Need funeral and casket info

We are starting to make our funeral arrangements, so that our survivors will not be burdened at the time. I know that there are certain minimum requirements prescribed by law, and I know that coffins can be purchased at much lower prices than the funeral homes. We want things as simple and inexpensive as they can be (inexpensive, not cheap/shoddy) because we don’t want unnecessary monies to be spent. Those monies can go for far more important things. We will be buried in our parish cemetery after a funeral Mass. Anyone who can provide me w/ info or websites to go to?

Here is another monastery, St. Meinrad that makes caskets. I believe each state has different requirements for cement vaults, etc.

Hope you don’t need these for a long, long time:)

Costco the warehouse store sells them too.:confused:

I hear the monks at Trappist Caskets have a model that doubles as a bookshelf until you need it for its intended purpose, but I can’t find it anymore.

Take a look at local suppliers of Orthodox Jewish caskets. They are very plain wood and are quite reasonably priced. You can get them with or without the star of David - [but must supply your own cross.:wink: ]

Used to sell pre-arranged funerals & cemetery property for a living. Theres many ways to save money…

A normal funeral boils down to 3 separate parts: the funeral service, the cemetery & service, and the memorialization (marker of headstone).

The cemetery is the easiest … price of spaces (plots), perpetual care (1 time charge), opening/closing cost, & vault (or outer burial container). Prices range all over the board for spaces, even in the same cemetery, depending on section. Perpetual care is a 1 time fee, usually a percentage of the plot price (usually 15%). Most modern cemetery’s require vaults or OBCs that the casket is placed in, anything from a concrete liner to a titanium container. The opening/closing fee is charged by the grounds crew at the cemetery. Of these 4 charges, 3 must be purchased at the cemetery - the space, perpetual care, and opening/closing fee. A vault can be bought from a off-site casket supplier & shipped in. Also, you may purchase the cemetery property from a private individual (usually 30-50% of going rate at cemetery) and have the property transfered to your name at the cemetery office for a slight fee.

Memorialization (marker or headstone) can be purchased either at the cemetery or offsite at a better price. Even on the internet. Ask the cemetery people, many cemeterys have standards and rules on what is allowed & what isn’t. The setting of the marker is usually done by the cemetery grounds crew for a standard fee. Also remember, is you’re a honorably discharged vet, you are entitled to a free marker from the Vet Administration.

The funeral is the most costly, and many ways to save money. Caskets can be purchased outside the funeral home sometimes 50% cheaper for the same item. They can even be ‘pre-arranged’ - the offsite business will deliver it to the funeral home when the death occurs. Vaults can also be pre-purchased at the same offsite casket supplier and be delivered at the time of death. If there is going to be a viewing, I’d strongly suggest embalming, but this is not necessary if no viewing will be done. Price of flowers & casket sprays are about the same from either a florist or the funeral home. If limos are desired for the immediate family, use an offsite limo provider, you’ll save about 50%. Misc things like register books or thank you cards can be purchased at Hallmark or a local stationery store much cheaper than the funeral home, & a better selection. The service can be done either at the funeral home chapel, or your church (if allowed), price is slightly higher at church because a hearst is involved. If there is a funeral procession, many localities will charge for police escorts which may be required by law in larger cities.

Pre-arranging can be contracted either on insurance carrier (provided by the funeral home/cemetery) or state trust funds - theres pros & cons of each.

Careful planning & shopping can save thousands and provide the same type service. I’m sure you may have questions, feel free to PM me.

Also, don’t be afraid to shop around at different funeral homes, compare prices, and barter a little. A funeral home is a business - they don’t want to lose your prearrangements for a few hundred (or even thousand) dollars to the competitor down the street. If you find a casket or vault at an off-site supplier cheaper (you will), tell the funeral home director - they may be able to meet the lower price.

In many ways, funeral pre-arrangements are just like buying a car.

You have a lot of good advice here.

My father used to design and weld caskets, in fact being a major contributor to the round-urn process.

Unless you want one sitting in your basement for decades (some of the metalwork is beautiful, great coffee table, good for Halloween;) ), your best bet is to choose a price range, pay on the pre-arrangement, and have the company deliver when you need it. Styles change in caskets, just as in any industry.

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