Funeral Pre-Planning

Questions about Funeral Pricing

August 27th, 2014

FSN Funeral Homes,

Funeral PlanningWorking with my parents pre-planning.  How do I know what FH’s are independently owned vs big corporation?  What should I expect to pay for Funeral Home access, Casket, procession to grave site?




Unfortunately, there aren’t any definitive or universal answers for you on any of these questions, but I’ll go through them one at a time and give you the best answer I can for each.

  1. Independently owned or big corporation – From the outside, it’s very difficult to know with any certainty. You can check the business website and its ‘About Us’ section for information, but the best way to know is probably just to ask. I would like to add that it’s equally possible to get good service from a corporation and bad service from an independent as vice versa. It’s really about the individual funeral home’s reputation, not who owns it.
  2. Pricing for Funeral Home access, casket or procession to grave site – Again, there is no hard and fast answer here. Your best bet will be to go to the websites of funeral homes in your area and shop around. Treat it like you would any other service you want to buy. Due to the “Funeral Rule” enforced by the Federal Trade Comission, funeral directors must give you an itemized list detailing the pricing for each of their services up front. Contact a few of your local funeral homes and get that list.

I would caution that the cheapest services are not always equal. Check user reviews if they’re available, and if they’re not, ask around the community to find out if other people have been pleased with the services they and their loved one received.

Arlington National CemeteryHere are some tips I can give you:

  1. Make sure you are only paying for the services you want – Package deals are great, except when they include services you don’t want. Why? Because whether you want it or not, you’re probably still paying for it. When pre-planning you have time to shop and think. Cherry-pick the services you want and work to get the best prices you can. Then, get it in writing. 
  2. Caskets are marked up – While there are no definitive price ranges on caskets, you can be sure that they are marked up. Funeral homes are a business and they are working to make a profit. They have to so they can stay in business. Legally, they cannot refuse or charge extra for using a casket you purchased somewhere else. Casket shopping can be done online and across the country. Still, if you find the casket you want at a price you prefer somewhere else, you might bring that price to the funeral home you are going to use and see if they are willing to match.
  3. Funeral Consumers Alliance – There is a volunteer organization that helps with exactly what you are trying to do. Some of the more active ones have actually already done a lot of the legwork on price comparisons. Here is a link to their list of states. Pick yours and see if they have any additional information that can help.

Pre-planning a funeral is important because it allows you to make these decisions and nail down the pricing when you aren’t overcome by grief. Don’t be afraid to take your time and get the best information you can!



Building A Tribute With Tucson Marble & Granite

August 15th, 2013

Selecting a monument is a decision that lasts a lifetime and beyond.

Whether you are honoring a loved one or are pre-planning, Tucson Marble and Granite can help you through the process of visualizing and building this important marker piece by piece. They can create a stunning tribute that stand the test of time. Their craftsmen work with precision and care that have been the trademark of this trusted family-owned company since 1917. While this business is located in Tucson, Arizona, they proudly ship anywhere in the world and service all cemeteries.

Beautiful Monuments Crafted From Quality Materials

Using only the best hard stone and proven carving techniques for their work, this monument company knows that you are commemorating an important life lived.

Monuments, urns and plaques are available in many sizes and designs and are guaranteed to remain unchanged for generations to come. When quality is crucial, turn to a company that specializes in hand-crafted markers made with the most enduring materials of nature.

Personalized Headstones

You can choose from traditional text and symbolic graphics for a stately simple look on a bronze plaque or stone. Celebrate memories and create a lasting focal point with a photo etching. With this technique almost any photo can be engraved on a variety of stone to preserve a beautifully realistic portrait.

Understanding The Importance of Remembrance

In a somber time full of important questions, you can work directly with an understanding and compassionate team member to find the right answers. All the skilled employees at Tucson Marble and Granite understands the need for thorough, detailed workmanship and how to create a lasting image for your loved one.

Monuments for a graveside are more than words on a stone. These markers are objects that symbolize the lasting effect a person can have on those around them. This is quite possibly the most permanent physical presence we, as morals, can maintain. Tucson Marble and Granite offer 75 years of experience and artistry in dedicating unique and exquisite monuments to commemorate the dearly departed.

Some Benefits of Preplanning a Funeral

July 16th, 2013

Talking about your own funeral can be an uncomfortable proposition. No one likes to be faced with their own mortality, and though the eventuality of death is not unknown, it is the one truth that we all hesitate to confront. However, uncomfortable or not, preplanning your funeral is one of the most responsible things you can do to help ease things for your family after you are gone.

Funeral PlanningEmotional Security

In the event of an unplanned death, there are a plethora of questions that your loved ones will have to answer and in short order. They will need to make important, informed decisions while dealing with their recent loss. That emotionally distraught state of mind is not optimal for decision-making of any kind and certainly not for the quick planning that must be accomplished for a timely funeral.

Preplanning your services will remove a large number of those questions from the table. You will have worked out beforehand if you want to be buried or cremated, the type of service you would prefer, the casket or urn you desire, etc. You can even plan the details of the funeral such as which songs you’d like to be played. This will leave your loved ones with the peace of mind that things are being done as you’d like, and remove any uncertainty they might otherwise have had in a time of great difficulty.

Financial Security

Most funerals offer an option to prepay as well as preplan. With the prepay option, you have an opportunity to remove, or reduce, the financial burden from your loved ones, and since you’ve preplanned your funeral in its entirety, you know beforehand what the costs will be.

Many funeral homes offer a payment plan so that you are not required to come up with the full price of the funeral at once. You can make payments over a period of time in much the same manner as you would pay for a car or credit card. Funeral directors understand that you may have difficulty paying a large sum at once, but so too might your loved ones if they are left to shoulder that burden alone.

Contemplating death may be difficult, but preplanning a funeral doesn’t have to be. Contact your local funeral director and learn more about how you can take this simple, easy step that will save your loved ones untold amounts of stress and worry. Preplanning a funeral just makes sense, and as with much of life, the sooner you can do it the better off you and your loved ones will be.

What Are The Pros & Cons of Embalming?

December 7th, 2012

Embalming, in modern times, is the art and science of temporarily preserving a body to be suitable for public display at a funeral. Many choose this option to extend the time between the death and the funeral so that family and friends can gather together for the funeral. However, it is not required, (except in cases of transporting the body cross-state).

Here you can read reasons for and against embalming and decide for yourself what is best for you or a loved one when planning a funeral.

The Pros of Embalming

The three goals of embalming are as follows: preservation, presentation and sanitation.

  • Pros & Cons of EmbalmingEmbalming preserves the body.

The process of embalming increases the time between the death and burial to 2 weeks or more. Without embalming, the deceased must be buried or cremated within a few short days. Most deaths are sudden and the extra time can be very useful when family does not live close.

  • A More Life-like Presentation

The goal of embalming is to make the body appear relaxed and natural as possible. The process adds color back to the body and fills out areas that may dehydrate otherwise. Seeing the deceased as close to life as possible often helps loved ones to say goodbye. Some funeral homes require embalming for open casket. However, state and federal law does not mandate embalming except in the cases of transportation across state lines.

Continue reading “What Are The Pros & Cons of Embalming?” »

3 Funeral Planning Aspects You Need to Know

June 7th, 2012

The Traditional Funeral Service Can Be Personalized for Each Family

Let’s face it, the average person has little to no clue about what goes on behind planning a funeral service.  That’s why there are funeral home directors to guide individuals through the process.  Even so, it’s a good idea to have a basic understanding of what you want and what you need before meeting with a funeral director.   That’s why FSN Funeral Homes called Janie Singleton, co-owner and funeral director for Faith Funeral Service, to get some insight into recent changes in the funeral home industry and her opinion on the funeral home’s responsibility to educate the public.

Through her 12 years working in the industry, Singleton has found many myths exist around funeral planning which create potential problems.  In a recent seminar hosted by Singleton, she discussed three major aspects affecting the funeral home industry which she feels the public should be more aware of: changing burial methods, pre-planning, and new legislation.

Changing Burial Trends Provide More Options

As she discussed the number of ways which a burial may be planned, Singleton stresses the opportunity this gives to those burying their loved ones.  “Every service can be customized to fit each family,” Singleton explains, “and that’s what we try to do.” Here are a few burial options Singleton described:

FAQs: Funeral Planning

September 10th, 2011

Here at FSN Funeral Homes, we strive to find the best advise for the questions so commonly asked about funeral planning and the details that come along with it. Here is a list of the most frequent questions and their answers. If you have any questions, please feel free to ask.

FAQ : Funeral Planning

 Funeral QuestionsWhat do I need to know about funeral planning?

There are a few basics you should always keep in mind when planning a funeral.

  • Be informed and ask questions.
  • Go over all options available at several funeral homes, making sure the funeral home you chose is suitable for your personal needs and budget.
  • Request an itemized price list.
  • Make the arrangements for a personalized service to honor your loved one.

Who do I need to contact first when pre-planning a funeral?

  • When pre-planning a funeral you can call the funeral home directly and work with the funeral director there, or you can contact an Estate Planning attorney.

How much does an average funeral cost?

  • The average funeral in today’s time is somewhere between $6,000 – $8,000.  This estimated price includes, all services provided by the funeral home, casket/urn, burial and cemetery arrangements.

Continue reading “FAQs: Funeral Planning” »

Types of Funeral Service Providers

September 7th, 2011

Funeral service providers are not all created the same and do not always offer the same services you might be expecting. When planning a funeral, you don’t always have a lot of time to make arrangements – so, learning the ins and outs of funeral planning ahead of time can help for when the time is necessary.

Funeral Home OptionsThere are three categories of funeral providers to choose from.

  • Full Service Providers
  • Specialized Service Providers
  • Limited Service Providers

Full-Service Funeral Providers

Full service providers offer the most options and services when it comes to funeral planning. They can fulfill any service request at any time. The services available are:

  1. Facilities for people to gather in for visitations and ceremonies.
  2. Vehicles such as a hearse and limousines for funeral processions.
  3. A large range of caskets, urns and other funeral service merchandise.

Keep in mind – that when using Full Service funeral home they often don’t offer simplified services with the same attention to detail as they would for a more elaborate full service ceremony.

 Specialized Service Providers

Specialized service providers offer similar service options as the full service funeral homes do but on a more limited basis. The services are:

  1. Facilities for people to gather in for visitations. Typically they are smaller than the full-service providers buildings – and only have one or two rooms for services and ceremonies.
  2. Vehicles may or may not be provided, and hours of operation may be shorter.
  3. Small range of funeral merchandise, including caskets and urns. They are typically in a building similar to doctors office in appearance.

Limited Service Providers

Limited service providers usually arrange direct cremation and burials without ceremonies.

  1. The services they offer are usually limited when it comes to completion of documentation and transferring the deceased to the crematory or cemetery.
  2. Merchandise choice is very limited.

Make sure that the services and merchandise they offer are adequate for your situation. They are often very limited and precise when it comes to providing funeral services, however they are often the least expensive option.

Keep in mind…

  • When ‘shopping’ for a funeral home provider, take care to go over all the details before signing any contracts. You can use the Funeral Home Comparison Checklist to help you when planning a funeral, by comparing prices and services offered at the funeral homes in your area.

Once you have chosen the funeral home to coordinate and provide your services, you will sit down with a funeral director to start planning and arranging the funeral. The whole situation is a bit intimidating if you are not sure of what to expect and how to express your concerns. By educating yourself about funeral and cemetery terminology as well as the means needed for pre-planning a funeral ahead of time, you will feel more comfortable when making the arrangements.

Funeral Home Comparison Checklist

August 31st, 2011

Today, many families are not aware of their role in the funeral planning process. Once you have an idea of what you would like to take place at the service you are planning, you should sit down with a funeral director to go over the logistics.

Something you should know:

You are the one who determines the cost of the funeral services that will be held for you or your family members. The details of the services are guided and determined by your needs, and budget. But, not all funeral homes are created equal, they come in different sizes, styles and have different specialties. It is a wise idea to ‘shop’ around before deciding which funeral home to work with. Below is a checklist that will aid you in covering all the cost aspects associated with planning a funeral.

Funeral Home Comparison Checklist

Make copies of this checklist to compare the prices of services offered at funeral homes in your area.

Name of Funeral Home____________________________________________

Name of Crematory_______________________________________________

Name of Cemetery________________________________________________

Notes on Business Reputation_____________________________________


Continue reading “Funeral Home Comparison Checklist” »

Planning a Green Burial

June 30th, 2011

What is a Green Burial?

Planning A Green BurialA green, natural or eco-burial is a burial that allows the body and the burial grounds to stay as natural as possible. No embalming, concrete vaults, or toxins are used. Bio-degradable caskets, shrouds or blankets are used instead of traditional caskets, urns or vaults.

What is the Importance of a Green Burial?

Green Burials cause minimal environmental impact. In nature everything is recycled, there is no waste. Green burials are both an earth friendly, and less expensive option.

Is Cremation Considered Green?

A green burial is often an alternative to cremation. Cremation, however is more environmentally friendly than traditional burials. Using a bio-degradable urn is a good option if you’re considering a green cremation.

Modern crematoriums have made significant reductions in emissions through out the years, making cremation a safe choice.

What are the Costs of a Green Funeral?

The average price for a green burial ranges from $1,000 – $4,000, which usually includes the burial plot, opening and closing of the grave, grave marker and maintenance fee.

Continue reading “Planning a Green Burial” »

What To Do When A Loved One Dies

June 15th, 2011

When a loved one dies, the family and friends of the deceased are left planning a funeral service in a time of grief and confusion. This article is here to help, and guide you through the steps needed during this difficult time.

When a Loved One DiesWho To Notify After a Death:

Family Members – Spouse, parents, siblings, children, aunts, uncles, cousins and friends should be notified first. *tip* It might be easiest to appoint certain people to do the calling to help lessen the load.

Insurance Companies – auto, home and life insurance companies, as well as any others the deceased might be associated with.

Employers – If your loved one was working, you’ll need to call his or her employer immediately. You will also want to ask about:

  • Deceased benefits and any pay due, including: vacation, sick time, disability income, etc.
  • If you or other dependents are still eligible for benefit coverage through the company.
  • Whether there is a life insurance policy through the employer, who the beneficiary is and how to file a claim.

Continue reading “What To Do When A Loved One Dies” »