Dealing with the unexpected loss of a family member is one of the most difficult things most people will face in their lifetime. Something that makes this type of loss even more difficult is that when people pass unexpectedly, such as at a young age, there are rarely ever any funeral arrangements in place.
This leaves families scrambling to find a funeral home and make burial plans during an already incredibly difficult time. If you are reading this because you or someone you love has experienced a tragic, unexpected loss and you are struggling with the funeral arrangements, the following information may be helpful to you in this time of need.
Determine whether your loved one had made any specific requests
During an unexpected loss where the deceased may have had no formal funeral arrangements planned for themselves, they may still have expressed some preferences for the type of funeral they would choose. To determine if your loved one may have spoken of this type of choice with a close family member or friend, take a moment to reach out to these people before making plans. Remember, even if your loved one has been taken to a certain funeral home, you still have options to make changes and to have them moved to another one, should it fit more closely with your plans or needs.
Understand your consumer rights relating to funerals
Consumers are covered under a funeral industry rule created by the Federal Trade Commission (FTC) to help ensure that they are able to make well-informed decisions during a difficult time. Some of the important facets of this rule includes assurances that consumers:
- receive an itemized list of services and costs before making payment
- are able to obtain and discuss pricing information by phone
- have choices regarding embalming
- can choose to furnish their own casket or urn instead of purchasing one from the funeral home
The funeral rule also ensures that you can choose and pay for only the goods and services you want.
Determine an affordable budget for the service
Discussions about funeral costs are extremely difficult when you are already dealing with an unexpected loss of a loved one, but it is important to proceed carefully and stay within an affordable budget. If more than one person will be contributing to help pay for the service, make sure that everyone is in agreement with the arrangements being made before discussing plans with the funeral home.
Funeral directors are trained to assist families as they struggle with the loss of a loved one. So feel free to candidly discuss the arrangements, including costs and payment options, with them as you finalize the funeral plans for you loved one. Contact a local funeral home today to discuss your needs.