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Practical Money Matters Radio Series

October 7, 2013
4 Tips to Reduce Funeral Costs

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Four tips to reduce funeral costs.


There are many variables and costs involved in planning a funeral and none of them are cheap.

First, know your rights. The federal government's "Funeral Rule" says funeral homes must provide itemized price lists; can't require you to purchase package deals containing unwanted items; and must offer alternative cremation containers besides wooden caskets.

Here are a few tips to reduce costs:

  • A $255 death benefit is available for workers who paid into Social Security.
  • If there is no public viewing, you can forgo embalming and cosmetology services.
  • Caskets and cremation urns purchased from sources other than a funeral home may be cheaper.
  • And, veterans can be buried at a national cemetery at no cost.

Bottom line: You can ease your family's emotional and financial burdens by planning ahead.

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