The last thing you want to think about is what arrangements you’ll need to make when your currently healthy loved ones pass. However, doing so in advance will save you a lot of heartache when the inevitable does happen.
That’s because the funeral industry has been fraught with scams and dishonesty over the years, and it is imperative that consumers become educated about their rights and options while they are thinking clearly. When my mother died, we were very fortunate to have worked with a wonderful and helpful funeral home, but even so, I couldn’t help but wonder if I was making the correct purchasing choices when I planned her funeral.
The Funeral Help Program was started for this very reason. The founder is a woman from Houston, Texas whose husband died of Alzheimer’s. The funeral home charged her exactly $12, 000, curiously the same amount as her husband’s death benefit on his life insurance policy. A grant and further research revealed that some funeral homes has outrageous mark-ups on goods and services and others preyed upon families in their most vulnerable state.
According to the Funeral Help Program site:
The FHP was created to give consumers a source of information from someone not trying to sell them something. We have devoted the past 15 years to assisting families in understanding the decisions required and their options at each step, via our toll-free line, email, seminars and public forums. We can help those needing assistance to find funds for funerals (though we do not have the funding to assist ourselves) and try to educate the consumer on all things funereal.
This helpful site covers topics including: Funeral Options, Getting Help, Cemetaries, Choosing a Funeral Home, Ploys & Scams, Payment Options, Casket Choices and even Green Burial.
From my own experience, it’s important to plan ahead as much as you can for a funeral. Even just doing some preliminary research about funeral homes, processes, costs and options can be helpful. It’s a tough thing to do sometimes, but when you need it, you’ll be glad you did it.