Tag Archives: frugal funeral planning

One on One Funeral Planning Consultation

As of December, 2016, I have temporarily removed my book from sale while it’s undergoing revision.  In the meantime, you can still get excellent Funeral Planning Advice from me by making an appointment to talk with me on the telephone for a maximum of one-half hour for $35.00.  During that time I will show you how to save money when making Funeral Arrangements, among other areas of importance.  Doing it this way will be faster than the consumer sitting down and reading a book.  We can get to your areas of interest right away.

Please contact me for more information.  Just email me at mikeboyd@askthefuneralexpert.com.


Will Your Death Put Your Family in Debt?

The cost for a traditional type funeral plan can be substantial, a major expense comparable to purchasing an automobile, furniture, or even a home, but it is the least researched purchase made by most consumers. Generally speaking, consumers look at talking about funeral planning prior to death as taboo, and this type of thinking can cause overspending and other problems, including how to pay for the funeral plan without running up debt they cannot afford to pay back. I advise consumers to look at funeral planning like any other financial investment and include it in their retirement savings plan. Funeral planning and how to pay for it should be included in financial planning matters and should be offered by financial planners to their clients.

If a death occurs suddenly and without warning, such as due to an accident, then a financial burden can occur within the family. When death occurs, many times family members want the best funeral plan available to honor their loved one, possibly never thinking about how it will be paid for. They pay the funeral director, cemetery or other facility with a credit card or other financing option; then the bills come due!

The death of a family member could cause a negative financial situation for the survivors if the deceased did not have any life insurance, death insurance or money in an account such as a Totten Trust which could help pay for funeral and final disposition expenses. This is why it is so important to become as educated as possible about the funeral planning process prior to a death.  Visit funeral homes, get price lists, visit cemeteries and mausoleums and get their price information, so you can be as educated as possible about making a funeral arrangement either at need (a death has occurred) or pre-need (a death has not occurred or is not even anticipated in the immediate future) and stay within your particular budget.

Generally the funeral home will want full payment at the time of death. Even if the deceased had a prepaid funeral plan, paying for it in monthly installments, if death occurs before all the payments have been made, they will usually be due in full at the time of death. So this can be a challenge for many families who do not have cash available to pay off the amount due.  Also, the deceased’s assets and accounts may not be available to the family until the estate has been settled.

There are many ways to save on the cost of funerals, including direct cremation options. Please check out my website, www.askthefuneralexpert.com, and my article “Frugal Funeral Planning” for tips and suggestions.

Have questions about funerals and funeral planning for both humans and pets? Contact Mike at mikeboyd@askthefuneralexpert.com.


U.S. News Article on Planning for Funeral Expenses

I was interviewed recently for an article in US News about the importance of planning for funeral expenses.  Here is an excerpt:

Death and funerals are taboo topics but ones worth learning about, says Mike Boyd, a former funeral director who founded the website AskTheFuneralExpert.com. “Funeral homes can capitalize on a family member’s unfamiliarity with the products they’re purchasing,” he says. “Odds are, they will make funeral arrangements one to three times per lifetime, so consumers should become as educated as possible.”

This is the message I am constantly trying to get out.  Consumers need to learn about the economics of funerals before the need arises.  The more you know, the more you can save, and the less are your chances of overspending or being taken advantage of when purchasing funeral goods and services, at a time when you are grieving.

If you wish to read the entire article, here is the link. http://money.usnews.com/money/personal-finance/articles/2014/10/07/how-to-handle-funeral-costs?int=aa6a09&int=a86509

Have questions about funerals or funeral planning for either humans or pets?  Email mikeboyd@askthefuneralexpert.com.


It’s Not Our Loved One in the Casket!

A family went to a Florida funeral home only to find the person in the casket was not their loved one.  To make matters worse, the funeral home staff had dressed the stranger in the clothes the family had selected for their relative.  OOPS!   Within a short period of time the situation was corrected by the funeral home staff. Hopefully, the funeral home provided new clothing including undergarments at no charge to replace the clothing the family had provided.  A lawsuit in the works?

Have questions about funerals or funeral planning? Email Mike at mikeboyd@askthefuneralexpert.com.

Can Radioactive Seed Implants Prohibit Cremation?

Radioactive Seed Implants are sometimes used to treat prostate cancer. If cremation is being considered and the deceased has had radioactive seed implants, the crematory may not allow the deceased to be cremated unless the seeds are first surgically removed by a physician. If you have further questions on this topic, contact a Cremation Society, a Memorial Society, or a Funeral Home.

Have questions about Funeral Planning for both humans and pets?  Email Mike at mikeboyd@askthefuneralexpert.com.

A Cask with your Casket: Funeral Home Adds Wine with your Service

These days funeral home and cemetery operators must think about other ways to attract clientele.

A Florida funeral home now offers a wine gathering during its funeral services, and another funeral home is offering catering options that allow families to hold receptions on site.

Have questions about funeral planning? Email me at mikeboyd@askthefuneralexpert.com.

Airlines Cancel Bereavement Fares

I discussed airline bereavement fares in my book, “How to Bankroll a Funeral Without Breaking the Bank”, but times have changed, and discounts may no longer be available.

Most airlines have eliminated these discounts, since lower-priced tickets are usually available with online purchase anyway.  You must check with a particular airline to find out their bereavement fare, if it exists at all.

Have questions about funeral planning? Email me at mikeboyd@askthefuneralexpert.com.

Undercutting the Undertaker

I was recently interviewed for an article in the Deseret News entitled “Undercutting the Undertaker: Reducing the unavoidable expenses of dying”.  I want to thank the reporter, Michael De Groote, for a good article featuring Funeral Director Ron Henderson and myself.

You can read the entire article here:  http://www.deseretnews.com/article/865594665/Undercutting-the-undertaker-Reducing-the-unavoidable-expenses-of-dying.html?pg=all

If you have any questions about funeral and funeral planning for both humans and pets, contact me at mikeboyd@askthefuneralexpert.com.

FTC Fines Funeral Home for Noncompliance with Funeral Rule

A New York funeral home and its funeral director/owner agreed to pay a $32,000 civil penalty to settle Federal Trade Commission charges for violating the agency’s Funeral Rule, which requires funeral providers to provide information consumers need to compare prices and buy only the funeral goods and services they want.

The FTC conducts undercover inspections every year to ensure funeral homes are complying with the Funeral Rule, which gives consumers important rights when making funeral arrangements.  The Rule, issued in 1984, requires funeral homes to provide consumers with itemized price lists at the start of any in-person discussions of funeral arrangements, caskets, and/or outer burial containers.  The Rule also requires funeral homes to provide price information by telephone on request.  It also prohibits funeral homes from requiring consumers to buy any item, such as a casket, as a condition of obtaining any other funeral good or service.

(Source:  ftc.gov)

Frugal Funeral Planning

Check out Mike’s article, just added to the blog today, “Frugal Funeral Planning”, which contains more money-saving tips for the frugal funeral shopper.  Just click on the Frugal Funeral Planning tab above.

Your questions and comments are welcome.  For permission to reprint this article, email Mike at mikeboyd@askthefuneralexpert.com.