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End Of Life Arrangements
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How to Choose a Funeral Home

Understanding how to choose a funeral home is imperative for you and your loved ones to find the right provider that fits your financial and personal needs. For some, using the services of a funeral home makes deciding on end of life arrangements quicker and more accessible. Providers often take care of burial or cremation after death, visitation, memorial services and transporting the body of the deceased. These services are helpful for the family in a time of emotional distress. However, funeral homes can become costly depending on the services and features offered by each provider. Even if you have previously employed a funeral home, do not immediately assume that provider is your best option. Browsing around for businesses that offer the price and services you and your loved ones need is the best way to find a provider.

When to Choose A Funeral Home

As a senior, choosing a funeral provider in advance will give you sufficient time to pick the most fitting funeral home for you. This way, you and your family can gain all necessary information to decide on funeral details before a death is anticipated. One benefit to pre-arranging a funeral is that your loved ones will not be left to make arrangements like choosing a funeral service in a short amount of time after your death, while under the influence of heavy emotions. Another benefit is that you will have adequate time to find funeral homes that provide the exact services and items you desire. You and/or your loved ones may have personal wishes for your burial, cremation, memorial service or other aspect of the funeral arrangement. Choosing a provider early can ensure that all of your funeral arrangement wishes are met. Pre-arrangement allows you to find a funeral home that best fits your budget. There are many costs involved with using a funeral home, and you can overpay, if you do not shop around for the right provider beforehand. However, situations do arise where arrangements must be made after death. Whether you are looking for a funeral home for yourself or a loved one who has passed away, use the following information to help make decisions for either situation. Learn more about vital end of life arrangements, and how to choose the best funeral services for your family.

Learn About Funeral Home Laws and Legal Requirements

When approaching the process of how to find a funeral home, you should understand the funeral home laws and legal requirements in your state of residency. The Funeral Rule is a federal protection that outlines your rights for creating funeral arrangements. It is just as important to be knowledgeable about funeral service protections, as it is to understand how to choose an estate attorney. Most states do not require the use of a funeral home for end of life arrangements, but if you decide to choose a funeral provider as a senior, you have basic privileges under the Funeral Rule. These protections are designed to aid in choosing a funeral provider by giving you access to complete, up-front information and preventing companies from applying hidden fees to the cost of a funeral arrangement service. Every funeral home is required to provide you with a general price list (GPL) outlining the costs of each feature provided. This includes any items and services offered by the company. If the cost of a casket or burial container is not in the GPL, funeral providers must give you this information on additional funeral services a separate price list. You have the right to individually purchase any items and services offered by the funeral provider. It is important to understand the processes associated with the end of life preparations such as choosing an estate attorney, will executor and finding a funeral home.

Questions to ask when choosing a funeral home include, “What payment plan options are available through your service?” and “What packages or advantages do you offer seniors interested in pre-arrangements?” Many funeral homes offer package deals, so keep this in mind when comparing costs. The FTC also gives you the right to bring your own outside casket or urn purchased from a third party at no extra charge from the funeral home. Your state may have other legal provisions for funeral arrangements, in addition to the Funeral Rule. Learn how to find a funeral home once you understand your basic funeral arrangement rights from the government.

How to Find a Funeral Home

There are important questions to ask when choosing a funeral home according to your price range and particular funeral wishes. Before picking a funeral home, consult with your family to form a budget for funeral expenses. Next, determine your funeral wishes and priorities. This includes what will be done with your body after death, any religious or cultural ceremonies to be conducted and whether you want a viewing or memorial service. Begin communicating with funeral homes that offer the services and items you need for your funeral arrangements. As you choose a funeral home as a senior, keep in mind your rights and protections provided by the Funeral Rule. Use the GPL and other price lists from each funeral home to determine the total cost of a provider and compare overall prices. Using this method, you can narrow down the choices that best fit your arrangement needs. Make visits to the funeral homes that stood out during your research, to speak with the funeral director and tour the facility. Each funeral home will provide you with a GPL and relevant price lists. During the visits, you can talk to the staff, go over price lists and get additional information on burial options . Compare these price lists when making a final decision. When you decide on a provider, they will provide a price statement displaying the total cost of services before you make any payment. Remember, choosing a funeral provider is completely up to your discretion. Only go with the place you felt most comfortable in, that best fits your needs and budget. For more detailed instructions on how to find a funeral home, read our free guide.