Once you have done your shopping around and selected the Funeral Home that you plan to use, there are several ways that you can save costs.
- Decline embalming. It’s generally not necessary or legally required if the body is buried or cremated shortly after death.
- If you want a viewing, hold it immediately before a service since many funeral homes charge less for this option.
- Search online for “discount casket” and you should be able to find a nice metal casket for under $1k. Print out the information and take it with you to the funeral home. They may prefer to come closer to the online price than lose the sale completely.
- Ask for a “transporter casket.” This can be attractive wood veneer, cloth covered, or painted corrugated materials that are less expensive, and there is no reason you can’t use them for burial.
- Have the funeral home meet you at the church (and/or graveside) so that you don’t pay for a limousine and hearse for a processional.
- Buy prayer cards and a register book online instead of through the funeral home.
- Do not buy clothing from the funeral home; your loved one can wear his or her own clothes.
- Newspapers charge for obituaries. Compare prices and consider placing just one.
- Don’t order more death certificates than you really need. The person’s assets will determine how many are needed. Each financial institution where the deceased had accounts will probably require one, as well as life insurance companies. You may also need a death certificate to claim pension or military benefits or transfer property, The average person will need 6-10 copies. If you need more copies later, you can get them from the county or state vital records agency. In Georgia the cost is $25/certified copy.