What's a good consumer to do? Life insurance can help, but there's more you can do. Most important, read the contract from the funeral home and make sure you understand everything before you sign. Always ask a lot of questions, and shop around. The prices, services and terms vary widely between funeral homes. If you are interested in a particular funeral package, always make sure you get a written price quote. Don't let yourself be pushed into a comprehensive package that includes services you don't need or want. Additionally, watch out for subtle high pressure sales, especially with respect to the casket. The funeral home may push you to a more expensive casket, describing other less expensive options in derogatory terms.
There are also other funeral options to consider. One is cremation. This is an increasingly popular option, which can cost a fraction of a traditional burial. Today more than a third of all funerals are cremations. Another option you may consider is a "green" funeral, often with the burial in an open field with markers made from local rock. A simple burial in a simple wood box without chemicals or a concrete vault will be a lot less expensive. Most people spend more time shopping for the right television set than they do choosing a funeral.
Maybe you should take action today! Not sure where to start? First, check out the options. Talk to several funeral homes to gather the information you need. Then after you have decided upon your personal options of choice, talk to your family and let them know your wishes. You might even want to consider prepaying for your funeral now, instead of leaving it to your family to make all the arrangements under a tight time frame, while they are grieving. You can save a lot of money, and avoid hassles and frustrations during a time of grief, by doing your funeral shopping now.