Now, if you are around me for long, you’d discover I’m frugal. (Those who love me might use other words, but we’ll be nice here on my own blog)
When I go, I want it as simple and cheap as possible, which is why my plans are all about direct cremation and scattering. I’m also a wicked DIY girl, so the idea of a home funeral is very appealing–but since I won’t be here to make it a reality for me, I have less need of demanding that.
And if you avail yourself of my planning services, you’ll learn I rely heavily on the FCA-Central Texas surveys, the price comparison tables they publish every year which tell you the cost of funeral services for each funeral home in the Central Texas area. I’m always about finding a good deal, trying to make do or do without, and not paying for things when I don’t have to.
Therefore, it might surprise you that I find much to love in Caleb Wilde’s new blog post, 9 Benefits of Hiring a Funeral Director
Having a professional on your side at the time of a death does have many benefits, as Wilde explains in his posting. I agree most with these of his points with regards to having a funeral director on your side:
- letting an experienced system handle the paperwork
- stress relief in having someone not in the storm attend to the logistics
- having a calm stable presence to help with decision-making in unstable times
- having an at-hand referral network for your of-the-moment needs
Fortunately, if you coordinate with someone like me, many of these benefits can be yours as well, without the high costs associated with some funeral homes. You may still wish to have a full-service funeral director, but with my help, you can find the one whose service to you and fees charged are balanced and fair, where you can feel cared for and not taken to the cleaners.
Most funeral directors are in the business because they care about people and want to serve and help (and hug, according to Caleb!). But also, when you hire a funeral director, you need to always be aware that the person who you are trusting to help you also may stand to benefit from the decisions she’s helping you make–if you pick a certain casket, or flowers, or sandwiches, or what have you, from a funeral home, there’s likely a margin of profit built in for them. Some funeral homes are corporate owned, so the need/pressure to produce sales figures may be different from other–but everything you choose to do with a funeral director will have a cost associated with it.
This is not to say that all (or even most) funeral homes and directors would gouge you or try to suck money out of you. As I said, most I’ve met truly have a heart for service, and want to provide as many benefits as possible.
But it’s up to you to protect you. Which is why, as always, I encourage you to do your research ahead of time. Know the arrangements you want done. Discover costs at establishments around you, and get a sense for which directors feel genuine, and which make you uncomfortable (chances are good they’ll give that same feeling to your loved ones when they come in too). Considering joining your local FCA branch–you’ll always find the current and unbiased information about local funeral homes there, and folks who can give you the information you need to make a strong decision!