The majority of the population has never considered the potential cost of a funeral or memorial service. Talking about death makes many people extremely uncomfortable; therefore, we often chose to ignore the entire topic. If you have not considered the costs of your own funeral, you are definitely not alone.
Unfortunately, our avoidance of the topic leaves many families blindsided by the costs when they eventually become inevitable. The sad reality of the funeral industry is that the majority is operated by sales driven funeral homes, with many earning substantial commissions on the products and services they market. Every day families walk into these facilities with their minds clouded in grief to make arrangements for a loved one that has left their life. Thoughts such as, “She deserved the best,” “His life should be honoured,” and, “We want her to have a memorial as perfect as she was,” are commonly expressed sentiments by those making funeral arrangements. These wishes, in combination with subtle manipulation from sales-based funeral homes, can lead to devastating costs and in some instances, thousands of dollars in debt.
It’s likely that these sales forces are the reason behind why costs of funerals have escalated significantly across the globe over the past few decades, by approximately 100% every ten years. Studies show that on average in North America, a traditional burial, including the memorial service, casket and cemetery costs can be anywhere from $9,000 to $15,000. Caskets alone are one of the items with the highest markup rate, with prices varying from $1,000 to $15,000. (modest wood caskets tend to start at around $3,000) Meanwhile, a cremation with a memorial service can range from $5,000 to $10,000 and the fees for a direct cremation without a service often range from $2500 to $4,000. With numbers like these, it’s not surprising that families are leaving with a heavy bill by the time the procession is over.
In the midst of this escalating industry, a new breed of funeral arrangement has emerged. The birth of the professional funeral planner, distinctly separate from funeral homes, is turning the industry on its head. The funeral planner is radically changing the arrangement process, in favour of the consumer. The concept is baffling to many; that paying additional fees for a professional’s guidance is in their cheque books best interest. Yet the truth is that hiring a funeral planner for a flat rate consultation fee to negotiate all of your arrangements can result in a bill at a fraction of the average costs. This is because funeral planners aren’t sales people, they don’t operate on commission; they are industry experts, trained to negotiate prices, obtain trade rates and accomplish your wishes on your behalf, within your budget.
From traditional burials to direct cremations, a funeral planner will be happy to explain your options to you. Whether you’re preplanning for yourself or are dealing with a recent death, save yourself the unwanted sales pitch and call a funeral planner at Integrity Cremation & Funeral Planning for a no obligation consultation.