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Funerals are one of those unavoidable facts of life; however, few people relish the idea of planning one. Whether you are planning a funeral in advance or you are navigating the process while grieving a loss, you have options and protected rights to ensure that you can plan the service you want for you or your loved one. Knowing your options can help you shop for and find the casket or urn you want as you proceed through the process of planning a funeral. Direct purchasing of these items will give you not only more options and selection, but will save you money in the end.
Funeral homes typically offer customers several different packages that include various items and services. Generally, these packages will include a casket or urn provided by the funeral home. Although some customers may appreciate the opportunity to buy a casket or buy an urn from a funeral home, there are other options as well. Although funeral homes may not disclose this, it is possible for customers to buy a casket or buy an urn from an independent company instead of purchasing the burial container from the home.
Caskets are typically the highest-priced item you will purchase when you are funeral planning. While the average cost for a funeral is approximately $6,600, a casket may cost $1,500 or more. The Federal Trade Commission has established the Funeral Rule, which protects consumers as they plan and execute funerals. You have the right to purchase only the specific funeral arrangements you want without having to purchase an entire package. You also have the right to provide your own casket or urn to the funeral home, which you can purchase from an independent vendor. The funeral home can’t charge you a fee if you purchase a casket or urn independently, and the funeral home also can’t require you to be present to accept delivery of the alternative burial container. Consumers planning a cremation are not obligated to use a casket for the remains. In this situation, funeral homes must offer alternative containers made out of other materials, including fiberboard and even cardboard.
When you opt to purchase a casket or urn from an independent vendor, you can explore many more options and styles than what a funeral home would offer. This extensive selection is generally less expensive than the standard prices of caskets and urns available through funeral homes because funeral homes mark up the prices that they pass on to customers. Whether you prefer a wood or metal casket or a casket made from green materials, independent vendors can offer you a large selection of burial containers. Caskets made from green materials have a simpler construction, and they may contain bamboo, sea grass, rattan, or even cardboard. If you have a limited budget and need a very basic casket, an independent vendor can enable you to find a simple yet tasteful casket that will serve your needs without unnecessary features that drive up the cost. No matter what else you have planned for the funeral, direct purchasing of a casket or urn can save you money.