Whether you run a funeral home or are looking for funeral services after the loss of a loved one, the Internet is becoming more and more of a go-to place in this industry.
Prior to the web, most funeral homes advertised in newspapers, on television and through other media outlets. Customers, meantime, turned to friends, family members or word-of-mouth in order to locate a funeral home that could handle their needs.
In recent years, more and more Americans are surfing the web in order to find necessary services and products in order to give their loved ones a proper send off.
As a result, more funeral homes are not only coming up with their own websites, but they are tending to them on a regular basis. Since it is not uncommon for many funeral directors to work from home, hours can be spent on the web designing and updating products and services that loved ones will want and need for a burial.
Another area where funeral homes are turning to the Internet to enhance their business offerings is tending to relatives and friends that are unable to attend a service.
Due to distance, finances and other reasons, not all loved ones can attend services, leaving them to find some way to say goodbye. In order to accommodate those people, more funeral homes are turning to memorial videos and even live-streaming of the services.
Money is Oftentimes the Main Issue
When a loved one dies, being concerned about money is often the last thing on the minds of those left behind.
But unfortunately funerals don’t come cheap, and at some point individuals will have to turn their mind to the question of how to make final arrangements and how much they will have to pay for them. The cost of a traditional funeral can be staggering, running well into thousands of dollars.
What’s a family to do to get through a difficult time without the added worry of a huge bill when the service is over?
Nearly 40 percent of Americans now opt for cremation in their final arrangements when a loved one dies.
Cremation typically costs less than a traditional funeral, with many families finding they can arrange a cremation for something in the region of $800 – $1,500, a considerable saving on the thousands spent on a burial service. For families needing to save cash while dealing with the grief of losing a loved one, a cremation is often the best choice.
Making the right choices still matters though – some cremations come with enough high cost extras to rival the cost of a traditional burial service.
Here’s how families can make savings while arranging a peaceful send off for their loved ones:
• Consider direct cremation – Direct cremation, where the body is transported from the place of death straight to the crematorium is the most cost effective option. Direct cremation means there will be no viewing and no service, both of which mean considerable savings.
• Ask what is included in the cost – Whether you choose direct cremation or not, it’s a good idea to check out what exactly is included in the quoted price. Will a cremation urn or casket be provided if needed? Or do you need to factor in the cost of those too?
• Choose the simplest casket – A high end wooden casket adds a significant number of dollars to the final bill. Many places will provide a simple cardboard or basic wooden casket for cremation for much cheaper.
• Shop around for urns – Urns can be expensive, and a funeral home may try to sell you a high end fancy urn. You can simply opt for the basic box the ashes will be returned in, or shop around for a cheaper but still elegant looking alternative.
• Arrange your own service – Direct cremations don’t include a service, which saves a considerable amount of money. But that’s no reason to skip a gathering and send off to honor your loved ones and help those who are left behind – a simple service at a family home or location dear to the deceased can be just as powerful and meaningful.
• Skip the columbarian – A columbarian – a memorial for keeping cremation remains – is an expensive way to house ashes. Instead, scatter them in a meaningful place to give your loved one a fitting farewell.
• Shop around – You might not feel like it, but asking around different funeral homes and crematoriums is the best way to make sure you don’t pay any more than you need to.
By making careful and thought out decisions, it’s possible for both funeral homes and survivors to offer loved ones a meaningful send off without adding to the stress by draining a bank account.
Photo credit: Image courtesy of Stuart Miles / FreeDigitalPhotos.net
About the Author: Tristan Anwyn is an author who writes on subjects as diverse as health, marketing, business, and SEO.