3rd December 2016
The Rising Cost of Funerals
- Author: Paul M. Lee-Bapty
- Published: 12th May 2015
Paul M. Lee-Bapty - Managing Director of South Downs Funeral Service gives an in-depth insight into the cost of funerals.
When we look at the cost of a funeral service, the total of the charges involved consist of two main component parts:
- The funeral directors charges
- The disbursements or fees connected with the funeral.
Although the cost of funerals has risen, one simply can’t blame fees such as the cemetery, crematorium or vicar’s fees alone; some responsibility must lie firmly at the funerals directors’ door.
Whilst the funeral directors charges will vary tremendously depending on the company you choose, the second should be consistent as these are charges made by third parties and thus should not incur a profit.
In general terms, funeral directors charges will vary tremendously depending on the company you choose privately owned independent funeral homes make lower charges than those owned by the Co-Operative and Dignity groups. The problem however, is that you may not know who actually owns the funeral business until it is far too late. Many corporate companies hide behind private trading names with little disclosure as to who the owner is. Many families therefore believe that they are still dealing with a private family firm. Be open and ask the question: Who owns this funeral company. This will provide beyond doubt as to whether it is owned by a family or corporate company.
There are a number of golden rules that should be followed when choosing a funeral director or when considering a pre-paid funeral plan:
- Always ask for a written quotation or estimate of charges for the service you would like.
- Visit a number of funeral directors to discuss your requirements.
- Ensure that the funeral director is qualified and holds the Diploma in Funeral Directing.
- Ensure that the funeral company is accredited to either the National Association of Funeral Directors or The National Society Of Allied & Independent Funeral Directors.
- Ask who owns the funeral home.
By asking for a written quotation or estimate, you are being given documented evidence of the charges involved with the funeral arrangements or funeral plan. The way in which this is given will provide an insight to the professionalism of the funeral company.
Visit and Check
Visit a number of funeral companies until you feel comfortable with one. This may be an instinct or by the sensitivity of the staff. Additionally, look at the funeral home and ask yourself whether you would feel comfortable if your loved one was there? Is it clean, tidy and well kept - is it homely with a comforting atmosphere? Ask to look around the chapel, garages and mortuary to gain an insight into the way the company works.
By ensuring that a member of the staff, ideally the principal funeral director, has the Diploma in Funeral Directing, you are ensuring that a theoretical knowledge has been gained. Additionally, this means that the funeral director has been in the funeral business for some time thus gained practical experience.
By ensuring the funeral company is a member of either of the organisations, you are ensuring that they follow a code of practice and adhere to certain regulations therein. Funeral companies who are not members of a regulatory organisation do not have to follow any code of practice whatsoever.
It is true that that the cost of funerals has risen quite dramatically over the last few years, although if you look into this before you actually need to arrange a funeral, it needn’t.
You can safeguard your finances with a Golden Charter Funeral Plan. Together with Golden Charter, South Downs Funeral Service can safeguard your finances and wishes with a Funeral Plan. Golden Charter is the leading provider of funeral plans for the family owned funeral companies.
Contact us to discuss your future arrangements and give your loved ones peace of mind.
Paul is the Managing Director of South Downs Funeral Service of Denmead and Wickham.
Paul M. Lee-Bapty, Dip F.D., Affil R.S.H., M.B.I.F.D.
"Bespoke Funerals of Distinction"
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