Control the high costs of a funeral

By Keith Boles - bio | email feedback

JONESBORO, AR (KAIT) --You know death is inevitable. It happens to us all sooner or later. What happens to your eternal soul after your gone? Well that's a subject for Theologians, but what about the body you leave behind? Somebody has to see that it's interred and taken care of properly and that can get expensive. When we buried my mom about 12 years ago it cost around 6 thousand dollars.

Funerals have gone up quite a bit since then. But there are ways that you can save money.

Doug Davis is a Funeral Director for Langford-Bookout funeral home. I asked him what people generally go overboard on funeral costs the most.

"Parts of the service they'll go overboad with. But for the most part it's usually casket, flowers things like that."


Doug Davis, "People just want to try to do the best they can for their loved one and this is their last chance to show them how much they love them."

Not counting a cemetery plot an average funeral can run from 7 to 8 thousand dollars or more.

Cemetery plots are another part of the process. The City of Jonesboro will charge for an adult around 9 hundred dollars. That includes a plot, burial fee, stone setting fee and deed paperwork.

Stepping up to a private perpetual care cemetery like Jonesboro Memorial park can cost you more but can be paid out.

Steve McDonald is the General Manager at the park. "We allow them to pre-purchase their cemetery property where they can make small monthly payments until it's paid for then they get a deed."

Products like vaults, stones, care can also be paid out at the same time.

The lowest cost as far as funerals go is cremation. Davis says cremations are actually on the rise. They can run around 2 or 3 thousand, more or less.

Davis, " We'll talk to the family. Do you want to do a memorial service after the cremation? Do you want to do a funeral and then a cremation? It just depends on what the family wants to do."

Like everything else you need to shop around before you need these services. Most of the mortuaries around Jonesboro cost about the same. The Key words are pre-plan and pre-pay. Meet with your chosen funeral director. Make all your choices and plans then Pre-pay whether on time or lump sum. It protects against the rising costs.

When you visit a funeral home ask to see their price lists.

Ask about funeral packages and make sure you understand that there are fees for death certificates, casket flowers, hairdressing, things along those lines.

Also you have rights under Prepaid funeral laws.

Shop around, find a funeral home you are comfortable with and work out a plan.

Pre-paying protects against inflation.

Davis, "For all intents and purposes that funeral has been locked in. If the price of the funeral goes up then the money they have given us will go up."

Taking the form of an interest bearing insurance policy your family might even come out ahead or have some extra cash to pay for those extra unexpected expenses.

Just be aware that some funeral homes may not have payment plans for "At Need" funerals or if they do they may require a hefty down payment.

Pre-planning gives you the ability to plan your funeral right down to the color of the suit you will wear, the hymns that you want sung and other arrangements. Just make sure that your family members know where the arrangements are located before they are needed.

Nobody wants to think about their ultimate end but to ease your families burdens at a hard time visit with your choice of funeral home, let them help you.

Davis, "We'll do whatever you want to do. And help you save as much money as you can."

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