A Funeral Before Your Time: Are pre-planned funeral arrangements a rip-off or a wise investment
Emily's Cremation and Burial Service
For questions contact: Mike Kimoto at (503) 652-3357
For those of us who are relatively still in the hands of youth (under the age of forty) the one great truth that lies in each of our future is that we will all face Man's Greatest Mystery - Death. Yet most of us will not have to face this truth until well after our sixties. However, and often unfortunately, some of us will witness the passing of a parent or a grandparent eventually. So why pre-plan? It is probably hasty to do so in your forties or fifties; nevertheless, if you are older or approaching such an age or have certain medical concerns it becomes a decision that you need to face.
Pre-planning is useful in order to avoid overpaying, emotional distress and being taken advantage of during a most trying time. Another fact that can arise out of pre-planning is the avoidance of family arguments in which members of the surviving family would quarrel over the arrangements and financial decision, thus creating a most unpleasant atmosphere in the face of the loved one's death - a time that the family should pull together and support each other's emotions fears and despairs. Pre-planning gives the family control as you and your family can shop for prices and the important decisions can be made over time, sharply reducing the stress. If you have not pre-planned, at the time of death the next of kin to the decedent will have to find a funeral home, decide on arrangements and choose a cemetery, often in as little as one day and such arrangements will have to be paid for immediately.. (Note: the cemetery and funeral home do not have to be run by the same company).
Here are some painless ways to avoid rip-offs:
1.) Try to pre-arrange ahead of time even if it is only days in advance of the imminent death.
2.) Decide whether you are going to use burial or cremation services, as there is a significant price difference between the two.
3.) Shop heavily for prices - there are big price differences. Usually, big corporations are going to charge you more for the same services and merchandise than a locally owned and operated funeral home.
4.) Remember, the living next of kin is responsible for arrangements and payment. This can be an overwhelming burden. If you were faced with a funeral bill, would you be able to pay it today? Pre-planning a funeral will give you the option of paying over an extended period of time.
5.) Do not do business with a funeral home where you have not developed some rapport with the people you are dealing with. If you received some troubled vibes, then it is a wise choice to seek out another funeral home.
6.) Do not meet with any funeral home who has called unexpectedly: these are telemarketing leads and the sales person is working on strict commission. Choose your own!
7.) Do not buy merchandise and services that you do not need or want. There are certain items that you must purchase in order to comply with the law. Your funeral home will explain in detail why and what those items and services are that you must have.
8.) Buy the extras that you want. There are many services and merchandise that may add to the entire process, but be careful and get only those items and services that you and your family desire.
9.) Finally, ask a plethora of questions as this is a surefire way to avoid being taken advantage of. If the person who is assisting you cannot or will not answer the questions - or walks around the question - then it is best to leave and find a funeral home that will comply with your questions.
Most people spend a great deal of time and energy planning their vacations. They do this to avoid complications and to get the most from their money. A funeral isn't any different. If you wait until the time is at hand, you will be forced into making very important decisions is a relatively short amount of time. On top of the financial obligations that a death brings, you will be also taxed with the emotional stress with the loss of a loved one. Pre-planning is a way to deal with both of these things. Death is unavoidable, being prepared is not.