Low-Cost Funerals

Low-Cost Funerals

Is there such a thing?

You may not have noticed that today many funeral homes now promote affordable and straightforward funeral options.  It wasn’t that long ago that price or simplicity wasn’t a factor for a funeral home.  There was a certain way to do a “proper” funeral and the cost was the cost… regardless.

But times have changed. 

What does it mean to have a low-cost funeral? 
Are all low-cost funerals that funeral homes advertised the same thing?
Are there things they are not saying?

What is a low-cost funeral?
The first thing is that any funeral is not really low-cost.  Even when families want to do it themselves to save money, there is still hundreds, if not thousands of dollars.  So a low-cost funeral is really only a contrast to a full-cost funeral.

  • Fewer services offered
    These services could be a number of things that aren’t included in the price. Services like embalming or viewing the person – which for some families is fine.  They’ve said their goodbyes and don’t need to see the person again.
    Fewer services could also mean you need to go to the funeral home to arrange everything, rather than them coming to you. 
    There is often limited communication, because extra time means more cost to the home.  As Stg Joe Friday said, “Just the facts ma’am.”
  • No Public Service
    There is no public funeral service at all. These services are often arranged by the funeral home and include things like service sheets, live streaming, funeral celebrant, refreshments, flowers and so on.
  • Basic Coffin
    The coffin could be cardboard or MDF. Very plain.  It is basically used to transport the person to the crematorium or cemetery. Whereas some coffins could cost as much as a low-cost funeral itself, if not more.
  • No Bells and Whistles
    I use this term to describe all the added things that a funeral home like to promote. Things like a flash hearse, professional attire, nice coffin, flowers, etc etc.  The list is endless. 

To sum it up in very basic terminology, a low-cost funeral is dealing with the logistics of a person who has died.  It covers what needs to happen with the body and the legal paperwork and requirements.  However it is also more than this.

Carrying a cardboard coffin

The Pros of Low-Cost Funerals
Some may think this all seems rather sad and disrespectful to the person.  It almost feels like you just want to get rid of them with minimal fuss and bother.

The families who come to me have often been caring for their loved one for months and years.  The love they had for them is not connected to having a certain funeral process or spending a certain amount.

A simple funeral provides many options for families that are often much more meaningful for them.  Whereas a funeral was held in a church or some public hall and everything was quite formal, today this is not always the case.

Some families don’t want a public service.  It is not going to be meaningful to them.  Some families don’t want the complication or pressure putting a service together.

So a simple funeral means that a family may decide to have an informal dinner with close friends and family to celebrate and remember the person.  Or they may head to their favourite bar.  Or they may take the boat out to scatter the ashes at sea and then have a bbq at the beach, because that was their favourite place.  The options are as varied as each family.

A low-cost funeral can vary between funeral homes.  Obviously the lower price funeral is not what they want to do, because it doesn’t pay as much.  It is a well known fact that if a funeral home can get you through the door, then they can work on you to spend more.  So advertising or promoting “low-cost” is mainly about getting people through the door.

Regardless of this, a low-cost funeral is still an appropriate option for families.  It may not simply be based on financial savings.  They could pay for the flashes funeral.  But they prefer not only an easier process to deal with, but also limiting the expense going to funeral homes.

Families have done many various things to remember and celebrate the life of someone.  And I think this will only increase as people become more comfortable and confident to do what they want to do.

Simple is Still Good.