I recently read an article about the top 10 scams targeting seniors, and funeral planning was one of the ten.
Be aware there are different approaches, including predators reading death notices and then trying to extort money from the family claiming the deceased owed them money. Be careful! If this ever happens to you get complete contact information from the caller or visitor and notify the police department. And as mentioned in my book, never put the address of the deceased in the death notice.
Also, unscrupulous funeral homes will try to add unnecessary charges to the funeral bill by taking advantage of the consumer who is not familiar with funeral policy and pricing. Always shop several funeral homes and final disposition places (cemeteries and mausoleum facilities) for pricing information, and acquire price lists where possible. For example, you may be told a casket is required for direct cremation. Generally a less expensive cardboard cremation box is OK for use.
My advice is shop till you drop and become an educated consumer about the subject before a death occurs, commonly called pre-planning of a funeral. If a consumer waits until a death occurs, and sometimes this cannot be avoided, they are at a disadvantage when making funeral and final disposition arrangements. Again, become an educated consumer about the subject before the need arises!
Suggestion: ask questions prior to a death, look at a website where you can acquire information, ask questions and even purchase a book to help you through the funeral arrangement process. If you read my book and have a question not covered in it, simply e-mail me your question and I will answer it at no charge.
Scams are everywhere, don’t get caught in this one!
Have questions? Email me at firstname.lastname@example.org.