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Aging Wisely: Planning a Funeral - Aging Wisely

We have a number of checklists for Aging Wisely clients, as well as educational materials to help clients and families as they make their final arrangements. Our team member, Dena Manis, worked for many years in the funeral industry and holds her funeral director’s license. She has been a helpful advisor both in creating these materials for us to use and in working with families when questions arise, or they need some support and consultation during that process.

Here’s one of our checklists on some basics of planning a funeral:

Planning for a Funeral

1. Shop around in advance. Compare prices from at least two funeral homes. Remember that you can supply your own casket or urn.

2. Ask for a price list. The law requires funeral homes to give you written price lists for products and services.

3. Resist pressure to buy goods and services you don’t really want or need.

4. Avoid emotional overspending. It’s not necessary to have the fanciest casket or the most elaborate funeral to properly honor a loved one.

5. Recognize your rights. Laws regarding funerals and burials vary from state to state. It’s a smart move to know which goods or services the law requires you to purchase and which are optional.

6. Apply the same smart shopping techniques you use for other major purchases. You can cut costs by limiting the viewing to one day or one hour before the funeral, and by dressing your loved one in a favorite outfit instead of costly burial clothing.

7. Plan ahead. It allows you to comparison shop without time constraints, creates an opportunity for family discussion, and lifts some of the burden from your family.

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