Preparing for Funeral Services


It’s not something that you’d like to think about or even something you’d like to plan. But whether it happens to you or your loved one, you should be prepared for death and the corresponding funeral arrangements.

Funeral expenses, if you’re caught unprepared, can be a significant dent on your budget. You can spend anywhere between $7,000 to $12,000 to cover the viewing period, burial fees, and other basic services. You can get personal loans in Salt Lake City, but the process might take some time.

If you want to avoid the inconvenience and hassle of raising funds at the last hour, you might find the following discussion useful.

Funeral Trends

The National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA) indicated that the trend in funeral services is shifting from burial to cremation. The report said that in 2016 more than 50% of Americans opted for cremation services, which is slightly higher than the 2015 figure of 48.5%. Only 43.5% chose burial services, which is also a decline from the 2015 figure of 45.4%.

The NFDA also notes the lack of awareness about the options available for end-of-life services. Thirty-two percent of those who availed of cremation services had no funeral plans in place. These trends will have an impact on the cost of funeral services, so it’s essential to understand them so that you can make an informed choice.

Understanding Your Options and What You Can Do

at a funeral

It can be a very costly experience. Here are other things to note about funeral services and how you can save on costs:

  1. Know what’s involved. There are three major parts to a funeral service: 1) preparation of the body; 2) viewing and ceremony; and 3) interment or inurnment services. Each of these components carries with it a tag price. The corpse would have to be embalmed. A viewing chapel is charged by the day or by the hour. A ceremony will cost as well, depending on the religion of the deceased or the family. Digging a hole on the ground also has a price.
  2. Breaking down the costs. The components mentioned can be broken down into a few sub-items. Some of these items and the estimated cost include a) funeral director’s services ($1,500), b) a casket ($2,300), c) embalming ($500), d) funeral home ($500), and e) digging the grave ($600).
  3. Saving tips. You can reduce your cost by doing some or all of the following steps.
    1. Scout for options. Canvass first various funeral homes before agreeing to a specific service. Look for a third-party provider for a casket or urn, which might be cheaper than what the funeral homes are offering.
    2. Cut the embalming cost. Embalming is not required for every death. Talk to your funeral director about how long from death till burial a corpse can last without embalming.
    3. Burial vs. Cremation. In 2017, the average cost of a funeral was close to $8,800, while cremation services would only cost less than $6,300 on average. This is something you need to weigh together with your other belief systems.
    4. Prepay option. The dominant opinion is to not go for a prepaid funeral plan for various reasons like you might relocate, or the funeral home can go out of business. But since it’s planned and paid for in advance, there is less headache for when the time comes.

There are still other considerations, like burial at sea, which is regarded as more eco-friendly and without the CO2 emission of cremation. Consider the few points outlined in this discussion to start planning your funeral service or that of your loved one.

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