Tips on how to arrange a lower cost funeral in 2019

With so many families living paycheck to paycheck, unexpected funeral expenses can be an emergency that can create a financial crisis for a family.  Worried about funeral prices? Here we give you some tips for how to keep funeral costs down.

#1  Consider a direct cremation service

This is the most economical option to arrange a low-cost funeral or disposition.  In most U.S. cities, a direct cremation can be conducted for between $600 to $1,000.  This makes direct cremation the most affordable option to conduct a disposition if you have an unexpected death in the family, and limited funds to make arrangements.  A direct cremation is a cremation with no ceremony or services.  The deceased is cremated, and the cremated remains returned directly to the family.  This alleviates the need to deal with the immediate disposition of remains.  Once family have the ashes returned, they can conduct a memorial service (if desired).

How much does a funeral cost?

[Chart reproduced from Lincoln Heritage Life Insurance Company ]

#2  Shop around for funeral prices and service providers

Unbeknown to most people who have never had to make funeral arrangements before, funeral prices can vary tremendously, even for the exact same service.  It is always wise to check around a few funeral homes and cremation providers before making a decision.  Funeral homes are bound by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) ‘Funeral Rule’ to provide a family with pricing information when requested.  If a funeral home cannot simply tell you a direct cremation price over the phone or by email, then that should be a concern.

#3  Ensure a cremation price quoted is fully-inclusive of all fees

Many funeral and cremation service providers offer cremation packages.  However, not all funeral homes include the same services and items in a package.  It is important to check that the cremation price quoted does not have any ‘hidden’ extra fees.  For example, some direct cremation packages include the cremation container, and others add this as an additional cost.  A basic cremation container can range from $25 to $150.  Third-party fees are fees the funeral director must pay out.  For example, county fees for death certificates and cremation permits.  So, these will generally be extra charges, however some direct cremation package prices will include these.

#4  Try and establish if there are any death benefits that the deceased may qualify for

Although there is very little financial support to assist families with burial expenses, there are a few benefits that can help towards funeral expenses for some families.  If the deceased was a military veteran there are certain benefits, the most significant being a free cemetery plot.

Social security has a lump-sum $255 death benefit payment for those that qualify.  Some unions and employers sometimes offer a death benefit payment to long-serving employees.

#5  Enlist a friend or colleague to help with funeral price negotiations

It can help to ensure you have a more ‘objective’ person to assist you with negotiations with the funeral service provider.  After a loss, it is hard to remain impassionate about decisions being made about the deceased and their death care. Having someone support you, and assist you through the decision-making or price-obtaining process, can help to ensure decisions are appropriately made.  Especially, ensuring budget constraints are met.

#6  Consider a discount online direct cremation package

The Internet has provided a great tool for us to find and check information.  With this tool today, you can obtain cremation price quotes online, and even make funeral arrangements online.  If you are prepared to make all the arrangements online and submit the required forms, you will not need to visit the funeral home.  This can be another cost-saving factor.  Several cremation providers will offer a discounted ‘online only’ direct cremation price.

If you require a low-cost direct cremation service, contact your nearest DFS Memorials provider. Click here to FIND A DFS MEMORIALS PROVIDER