A Guide to Shopping for a Funeral Home

It is a sad reality of life. At some point or another you may find yourself having to make funeral arrangements for a loved one. While it is of course an emotionally difficult time, knowing how to shop for the right funeral home to honor your loved one’s life and legacy can help make the process a little easier and less stressful. 

It is smart to try to plan ahead if you can. If you can’t, you may fall into the trap that many unfortunately do of rushing into shopping for a funeral home, and choosing the first one that is convenient or one that has been used by their family before, which can lead to overpaying for goods and services.

While the idea of comparison shopping for a funeral home may seem a little odd, it can be invaluable in helping potentially save you some money and heartache, and ultimately find the best final place to pay homage to your loved one.

We have put together a guide with steps for you to follow to help you navigate how to shop for the right funeral home for you. 

Consider What Type of Service You Want 

It is best to take some time to consider what it is you actually want from a funeral home and services. If you jump right in too quickly calling funeral homes, you may end up being roped into a more expensive package than you would like or is even necessary. Traditional funeral services include embalming, dressing of the decedent, viewing and transport of the body and family to burial services. While the traditional package is the way to go for many families, you may want something simpler for your loved one, and a direct burial or even, cremation rather than a burial may be may more satisfactory for you and your family. 

The typical hierarchy of funeral memorial services ranges from cremation services which are least costly, followed by donation of body to science, direct or immediate burial and then traditional funeral services is most expensive. Cremation is so much less expensive because burial requires many other costs including embalming, casket, plot and burial. 

Options of Funeral Services: 

  • Body Donation to Medical School or Research: You may choose to forgo traditional funeral services and instead donate your loved one’s body to medical school or research. You will incur no charges if you choose this option and the medical school will cover the cost of the cremation.
  • Direct Cremation or Direct Burial: Neither direct cremation nor direct burial require embalming or viewing making them a less expensive option.
  • Green or Natural Burial: For an environmentally friendly choice that will also save you money, you can opt for a green or natural burial in which your loved one will be placed in a shroud or cardboard box.
  • Funeral Service at Home: Instead of paying for a funeral service in a traditional funeral home and having to cover costs for the facility and staff, a less expensive option is holding a funeral in your own home. 
  • Traditional Funeral Service: Lastly, you can once again decide to hold a traditional funeral service that typically includes an embalming, viewing, dressing of the body, a casket, plot and burial services. This is usually the most expensive option. 

Survey Their Price Lists

After you have taken some time to pin down what kind of funeral services you want, it is now time to start contacting funeral homes. Before you go ahead and make any commitments to services, make sure to ask the funeral director for their price list so you can review a full list of their services and costs, and determine which services will be right for you and your family, as well as your budget,  By not rushing into any decisions, you will feel less pressured, helping you choose the best funeral services to pay tribute to your loved one. 

Refer to a Directory and Comparison Shop

Again, many families resort to the seemingly, most easy or convenient option, choosing to go with a funeral home that is at the most accessible location, has been used by their family before or is recommended by someone they trust. If you forgo comparison shopping, you limit your options, and will not be able to gage whether or not one funeral home’s prices of services are fair or overpriced. 

Set yourself up for success by referring to a directory such as FuneralHomes.com which offers one of the most extensive, complete lists of reputable funeral homes in its kind, to find the best funeral home for your and your family. 

Taking the time to plan ahead if you can, will relieve some of your stress during an already emotionally challenging time, helping you ultimately save money, and find the most satisfactory funeral home to celebrate your loved one and lay them to rest. 

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