Planning for a Funeral
Planning for a Funeral can be a difficult process, not only because of the limited time you have to plan one, but also because you feel overwhelmed with the death of your loved one. BBB has the following tips to help you navigate the process, and avoid potential scams.
* Become informed of all your options - There are lots of choices available. Shop around in advance so you can pick what is best for you and your loved ones.
* Be prepared. Talk with your family about your wishes. Make sure you record them. Planning ahead will make everything run smoother.
* Ask for a price list. The law requires funeral homes to give you written price lists for products and services.
* Consider prepaying for your funeral or cremation services.
* Do research so you can avoid scams. Double check the prices of the services you are receiving. Double check debts your loved one may have had before giving out information to debt collectors.
* 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.
* 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.
Possible Scams in this Industry:
The FBI warns about two types of funeral and cemetery fraud perpetrated on seniors.
In one approach, scammer's read obituaries and call or attend the funeral service of a complete stranger to take advantage of the grieving widow or widower. Claiming the deceased had an outstanding debt with them, scammer's will try to extort money from relatives to settle the fake debts.
Another tactic of disreputable funeral homes is to capitalize on family members' unfamiliarity with the considerable cost of funeral services to add unnecessary charges to the bill.
In one common scam of this type, funeral directors will insist that a casket, usually one of the most expensive parts of funeral services, is necessary even when performing a direct cremation, which can be accomplished with a cardboard casket rather than an expensive display or burial casket.
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