Write down your funeral plans
If you desire to have a funeral, we recommend that you do some prior planning, and write down the details in your burial instructions letter. The entire process, and the likelihood that your desires will be followed, will be much easier on your loved ones if you plan ahead.
Thinking ahead will help you make informed decisions about funeral arrangement, allow you to choose the specific items you want and need, and compare prices offered by one or more funeral providers. This will also avoid having your family try and make these decisions when they are grieving and under time constraints.
If you inquire about funeral arrangements in person, the funeral home must give you a written price list of available goods and services. For example, if you are interested in a casket, the funeral provider must supply lists that describe the available selections and their prices. You can purchase a package deal, or individual items. The same disclosures mentioned above also apply to telephone shopping.
The Funeral Rule requires providers to give you information about embalming. They may not falsely state that it is required by law, and they must inform you of this in writing. If you do not want embalming, they may advise you that the alternatives are direct cremation or immediate burial, otherwise embalming becomes a practical necessity (such as when you want a viewing) and will be a required purchase.
Funeral providers must also disclose if they charge a fee for buying cash advance items, such as flowers, obituary notices, etc. With regard to caskets, if you are being cremated, they must advise you of your right to buy an unfinished wood box or alternative container.
When you have decided what you want, the provider will give you an itemized statement of the total cost of good and services. They will also disclose any legal, cemetary, or crematory requirements that force you to purchase specific goods or services.
Once you have made all your arrangements, include the information along with your burial instructions and letter.