What Do I Do Now? (after the funeral)
Following is a link to our very popular “What Do I Do Now?” brochure, which Funeral Consumers Alliance board member Frank Cockrell researched and assembled.
Other information that might be of interest:
The average total cost of a traditional funeral in the United States (including open-casket service followed by an earth burial) ranges from $12,000 to $15,000. This varies from state to state and is heavily dependent upon the type of funeral a family chooses.
- In most cases, it is up to the next-of-kin to decide whether or not the body should be embalmed.
- Funeral homes are required by Federal Trade Commission (FTC) regulations to provide consumers with a written “General Price List” upon request and at the beginning of a funeral planning session.
- The number of people who opt for cremation is rising every year. The cremation rate in the United States currently stands at about 40 percent. In Canada, the rate is 56 percent. By comparison, the cremation rate is 72 percent in the United Kingdom and 98 percent in Japan, according the Cremation Association of North America.
- Cremation can follow an open-casket service or any type of service (but timing may mandate embalming).
- By planning ahead and communicating your end-of-life wishes, you can reduce the amount of the stress, confusion and, expense incurred by survivors at the time of your death.
- Funeral homes and funeral directors will have their own interests in your purchases and might not lead you to the best values.
- Our consumer-oriented organization encourages individuals to PLAN ahead, but not necessarily to PAY ahead. Carefully consider your situation, weigh your options, and learn about state laws before buying a “pre-need” funeral or burial plan.
- The most important thing to remember is that the cost of the funeral is not related to how much you cared for or respected the deceased. You should not deal with anyone who tries to guilt you into overspending in this way.
- Embalming is required by law.
- Embalming protects the public health.
- Protective caskets help to preserve the body.
- Vaults are required by law.
- Vaults are required for the interment of cremated remains.
- Cremated remains must be placed in an urn and interred in a cemetery lot or niche.
- It is a good idea to prepay for a funeral, to lock in prices with a pre-need contract so you have “taken care of everything.”
- Insurance is a good way to pay for a funeral.
Speakers from Funeral Consumers Alliance of Greater Kansas City are available to present interesting and detailed information to your club, church group or organization by e-mailing or phoning us:
E-mail address: firstname.lastname@example.org
Funeral Consumers Alliance
PO Box 7021
Kansas City, MO 64113
Phone: (816) 561-6322