Friday, March 28, 2014
Funerals can cost over $27,000 these days. Even the least expensive funerals, costing around $2,000, can be too much for some families. Here are six ways you can save on funeral expenses:
- Compare online. Websites like FuneralDecisions.com offer free instant quotes to help consumers find low-cost funeral services in their area.
- Forgo embalming. State law doesn’t require embalming, which has a median cost of $700. Ask the funeral home if refrigeration is an option, which can be as low as $50 a day.
- Decline the “protective” casket. Some caskets are equipped with a rubber gasket meant to protect the body from the elements. This “protective” addition could raise the price of the casket by $800 and doesn’t actually preserve the body.
- Buy elsewhere. Most states don’t require you to purchase your casket or urn from a funeral home, and funeral homes aren’t allowed to charge you a handling fee if you’ve purchased from somewhere else, such as a warehouse club.
- Have a home funeral. It’s legal in most states to care for the body at home and take it yourself to its final resting place.
- Donate. Donating your body to a medical school normally incurs no costs for the family. Cremated remains are returned within two years.
See Kaitlyn Wells, 7 Ways to Save on Funeral Costs, MarketWatch, March 27, 2014.