They say that it is never too early to be prepared, and when faced with an already emotional situation, the last thing you want to do is make a lot of decisions that you may later regret. Below is a quick list to think about when you are considering what you want done when you die, or if you are dealing with the death of a loved one and need to plan a funeral:

  1. Shop around in advance. Compare prices from at least two funeral homes. Remember that you can supply your own casket or urn.
  2. Ask for a price list. The law requires funeral homes to give you written price lists for products and services.
  3. Resist pressure to buy goods and services you don't really want or need.
  4. Avoid emotional overspending. It's not necessary to have the fanciest casket or the most elaborate funeral to properly honor a loved one.
  5. 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.
  6. 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.
  7. Plan ahead. It allows you to comparison shop without time constraints, creates an opportunity for family discussion, and lifts some of the burden from your family.