Damn Funeral Directors

Damn Funeral Directors

PostBy: leowis1 On: Mon Jul 20, 2009 7:07 pm

Hi All,

Perhaps this is a morbid topic, but I'm mad and I want some answers. I'm putting my emotions aside and I want to understand the business of funerals. My uncle just died. He was poor. Alot of debt. But a great guy none-the-less. My aunt couldn't afford a big funeral. Understandable. Funerals can be expensive. My parents are helping her pay for the service. My uncle was cremated today. The service is Thursday. When my Dad told me this I was angry and hurt because I want/need to see his body to say good-bye. My Dad mentioned the high cost yada-yada-yada. I had another uncle who years ago died. He was cremated. But his body was laid out for everybody to say good-bye. And then he was cremated. I thought this was very appropriate.

Here's my question. What is the additional expense a funeral home incurs to lay a body out first and then cremate it? What makes it cheaper to skip the full-service and just do the cremating? I have the impression (right or wrong) that the funeral director is gauging people under tremendous distress. And my aunt and parents are very hury my uncle died. He was a great man.

Can anybody tell me the ABCs of funeral home costs? Thank you.

Leo
leowis1
 

Re: Damn Funeral Directors

PostBy: 009to090 On: Mon Jul 20, 2009 7:15 pm

First, I am sorry to hear about your loss.
If they belonged to a local church, you could have had the viewing there.
It may sound morbid in these times, but you could have had the viewing at your Aunt's house (or other relative's house). Then just contract the funeral home for the cremation, no services.
009to090
 
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Re: Damn Funeral Directors

PostBy: jpete On: Mon Jul 20, 2009 7:22 pm

I believe they have a make up artist to make people look "good"(?) during the viewing. Plus the cost of the room, the "usher" to direct people at the door, printing the prayer cards, etc.

All those costs add up.

Sorry for your loss but maybe it was your uncle's/aunt's wishes?

When my buddies father died, he ended up with about a $5000 bill to remember his dad by.
jpete
 
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Re: Damn Funeral Directors

PostBy: WNY On: Tue Jul 21, 2009 10:05 am

My father just passed away back in March, the funeral director went over EVERYTHING thoroughly with me and my mom. It was about $6500 TOTAL for everything, non cremated, open casket, 1 day viewing. there are a lot of STANDARD costing also for the funeral home. Its; NOT cheap by any means. It was a shocker to me too!
WNY
 
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Re: Damn Funeral Directors

PostBy: traderfjp On: Tue Jul 21, 2009 10:25 am

My dumb Mother-in law used a funeral director in New York CIty because it was suggested by someone. She never called around. She has no money and her AUntleft bills. No one in the family can manage money or show restraint. Anyway, we had no viewing, and a grave side service and it cost 10k. Now the cemetary wants 2500 for a stone. 1500 for the stone and 1k to install it. These costs are incredible especially for a family that can't afford it but once again she should have called around. Emotions run high so I didn't want to say anything. Oh yeah she did have a pine box forgot to mention that.
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Re: Damn Funeral Directors

PostBy: samhill On: Tue Jul 21, 2009 11:57 am

You have my sympathies for the loss of your uncle. He must have been a very wonderful person.
There are several factors that you must consider in this situation. If there is any type of viewing the body must be embalmed, that is state law in all states. It is done for public health safety. Embalming is a surgical proceedure which requires expertise to perform well. Also, I'm sure you would like to remember your loved one by the last time you saw him which would be at the funeral home, church or private residence. Embalming will help assure that this is possible especially, if it has been a long and difficult illness. If you can, please understand that cremation is like burial in the fact that it is considered a final disposition of the body. You can have viewing (with embalming) before both burial and cremation. Most people making arrangements are very vunerable at this time and will spend sometimes more than they can afford, or let onto the funeral director that they can afford more than they can. (That is why pre-arrangement is a very good idea.)They sometimes think that someone will think less of them because they are not providing for their loved one all that they can. Most funeral directors are willing to work with a family and always make sure that families have money left in their pockets when they are finished. Funeral homes have overhead to pay for which can drive up expenses as you add more services.
I'm sure that your uncle knew that you loved him very much. You stated that you didn't get to say good bye. Please remember that each time we say goodbye or good night to some one it may be the last time. That is why you never go to sleep mad at someone! Also, please remember that funerals are for the ones that are left behind. They are there to comfort one another.
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Re: Damn Funeral Directors

PostBy: traderfjp On: Tue Jul 21, 2009 12:22 pm

Funerals are for the living. I agree. I told my wife to have me creamated and better yet don't claim the body. My dead bones won't know the difference. I'd rather her go to Hawaii then give it to a scam artist like most funeral homes who take advantage of the living.
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Re: Damn Funeral Directors

PostBy: WNY On: Tue Jul 21, 2009 12:31 pm

Luckily mom already paid for a plot and stone over the past 5-10 years, so that was one expense she didn't have.
Even out local newspaper charges like $75 to put an obit in there!
I will have to admit, everything went flawless, they even helped with all the after death paperwork (insurance policies, Social Security, etc....).
WNY
 
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Re: Damn Funeral Directors

PostBy: coaledsweat On: Tue Jul 21, 2009 12:40 pm

leowis1 wrote:What makes it cheaper to skip the full-service and just do the cremating? I have the impression (right or wrong) that the funeral director is gauging people under tremendous distress.

About $1200 for a creamation and the paperwork.
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Re: Damn Funeral Directors

PostBy: jeromemsn On: Tue Jul 21, 2009 1:54 pm

I'm sorry to hear of your loss and the frustration you are having. I hope that you will find a family member or even a friend here that can help you with your grief.

I too was shocked at the price of a funeral when both of my parents passed away, 3 yrs apart in different states. Michigan was pretty much as easy as could be, plot, casket, vault, funeral. The thing that seemed to matter the most at the funeral home was time, how long for the viewing, and how many people there would be. The cost of the casket was another item I just couldn't believe, wow there salty, and if you wanted a pillow look out, sheesh.

I know this is no laughing matter and I'm not laughing it's sad that to be buried you have to pay so much.

Mom and Tennessee was even worse. Went to buy the plot and the guy says, now if we have to blast for the hole it will triple the price.

The best thing the living can do I think is to buy insurance to cover the cost of a funeral that you pick out while you are alive, that way the people that are left after your gone can grieve at the funeral and help each other and not worry about expences and such.

Again my condolences to you and your family
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Re: Damn Funeral Directors

PostBy: traderfjp On: Tue Jul 21, 2009 3:14 pm

When my dad passed away it was 6500.00 for a 2 day viewing, casket and burial which is not that bad considering what we paid for my wife's aunt's funeral. The casket was only 600.00 and it was extra if we wanted it sealed air tight. I asked why we would want this and I was told that it would keep water out. I don't mean to be insensitive but when you are dead the only thing left are your bones. 1200.00 for a creamation sounds good but I'm sure there are plenty of other hidden costs. One person here said that his mom paid over 5-10 years for the cost. It just isn't right. When someone dies most family members are too emotional to think straight and feel akward even discussing price at the time. When the bills come in then the shock sets in. It's bad enough to loose a loved one but do we really need to go into debt for it too. There should be a funeral relief fund (serious here).
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Re: Damn Funeral Directors

PostBy: jpete On: Tue Jul 21, 2009 6:07 pm

traderfjp wrote: There should be a funeral relief fund (serious here).


Seriously demented!

You have your entire life to build a "funeral relief fund"!

Get busy!
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Re: Damn Funeral Directors

PostBy: traderfjp On: Tue Jul 21, 2009 7:00 pm

I can afford my own funeral but there are those of us who have no money for funerals. The private sector could raise money by fund raising and then disburse the monies to the neediest. I know people who are working in Walmart making minimum wage and have to bury relatives and spend years getting out of debt. The money wouldn't come out of taxes. The idea that this notion is demented just perpetuates how greedy our society has become and how we have lost the ability to want to help those in need. We see the needy as lazy and cast them aside much like the elderly in this country. We stand together of fall apart.
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Re: Damn Funeral Directors

PostBy: jpete On: Tue Jul 21, 2009 7:39 pm

traderfjp wrote:I can afford my own funeral but there are those of us who have no money for funerals. The private sector could raise money by fund raising and then disburse the monies to the neediest. I know people who are working in Walmart making minimum wage and have to bury relatives and spend years getting out of debt. The money wouldn't come out of taxes. The idea that this notion is demented just perpetuates how greedy our society has become and how we have lost the ability to want to help those in need. We see the needy as lazy and cast them aside much like the elderly in this country. We stand together of fall apart.


My grandparents couldn't(or didn't want to) afford a funeral. They donated their bodies to Brown University. Cost = 0.

If you want to fund raise from the private sector to provide funerals for those who want them, be my guest.

The minute you start taking tax dollars for it, then I have a problem with it.

I haven't lost my ABILITY to want to help people in need. I've lost my ABILITY to keep paying for it after the government is through carving up my check.
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Re: Damn Funeral Directors

PostBy: leowis1 On: Tue Jul 21, 2009 7:50 pm

Hi All,

Thanks for your feedback. My mom told me that the cremating and service will cost $1600. I asked her how much more it would've cost to embalm so that we can see the body. She said it was thousands more. I think they were too upset to go over a funeral cost and just said 'give me the cheapest' and ran out of there.

I loved the 'don't claim the body' statement. :D On a lighter and perhaps funny question; do funeral directors have to do anything special to the body before cremation? If you ever watched any crime story show, there's always some murderer who tries to burn the body to destroy the evidence. But they always fail. What does a FD do to be successful when cremating a body? [I don't have any plans. Just a curious question. :lol: ]

Leo
leowis1