Archive for October, 2010

The National Funeral Directors Association and Funeral Cost Statistics

Thursday, October 21st, 2010

Funeral planning while considering average cost.One of the leading sources for good, factual funeral information is the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA), which is the world’s leading funeral service association at almost 20,000 members nationwide.

Although most individuals going through the funeral planning process aren’t likely to need the NFDA to help them make decisions, the organization does have an impact on what choices you have. By overseeing the body of funeral home directors and providing a basic core of ethics that they must follow, consumers are the ones who benefit.

The NFDA recently released a 2010 report on funeral costs. According to their findings, the national median cost of a funeral is $6,560, taking into account costs associated with different locations as well as with the quality of materials purchased for the funeral. This figure includes:


Consumers Guide to Buying a Grave Plot

Wednesday, October 20th, 2010

Funeral planning to choose a cemetery.One of the most important decisions you will make during funeral planning is which grave plot to choose as the final resting place for either you or a loved one. Cemetery plots are actually one of the top funeral planning decisions made prior to death, since many people feel very strongly about a particular location or about being near those they love. Family plots, for example, are often part of a long tradition in which you make burial arrangements in accordance with land that has already been purchased. And because the cost of “real estate” in the funeral industry tends to go steadily up, making your gravesite purchase years in advance can save tens of thousands of dollars down the road.

How Much do Grave Plots Cost?

Like real estate in the residential and commercial aspect, where your grave plot is located will play a big role in how much it costs. Most burial sites start at around $1,000 for single plots, and can go up to tens of thousands of dollars from there. Historic cemeteries, sites on hills or exclusive areas, and large plots big enough to fit families for generations may cost even more, especially if you’re in a big city or in a location where green land is hard to come by.


Why Does a Funeral Cost What it Costs?

Tuesday, October 19th, 2010

Funeral planning for costThe average cost of a funeral in the United States is an estimated $7,500, not including costs associated with the cemetery and the actual burial or disposal of the remains. While this number seems high to anyone seeing it for the first time, funeral costs have been on a steady incline for decades, raising at a higher rate than the economy, but a much lower rate than the average cost of a wedding (which sits at an overwhelming $28,000).

And just like weddings, the actual amount you will pay depends on what type of ceremony and burial arrangements you choose. Things like advance funeral planning and funeral insurance can also help defray costs, especially if you’ve had years in which to begin the planning process.

If you’re facing funeral planning, and you’d like to know where the money goes, you might want to consider all the steps involved:

What to Expect from the Cremation Process

Monday, October 18th, 2010

creamation funeral planningCremation arrangements are an increasingly viable and popular choice in the United States for families wishing to step outside the traditional burial scenario. An ancient practice that actually dates back thousands of years, cremation provides you with more choices in the final resting place of your loved one, since you aren’t tied to a cemetery plot unless you choose it.

While making funeral arrangements, you will most likely be asked if cremation is something you’re interested in. If you have any questions about the process, be sure and talk to you funeral director or to a religious leader you trust. The steps involved are universal, and can give you a good idea of what to expect from the cremation process.

What Does a Funeral Director Do?

Wednesday, October 13th, 2010

Funeral directors help with the funeral planning process.The funeral director is your guide to the funeral planning process, from the first decisions you make to the very last. These professionals generally have one to two years of formal education (in a college setting), and have successfully completed a one-year apprenticeship program with a licensed funeral home. Further licensure is offered by each individual state, and many funeral directors are part of the National Funeral Directors Association, which oversees the profession.

Even with all these credentials in place, it’s important to find a funeral director you personally connect with. Because you are most likely going to be dependent on your funeral director for emotional support as you go through the difficult process of funeral planning, having a comfortable, working relationship will make everything a little bit easier.

As you begin, your funeral director (and his or her team) will:


International Funeral Customs

Monday, October 11th, 2010

Funeral planning internationally.Funeral planning is not unique to the Untied States or even to western cultures. For as long as there has been human existence, there has been a way to honor and celebrate the passage of life to death. Many of these funeral customs have their roots in religion, and those that are still in existence today have become a way to celebrate unique cultures and countries.

Although all funeral planning is different according to the individual, and there is no cultural universal that demands all funerals be the same, some of the most interesting funeral customs include:


Funeral Planning: How I Want to Be Remembered

Friday, October 8th, 2010

Funeral planning to be rememberedWe hear so often about funeral planning, and how it can ease the financial and emotional burdens of the loved ones we leave behind. The reasons to do a funeral pre-plan or pre-payment are many, and it’s an option that an increasingly large portion of the population are choosing for their own families. Whether you wish to lock in today’s funeral costs, you want ensure that you have funds earmarked for burial, or you simply want to secure a cemetery site to share with family members, making burial arrangements ahead of time makes good sense.

However, one of the most often overlooked advantages to funeral planning in advance is how much it allows you to control the way you will be remembered. The legacy you leave behind is one of the most powerful and lasting gifts you can give, and if it’s important to you to get it right, funeral planning with a focus on ceremonies and events could be the perfect solution.


Funeral Planning Tributes

Wednesday, October 6th, 2010

Funeral planning tributesPersonalizing a funeral is one of the best ways to remember the deceased. All too often, family members and friends get caught up in the reverence and traditions of funeral planning, making sure that the tone is set for people to mourn. While there certainly is a time and place for this kind of atmosphere, it is acceptable to add a little fun and creativity to a funeral ceremony. By personalizing some of the traditions, you can not only honor the life the deceased led, but you can also pay a lasting tribute that no one will soon forget.

Simple Tributes

Small steps to personalize the funeral plan are typically easy to implement and come at a low cost. You can gather photographs of the deceased to place in a slide show or photo album. You can play music he or she was fond of during life. You can even bring in a favorite pastor to provide the ceremony, or ask a few close friends to come up with some words to share.

Some of the questions you may want to ask yourself when gathering ideas for simple funeral tributes include:


Why Funeral Flowers Continue to be the Right Thing to Do

Monday, October 4th, 2010

Funeral planning for flowers Green funerals are on the rise all over the United States, and more and more people are turning away from traditions like embalming and funeral flowers in lieu of eco-friendly alternatives. These steps are a great way to give back to the earth and pay a lasting tribute – especially if the deceased felt strongly about “green” issues during his or her lifetime.

While you should always respect the wishes of the deceased if there is a request to not send floral arrangements, green funerals (and traditional funerals) don’t have to forgo the beauty of a few floral sprays. Funeral flowers can be a great way to demonstrate your love and respect for more traditional ceremonies. A time-honored practice steeped in religious and social history, flowers are meant to represent growth and new life in the face of bereavement. The comforting scents, the bright colors, and the sense of warmth that flowers add to a funeral ceremony are welcomed by many, and it’s easy for a funeral without flowers to seem somehow lacking.