Who would believe it, but you and your family can be gouged if you don’t shop around for cremation services. You’d think a cremation would be pretty straightforward; the funeral home picks up the body, puts it in a blast furnace and collects the ashes to be returned to the family or discarded. Easy peasy, right? Wrong!
Like so much about the funeral business, cremations can be expensive and complicated. We conducted an exercise in shopping for cremations in the greater San Diego area and found prices differed by as much as 80%. And even though funeral homes already required under the 1984 federal Funeral Rule to provide a “general price list” to anyone who visits and asks about services,they are not required to post their price list online, except in California which is the only state in the U.S. that requires it.
- having the body present for visiting hours and a funeral with cremation afterward
- having the body cremated first with visiting hours and a funeral afterward (with or without the “ashes” present)
- having the body cremated first and then arranging for any services on your own.