R. Brian Burkhardt, known on the Internet as Your Funeral Guy, has been featured at MSN Money on how to do a lower the cost funeral.
With a little forethought, you, too, can save thousands of dollars on a funeral or the burial of a loved one, the experts say. Here are some of their top tips:
- Choose cremation. “The National Funeral Directors Association says the average cost of a funeral in 2006 was $7,323. That does not include a cemetery. The average cost of a cremation is between $1,000 and $1,500,” says R. Brian Burkhardt, the author of “Rest in Peace: Insider’s Tips to the Low Cost Less Stress Funeral” and the author of a blog about the funeral industry. “So cremation is the No. 1 way to save money on your funeral.”
- Save even more by choosing “direct cremation.” The deceased is promptly cremated, without a funeral service or viewing. Direct cremation usually includes transport of the body, cremation and a cardboard or plastic container for the ashes.
- Skip the preservative. “Forgo embalming,” says Burkhardt. “Under the law — the Funeral Rule — you have the right to forgo embalming. That can save you between $600 and $800 on the funeral.” Want a traditional funeral anyway? Just choose a closed casket, Burkhardt says. “If the body’s not viewed, it doesn’t have to be embalmed.”
- Buy that box on the Web. “Get the casket online,” Burkhardt says. “Do not buy it from the funeral home, because — and they hate me when I say this — caskets at the funeral home are marked up between 100 and 500%,” with occasional exceptions, he says. No other single item is so expensive. “I got a $4,000 oversized casket on the Internet (for a friend), and it was delivered to the funeral home the next day, and I paid $1,037.” Today some of the big-box stores, including Costco, sell caskets, too.
Funeral Industry, Funeral News, Funeral Blog By R. Brian Burkhardt, Your Funeral Guy.
Rest In Peace Insiders tips to the Low cost Less stress Funeral is available at Amzaon. com by Morgaqn James Publishing.