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Friday, May 24, 2024

Recession affects everyone, including the deceased

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The current economic recession has made the value of everything increase tremendously, even the cost of death.

As the old saying goes, nothing is certain except death and taxes, and now more than ever, being prepared prior to death is the responsible thing to do.

Cutting costs in a loved one’s funeral is currently the affordable approach to take when planning for their funeral. No longer are the extravagant casket and flowers a necessity. During this time, experts say every penny matters.

There are more than 21,000 funeral homes in the U.S., employing some 105,000 people, according to the National Funeral Directors Association (NFDA). The $11 billion-a-year industry is largely comprised of privately run firms, with 89 percent of all funeral homes being owned by families, individuals or small independent corporations.

One example of a family- owned business includes Williams & Bluitt Funeral Home, which is now in operation by Nathan L. Bluitt, president and owner. Bluitt expressed that he notices families are more aware of the purchases made for their relative’s funeral.

“We’re finding that people are conscience of what they are spending and the quality and quantity of service they receive,” Bluitt said. “They are doing a lot of comparisons in services now. Another significant thing is (society’s) more acceptable of cremation as a form of deposition, because of the affordability.”

The typical cost of a traditional funeral is $7,000 to $8,000 according to the NFDA. However, a family choosing cremation saves up to $4,000 to $5,000.

There are two forms of cremation, including cremation as a form of deposition and direct cremation. Cremation as a form of deposition is when one has the traditional service, and the regular rituals. However, at the conclusion instead of continuing to the cemetery, the remains are brought back to the funeral home and taken to the crematory.

A direct cremation is once the loved one is deceased the funeral home prepares the body for the crematory. There is no embalming in this process, traditional service or viewing of the body, except at the location of where the relative’s death took place. Also, the memorial service is held without the body present.

People can also save money since they do not have to hire a police escort to drive to the cemetery. The biggest factor however is one does not have to purchase a casket, which averages around $4,000. A rental casket is needed, but the price is still more affordable.

Rebecca Borel, a family service advisor at Washington Park North Cemetery credits the rise in funeral costs to the economy, conducting business and the materials required.

“It’s important for families to prearrange because as years go on, it’s going to stay and escalate even more,” Borel said. “It’s just heart-breaking when families proceed through my door and are unable to afford the proper funeral their loved one deserves, and we do all we can to assist them.”

Conducting business requires the family to discuss prearrangements for the funeral and cemetery services with their funeral advisor. Some necessities required for the typical funeral are funeral directors, embalming and the hearse.

“With the changing times you have to think about, ‘what am I going to do to help the living?’ I call it a gift to the living,” Borel added. “It is helping them prearrange for a funeral, so they will not have to worry about it.”

Aid is available for families that are unable to afford the proper burial for their kin. Experts advise potential customers to inquire about the services offered at different funeral homes, because they will be surprised at the many unique offers.

Economic struggles have forced many families to make sacrifices to make life a little more affordable. However, the proper burial of a loved one is worthy of a suitable investment because life and death are significant events.

FUNERAL COSTS

n Gathered below is what customers may pay for a traditional funeral service and cemetery. The cost of the funeral home and the cemetery are two different prices because they are two separate entities.

nFuneral Home Costs:

Professional service by funeral director and staff

Funeral service and visitation

Casket

Embalming

Limousine and driver

Registered book

Merchandise

Removal from point of death

Hearse

Safety lead car

Miscellaneous items

Casketing, cosmetology and dressing of the body

nCemetery Costs:

*Keep in mind you don’t have to purchase everything on the following list.

Gravesite

Monument

Crypt

Niche’

Engraving of monument

Digging of the grave

Basic concrete liner or burial vault

Outer burial container

nLocal funeral homes offering special services during the current recession:

Stuart Mortuary

Williams & Bluitt Funeral Home

Washington Park North Cemetery

Legacy Funeral Home Center

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