Plan ahead but don’t pay ahead. If you
to pay for your own funeral, consider opening a payable-on-death (POD)
savings account with a survivor as its beneficiary, rather than a
Shop around. Use our price and
studies and visit at least two funeral service providers. Ask for a
general price list; funeral homes and crematories are required by the
Federal Trade Commission to hand them out to customers who ask for them
Provide the funeral home with a casket
bought elsewhere. Federal law gives you this right; a funeral home may
not charge you a handling fee for accepting a casket you bring in for
them to use.
Save no to embalming. It is never
North Carolina law. It is just funeral home business policy to require
embalming for viewings. Negotiating in advance, you might be able to
arrange a viewing without embalming, at least for the immediate family.
Choose immediate burial or direct
If a funeral provider offers burials and cremations, it must provide
these low cost options.
If you can, find a cemetery that will
you to be buried without a vault or grave liner. Church cemetery
associations usually are the most flexible.
Care for your own loved one’s body at
until burial or cremation. In North Carolina, it is legal for a family
to serve as its own funeral director, and we’re learning how to do it.
Transport your own loved one’s body.
can! Funeral transport is a licensed occupation in North Carolina, but
families directing their own funerals are exempt. (Your hair stylist
has to be licensed to cut your hair, but you’re free to cut your own
hair, your children’s hair or your friend’s hair for free.)
Learn what the law allows and what it
doesn’t. An informed consumer is a wise consumer!
Funeral Consumers Alliance of the Piedmont and help make funerals
affordable for everyone.