner depends upon the individual cemetery, so you may want to shop around at a few places. If this is not feasible, then don't fret too much - liners usually don't cost too much.

Know your rights! The Federal Trade Commission - through the Funeral Rule - requires a provider to give you a list of up-to-date funeral arrangements and services, along with the prices. The price list should include: funeral director services for consultations and paperwork, care of the body, embalming, casketing, dressing, use of facilities for wakes or memorial ceremonies, funeral flowers, obituary notices, funeral music, cremation, immediate burial, etc.

Anyone who can't give you at least this much information, cannot be trusted. Also, by law, the directors are not allowed to criticize your decisions or push you into buying something you don't want.

Feel free to shop around. You may prefer one funeral home because of its location or family tradition, but be aware that prices vary greatly from one end of town to the next.
About the Author
Learn more about preplanned funeral arrangements at Mike Selvon portal. While you are there leave is a comment at our traditional funerals blog, and receive your FREE gift.
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