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How Are Costs Of A Funeral Determined?

With regard to the costs pertaining to a funeral, there are generally three major parts to establishing the total dollars involved in planning a funeral.

The first cost would be the services being provided by the funeral home. This could involve everything from the transporting of the deceased from the place of death to the funeral home, any scientific preparation work involved, documentation required, costs of vehicles used, staff costs, obituaries, radio announcements, and the many more items handled by your funeral director for you and your family.

The second cost would be the casket selected, either by the deceased, in the event of a pre-planned funeral, or the family in the case of an ‘at need’ funeral. This cost varies because of the wide selection of caskets available and the materials they are constructed from. There are three major types of materials from which caskets are constructed. Cloth covered, which have been around for decades and will continue to be manufactured; hardwood caskets, which are assembled from many types of hardwood trees, such as oak, elm, ash, maple, birch, poplar, etc. The last type of casket is manufactured from steel, and can be of three different thicknesses – 20, 18 or 16 gauge. The lower the number, the thicker the metal in the casket.

The final part of the funeral cost, would be items that are paid for by the funeral home on your behalf, such as the grave costs in the cemetery, flowers, food for a reception, etc.

When all three of these items are totaled and the HST is applied, you have the total cost of a funeral. All funeral homes are required to itemize what you are being invoiced for in their final statement to you, to clarify to you what you are paying for, and how much.

In the final analysis, the cost you pay for a funeral is based on what decisions you make and the services you require based on the needs of your family. The professional funeral director is there to guide and assist you in ensuring you have options in all of these areas.

Funerals, not unlike other purchases, do increase on a yearly basis, depending on the costs of the supplies and services the funeral home must pay. We, as funeral professionals, try to ensure the prices we charge are only equal to the increases we are ourselves charged.

What is the Cost difference between Cremation and a Traditional Funeral?

There is a great deal of misconception about the cremation process and what options you as a family have regarding it.

It is a common thought that cremation is done directly from the place of death to the crematorium, with nothing in between. This does not have to be the fact at all. First of all, cremation is just a different form of disposition. In other words, instead of being buried in a casket, you can have cremation take place first and the cremated remains either interred in a grave or scattered in a special location.

The regulations governing cremation vary by province, but in New Brunswick any person being cremated falls under the jurisdiction of the coroner. The coroner must sign al applications for cremation, and he/she will not sign this application until 48 hours has elapsed following the death. This form must accompany the deceased to the crematorium at the time of cremation.

Given the fact the family must wait the 48 hour time frame, it would be quite logical to have some visiting and even the traditional funeral service in advance of the cremation. The other option is to have the cremation first, followed by a memorial service. These options can be made by the family to suit the best needs of everyone involved.

With regard to pricing, consideration must be given to the fact that as funeral professionals, we cannot take remains to the crematorium without it being in a container (regulated by Dept. of Health). When the cost of the container is added to the cost of the cremation, plus the mileage charge to the crematorium, it might be just as financially practical to select a traditional casket and have traditional services with earth burial. This is a decision that the family can make when comparing the costs of either earth burial or cremation as a final form of disposition.

Your funeral director can give you much insight with regard to the positive or negative aspects of each form of disposition in more detail, to enable your family to make more informed decisions.



Is Pre-Arranging a Funeral Costly?


Actually, you can make your funeral wishes known at no cost whatsoever. Your local funeral director can provide you, or your lawyer, with all the information needed for your funeral, at no charge or obligation. It’s just a matter of filing out the forms and making your personal wishes known.

You can select funeral details in advance with your funeral director, and keep costs within the limits which you establish. The type of service and the casket you select will be priced for you at today’s costs. The full amount can be set aside in a trust fund, payable when the need arises. Your lawyer or banker can assist you in this, along with the counsel your funeral director can provide.

Also available to you, is a no-payment form of funeral prearrangement, in which you simply specify the type of service and casket you want. You keep a copy in your records, as does the funeral home. At the time of death, your family can act according to your wishes. Contact your local funeral director to answer any questions you may have with regard to pre-planning.