PHILADELPHIA, PA, August 27, 2013 /24-7PressRelease/
-- There are many things to consider when planning a funeral and Kevin Bean, Reading, PA
funeral director, tries to make the process as stress-free as possible for families. Understanding that people are already experiencing an emotionally taxing event, he offers assistance along each step of the way to help them plan a memorable and appropriate service. Depending on the types of services provided, funerals can become a rather expensive occasion. A recent article
on Forbes highlights guidelines for keeping services more affordable. Kevin Bean offers his own insight into the planning process.
Planning a funeral is not something that many people have a lot of experience with and without proper research, they may end up spending far more than they had intended simply because they are unaware of their options. Families should keep in mind what type of services they are looking for the funeral home to provide. There are a wide variety of options and each comes at a different cost.
"Traditional" services may include services such as embalming, dressing the body, viewing services, and transportation of the family that not every family needs or desires. Cremation usually is less expensive than burial because, depending on the arrangements chosen, it might not include things such as embalming, a casket, a plot, or an outer burial container. "Direct Cremation" or cremation with no viewing, no embalming and no memorial service at the funeral home is typically the most economical option. When it comes to the cost of services, the article explains, "Typical services from least expensive to most expensive are basic or "direct" cremation service, donation of body to science, immediate burial, then traditional funeral service."
To determine prices ahead of time, ask the funeral home for a price list. The more reputable funeral homes will post their prices on line on their website. Check with multiple homes in the area to compare what they charge. And remember that you usually get what you pay for, so be sure to consider the professionalism of the staff, the services offered and the funeral home facilities. Not all funeral homes are the same. When clients ask for a price list, funeral homes are required by the Federal Trade Commission to provide one. When having several facilities to compare and choose from, it can help families to better plan a service that stays within their budget, holding the memorial service at a local church or park can also help keep costs down.
Kevin Bean realizes that prices and services can vary between funeral homes. "Not all funeral homes are the same," he states. "Differences can include the size and quality of the funeral home facilities, the professionalism of the staff, and even service offerings such as Celebrant Services that one funeral home may offer and another may not. It is always best to stop by and compare not only prices however it is just as important to get a sense of what the funeral home offers in terms of the level of service. As an analogy, you can stay at the Ritz Carlton or at Motel 6. At both establishments you get a room and a bed, however, there is going to be a difference in price, and of course a difference in your experience. In the final analysis, as with most things, you usually get what you pay for. Also, be sure to compare not only service costs but also casket costs. Some funeral homes have a much higher mark-up on caskets than other funeral homes. As an example, a casket at one funeral home could cost $1,000 or more as compared to the same casket at another funeral home in the same geographic area. A reputable funeral home should be transparent with their pricing and should post their prices openly on their website." Kevin Bean, Reading, PA, recommends families visit the funeral home to get a better feel for what it offers.
Kevin Bean, Reading, PA
resident, is a licensed funeral director and certified celebrant. Since 1997 he has been the owner of Bean Funeral Homes and Crematory, which was founded by his father, Robert E. Bean, in 1955. Realizing the needs of the community, he also owns and operates Whelan Schwartz Funeral Home, an establishment geared toward lower income families. He is committed to helping families through the difficult journey of losing a loved one and planning memorable services.