When a loved one dies, few people want to think about
economizing on the funeral.
Adding to the stress, many funeral homes make it hard
to comparison shop.
They're not required to post their prices online
and many don't.
But that may change soon.
Consumer Reports has advice on how to manage funeral
costs and more on the move to make funeral homes more
News 8's Martha Koloski has more.
Stephanie Garry runs one of the handful of nonprofit
funeral homes in the country.
She and funeral director Mitch Kronish say it should
be quick and easy for families to estimate the cost
of a funeral.
We post our prices on our website.
We also make our prices available at our front door
and over the phone, email, fax.
Whatever we can do to ease that burden, we try to
They also publish the prices charged by nearby funeral
Consumer Reports Nikhil Hutheesing says a proposal
before the Federal Trade Commission would require
that all funeral homes publish their prices online.
Funerals can cost thousands of dollars, and usually
time is of the essence.
The problem is you often have to call or visit the
funeral home to get a price sheet.
Consumer Reports recommends getting quotes from as
many as five different funeral homes, setting a firm
budget, and don't be pushed into spending more.
One thing you may not know is that you don't have
to buy the full package that a funeral home may pitch.
You have the right to pay a la carte just for the
products and services you want.
For instance, you don't have to buy the casket at
the funeral home.
Retailers like Costco sell them, too, and will deliver.
Also, embalming is generally not needed if the burial
or cremation takes place within a certain time.
Dropping the viewing can save money as well.
The FTC has a handy checklist for funeral services
Just go to FTC.gov and type in "funeral checklist."
Once you've decided on a funeral home, you're entitled
by law to get an itemized statement so you know exactly
what you will pay in the end.
It's not out of line to negotiate with a funeral home.
And Consumer Reports says that it's worth trying,
especially if you are on a fixed or low income.