Archive | November, 2008

Your Funeral Guy: Average Cost of a Funeral and Three Funeral Scams

30 Nov

These  scams related to funeral expenses were witnessed by your Funeral Guy in many different funeral homes.

Scam #1 The Funeral Director takes your money:

The largest portion of these scams come from the sale of preneed. This can be referred to funeral insurance or purchasing funeral service in advance. When purchasing a funeral in advance you most often do not get the interest on your money. It usually goes to the funeral home, and the funeral insurance company. The other way money can be lost is through simple theft, put in plain terms: The Funeral Director takes the money. This happens more often than one may think. Avoid “Preneed”, “Funeral Insurance and “Funeral Home Scams.”

In 2008 there were 2 very shocking Funeral Scams–The  Illinois Funeral Directors Association 40 Million Dollar Trust mismanagement(IFDA Preneed Trust) and the National Prearranged Services (NPS)500 Million Dollar Theft. The AARP and the Funeral Consumers Alliance advise you not to do preneed. Please  Come in under average funeral cost by not doing preneed!

Scam #2 Funeral Contract Distraction

One of the simplest scams funeral directors employ is that of funeral contract distraction. A Funeral is always a funeral contract negotiation. Many funeral home owners insruct their employees to engage in contract distraction. They distract you during the reading of the contract. Some even leave a preneed salesperson in the room to distract you

It is always best to read your funeral contract with no distractions. Pay attention to all the details. Be sure to have a friend or a experienced family member read the contract.

Scam #3: Car Sale Technique applied

Funeral directors almost sometimes use this car salesman trick. They raise your expectations for your funeral expenses by twisting the car sales statement: “I want to put you in that car” For the funeral director they sometimes say I”d like to put your Loved One(names deceased’s name.) in that casket. It may be bit more sophisticated statement than this but it is usually a spin statement.  Some Funeral Directors try this even though it shows a lack of tact, respect and class! Sometimes it is said after you select a casket or sign the contract.

There is actually a Funeral director coach on the web who puts up a picture of a Car Sales Lot! And yes he is actually a former Funeral Corporate Guy!

Scam #1 The Funeral Director takes your money

Scam #2 Funeral Contract Distraction

Scam #3: Car Sale Technique applied.

If you avoid these sams you will come in lower than the average cost of a Funeral.

From the Life Experience of Your Funeral Guy

More info from your Funeral guy on Funeral Scams

Your Funeral Guy: Lower your funeral expenses and Personalize

28 Nov

Lower your Funeral Cost  and spend a little more on personalization.The days of the somber, clergy-led, traditional funeral  are fading. Funeral Parties along with special funeral celebrants are here.

In fact with the rise of the lower cost funeral the fun in funerals is coming back.

“Nah, I want people to laugh at me, and about me. I want someone to sing “Amazing Grace” because of the line, “…saved a wretch like me,” and I want people to know that’s why I chose this song. I also want the after party to have a kickin’ DJ and an open bar.

This is even better, though. What’s better than a casket with a Red Sox logo inside?

Yes they have fun in Boston:

Personalization of Funerals is a national trend.  It happens from coast to coast It even goes to rural areas. Central Iowa included:

Your Funeral Guy has seen sports caskets and dove releases, balloons and butterflies.  All this is quite common now. But the ideas can take you to a more than average cost funeral!

Some folks are having fun funerals with dignity and respect.

It is best however to do a low cost funeral first.

Your Funeral guy

Be sure to let me know how you saved on your Funeral Expenses! Lower your expenses and Personalize.

If you do a low cost funeral  fun can be in your funeral

Insider's Tips to the Low Cost Less Stress Funeral

Your Funeral Guy: Personalization, Home Funeral and lower funeral cost

27 Nov

Personalization, Home Funeral and lower funeral cost
Home funerals can provide more meaningful funeral experiences and this helps the families take the time they need to grieve in a familiar environment.

In the comfort of their own home, families  experience less fear of death and they are free to mourn- and handle grief in their own way. Physical involvement helps in grieving. It gives better mental health closure to the loss of a loved one. And it’s a relief to many people because they take personal action rather than sitting idly by waiting for a funeral home to handle immediate tasks. Sometimes it is better for the family to handle  final arrangements  Funeral directors will tell you personalization works and home funerals are legal and right.

Funeral choices that people make influence the future for generations to come. The economic situation is forcing folks to do the funeral the way it has done been for centuries, at home.

Lower cost Funerals and home funerals many times come in under $1,000.00USD

Your Funeral Guy:

Your Funeral Guy: Lower Cost Funeral and the Supreme Court Justice

26 Nov

A Chief Justice of the Supreme Court was an early pioneer of the Lower Cost Funeral

He joined the other Low Cost Funeral Pioneers: Jesica Mitford and Walt Disney!

My first encounter with the lower cost funeral occurred in 1971 while I was at my First College, Illinois State University. Nixon was dominating the New As the D.C urban legend goes he  wanted Three things. 1)Simple 2) Cheap 3) No open casket. Simple meant no frills. Cheap meant a low cost funeral No open casket meant a closed casket with no public viewing.
All I remember from 1971 was that there was a large crowd at the funeral and the burial was held at Arlington National Cemetery, and that it was a ceremony filled with emotion.

Little did I know that 30 years later on September 11, 2001 I would enter funeral service and become an advocate of the cost funeral. Hugo Black was truly founder in this cause.
Simple, Cheap, and No Open Casket works for a low cost funeral today. This still works in 2008.

Today this is something of a funeral cost  urban legend.

In 2008 I would reverse the order but leave the same instructions
1) No open Casket in 2008 this means a low cost casket sold on the internet.
2) Cheap
means a low cost funeral and maybe a cremation.
3) Simple means a negotiated lower cost funeral with no funeral home scams.

So the 1971 to 2008 update means



3) No Funeral Home Scams.

Little did I know that I was later to work at Arlington National Cemetery and write Rest in Peace Insiders Tips to the Low Cost Less Stress Funeral.

Your Funeral Guy

R.Brian Burkhardt

Funeral Director and Author

Be Sure to let me know how you lowered the cost of your funerals!

Your Funeral Guy: Funeral Expenses and The Economy

25 Nov

The economy is moving consumers toward lower funeral expenses and funeral costs. It is moving folks away from a traditional funeral to less than average costs of a funeral.

It is actually given consumers the courage to negotiate lower funeral expenses bringing them in much lower than the average cost of a funeral.

“While a move toward more modest funerals has been occurring for some time, funeral directors said the trend is being hastened by a lack of cash.” This according to an excellent article here:

Yes  lower funeral expenses are on the way . As mentioned in earlier Blog the NFDA, National Funeral Funeral Directors Association now calls the average cost of a funeral in 2006 to be $7,323.00.

Cremation is the best option for lower funeral expenses. This true today. It costs only $20.00 to transfer cremated remains while it may cost well above a thousand dollars to transfer a casket.

Be sure to let me know how you lowered your funeral costs and expenses.

This is from the life experience of your funeral guy.

(Your)Funeral Guy:Funeral Expenses and Preneed are not a good mix

24 Nov

This is from a US NEWS and World Report article on funeral costs.

“It sounds great in theory: Preplan and prepay your funeral expenses so your children and heirs won’t have to make expensive and difficult decisions while grieving. About 23 percent of people over age 50 have prepaid at least a portion of funeral or burial expenses for themselves or someone else, according to a 2007 AARP survey. But not all pre-paid funeral contracts deliver on their promises as funeral homes go out of business, change hands, or raid the money consumers thought was safely invested in trust funds.”

IF YOU MUST DO Preneed follow the prepay tips from the Article here.

Comparison shop.

Follow the money.

Ask about refunds and cancellations.

Read the fine print.

Consider saving on your own

See the full article here:

With the Illinois Funeral Directors Association and the 40 million dollar mismanagement there is  as strong indications that preneed is not good for the consumer. FYI-The Ifda still sells these policies.

The NPS Scandal of 500 million disappearing from funeral trust has hurt funeral directors that pick up the tab. The best way to lower  funeral costs is to to plan your funeral in advance an pay for it at the time of need. That is a sure way to negotiate lower funeral costs.

Here are four simple funeral cost tips.

1.Go in to the funeral home with planned negotiations to lower costs of a funeral.

2.Get products from alternate sources.(internet)

3.Avoid Funeral Homes Scams and preneed scams.

4. Be sure to read your funeral contract carefully at need or preneed.

One of the old time funeral directors tricks is to distract the folks when it comes time to read the contract. Do not let the bad guys do this to you.

(Your) Funeral Guy

Be sure to let me know how you saved on your funeral costs and funeral expenses.

More on lower cost funeral expenses can be found below.

More funeral information can be found here:

http://www.lower cost funeral/rbrianblog

Your Funeral guy: If you do not fit in the average hole you will pay more for funeral costs:

24 Nov

If you do not fit in the average hole you will pay more for average funeral costs!

This comes from an excellent blogger–check the link below.

“Tall John, 6′5″, asked, ‘If tall bodies cost more, do short ones get a rebate?

Is there a surcharge for fat people? Can two thin people be interred for the price of one?

Where does it stop?!

We should all be able to rest in peace and one price fits all.”

More on this at this link:

Many times you can lower your funeral costs and actually come to lower funeral costs where one size fits all.

Here are five steps toward one size fits all.

1. Green Funerals make for rest in peace.

2. Home Funerals can make lower funeral costs happen.

3. Cremation brings one to lower funeral expenses.

4. Having the funeral at an alternate location other than  funeral home lowers costs.

5.Going to the funeral home and asking for a low funeral costs is a great strategy.


If you are too tall or obese you may not fit in the casket. You may pay more for a traditional funeral.

if you investigate you will not have too pay more if you do a low cost funeral! Find out more in the Rest in peace book and funeral book.

Rest in Peace: Insider’s Tips to the Low Cost Less Stress Funeral by R Brian Burkhardt and Matt Bacak.

(your) funeral guy

More funeral information can be found here:

http://www.lower cost funeral/rbrianblog