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Old 11-06-2018, 10:16 AM   #61
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Insurance makes sense when there's a pool where some people have negative outcomes & others don't. Eg. House insurance or life insurance (some die early some late).


But in this case, everyone has the same end result, so I don't see how insurance is the right term or makes sense.


Pre-paying is a totally different concept.


We are an ER community. Figure out what the costs are today and put that money aside before you ER. On the other hand, for those of us without pensions, funeral expenses are peanuts compared to living an extra year
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Old 11-06-2018, 10:29 AM   #62
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Originally Posted by Monterey298sc View Post
As a funeral home, the contact is always between the person who calls us and is willing to sign a contract for final services. If no one is willing to take financial responsibility with the funeral home directly, we donít even pick up remains from hospital, hospice ect. Once in our care and then no one is willing to pay for services, the funeral home only option is to pay for cremation out of OUR pocket , bucause the body MUST be taken care of shortly after death. THIS IS THE reason we donít pick up remains usually until we have a signed contract. This is very rare not to have someone take that responsibility, but it does happen several times a year. You are correct , we can file a claim for the expenses with the estate, however often it is insolvent.
I appreciate that you are explaining clearly how you do business. However, your methods have not been my experience with funeral homes. Granted, it's been several years, so maybe things have changed. In my state, the legal next-of-kin is the only one who has the legal right to deal with the final arrangements. The person who calls the funeral home might not be the person who actually has the right to sign contracts with the funeral home. BTDT with both my parents deaths. And, in both cases, a funeral home took possession of the bodies w/o paperwork being signed beforehand.

I know that many of us here are FI and/or working towards it. It can be hard to believe, but many people are living hand-to-mouth and literally can't come up with even $1000. One of my classmates recently died at the age of 55 and a GoFundMe was posted to raise $1000 for the cremation, because the funeral home wouldn't do anything without the money upfront. That was the first I'd heard of that practice. Until now.

Back to the OP's question. It does make me wonder whether final expenses insurance would be of much use, other than to reimburse the next-of-kin. It would seem not, if the funeral home requires payment upfront.
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Old 11-06-2018, 10:31 AM   #63
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You just said it , YOU DONT CARE! That is the trend. Sadly people donít care what happens to there loved one Anymore. The trend is NOT CARING what happens to there daughter, son, wife. Just put them on a shelf at home and leave the problem to the new owners of that property that finds the remains. We see that all the time, because people call us to see if we will take the remains when they buy a house .
OR...maybe some folks look at the remains as JUST THAT...the remains. The "person" that used the body for their time on earth is no longer there and a lot of people don't see the value on spending THOUSANDS of dollars to deal with remains.

My Mom told me about when she was dealing with the funeral home after her mother died unexpectedly. Even though they didn't have much money, the funeral home continued to push a "sealer casket" that was GUARANTEED not to leak for 20 years. She asked the director if he had ever had any complaints for the users and the director fell silent and that was the end of that up sell. Accordingly, both my Mom and Dad chose to use direct cremation. It was reasonably priced, there was no up selling, it was just "done and done"...exactly as they wished. The service was through a cremation society that was pre-paid, so the final arrangements were easy and with no hassle.
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Old 11-06-2018, 10:36 AM   #64
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BTDT with both my parents deaths. And, in both cases, a funeral home took possession of the bodies w/o paperwork being signed beforehand.

I know that many of us here are FI and/or working towards it. It can be hard to believe, but many people are living hand-to-mouth and literally can't come up with even $1000. One of my classmates recently died at the age of 55 and a GoFundMe was posted to raise $1000 for the cremation, because the funeral home wouldn't do anything without the money upfront. That was the first I'd heard of that practice. Until now.
Your experience with your parents were the same as I experienced. I called and the answering service had the funeral home contact me for the details and both Mom and Dad were picked up (just for clarification...their deaths were a few years apart) before anything was signed. When my Dad passed (a few months ago), I didn't even set foot in the funeral home until I went to get the cremains and death certificates...all the paperwork was signed via email.
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Old 11-06-2018, 10:41 AM   #65
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OR...maybe some folks look at the remains as JUST THAT...the remains. The "person" that used the body for their time on earth is no longer there and a lot of people don't see the value on spending THOUSANDS of dollars to deal with remains.
Our philosophy exactly.
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Old 11-06-2018, 11:09 AM   #66
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I was wondering what the thoughts are on final expense insurance. is this insurance cost effective? is it just as beneficial to pay at the time when needed? I am sure there are posts out there about this subject, but I couldn't find them. so if there are please redirect.
It seems to me this type of insurance has value in two situations. One is if the decedent has substantial liabilities, is not certain there may not be enough money left to pay for a funeral, and the policy beneficiary is not the estate and is a furneral home. The other is if someone wants a specific type of funeral and has concerns that successors might choose another option that is less costly and less desirable. In this case as well, the beneficiary needs to be the third party responsible for making or handling the arrangements.

If one has sufficient resources and is confident arrangements will be carried as expressed , I really don’t see a need for this insurance.
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Old 11-06-2018, 12:57 PM   #67
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In my state, the legal next-of-kin is the only one who has the legal right to deal with the final arrangements. The person who calls the funeral home might not be the person who actually has the right to sign contracts with the funeral home. BTDT with both my parents deaths. And, in both cases, a funeral home took possession of the bodies w/o paperwork being signed beforehand.
Good to point out this distinction. When my Ex was dying of multiple organ failure in FL, his sister in NYC contacted a funeral home in FL, arranged for cremation, and undoubtedly provided credit card information. It was up to DS in Iowa, however, as next-of-kin, to sign the papers authorizing his father's cremation and to allow the ashes to be sent to his Aunt. (The family later gathered to scatter them.) Fortunately everyone was on the same page as far as disposal of my Ex's earthly remains, and I will be forever grateful to my ex-SIL for making it as easy as possible for DS, who was only 25 at the time.
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Old 11-07-2018, 04:40 AM   #68
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I finally called around to a couple of insurance brokers and the numbers for the insurance were out of the ball park. 4 years of premiums would pay for the funeral. I guess the direction for me to head now is to stop at a couple of funeral homes in the area and get a price for cremation, urn, short visitation after cremation. we have resources in the estate for any kind of funeral, but don't see the sense in spending a ton of money on it. when we were younger we went to the cemeteries every year and put flowers on different sites, but our kids have never been to their grandparents sites and I don't see them starting after we are gone.
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Old 11-07-2018, 05:30 AM   #69
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I finally called around to a couple of insurance brokers and the numbers for the insurance were out of the ball park. 4 years of premiums would pay for the funeral. I guess the direction for me to head now is to stop at a couple of funeral homes in the area and get a price for cremation, urn, short visitation after cremation. we have resources in the estate for any kind of funeral, but don't see the sense in spending a ton of money on it. when we were younger we went to the cemeteries every year and put flowers on different sites, but our kids have never been to their grandparents sites and I don't see them starting after we are gone.
You have just stated the trend, the younger generation have NO interest is our family heritage , in fact the millinnals are DE - CHURCHING also, at the highest rate ever at 38% don’t go to church. That is the research, if the parents don’t care the kids will follow.
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Old 11-07-2018, 06:43 AM   #70
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I finally called around to a couple of insurance brokers and the numbers for the insurance were out of the ball park. 4 years of premiums would pay for the funeral. I guess the direction for me to head now is to stop at a couple of funeral homes in the area and get a price for cremation, urn, short visitation after cremation. we have resources in the estate for any kind of funeral, but don't see the sense in spending a ton of money on it. when we were younger we went to the cemeteries every year and put flowers on different sites, but our kids have never been to their grandparents sites and I don't see them starting after we are gone.
Well said frank, exactly the way I feel about it.

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Old 11-07-2018, 11:00 AM   #71
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You have just stated the trend, the younger generation have NO interest is our family heritage , in fact the millinnals are DE - CHURCHING also, at the highest rate ever at 38% donít go to church. That is the research, if the parents donít care the kids will follow.
Not wanting to have an elaborate/expensive funeral has nothing to do with kids not being interested in their family heritage. Not going to church has nothing to do with how much a funeral costs either.

You have a direct financial interest in people spending more money to dispose of remains, so your comments aren't exactly neutral on this matter.
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Old 11-07-2018, 11:11 AM   #72
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Both of my parents and MIL had viewings and full funerals. The next generation (me and DW), both thought that was kind of weird and didn't want viewings (or embalming) when we did our preplanned funeral/burials, but we still went with a minimal service and a casket/gravesite. Talking to my kids, I imagine they will want even less. My guess is that cremation will be gaining in popularity over the years and elaborate funerals and burials will become less common.


In the future, I think funeral homes and casket makers will be a dying industry (pun intended).
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Old 11-07-2018, 11:21 AM   #73
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My guess is that cremation will be gaining in popularity over the years and elaborate funerals and burials will become less common.


In the future, I think funeral homes and casket makers will be a dying industry (pun intended).
I think you are correct. Green burials are becoming more and more popular, and often times much less expensive. My DW, her sister,my BIL and I all have "green burial" as our last wishes. The "caring" of family members by funeral homes died when Dignity Memorial Service Corporation International went around and bought up all the family owned funeral homes.
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Old 11-07-2018, 03:04 PM   #74
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I think you are correct. Green burials are becoming more and more popular, and often times much less expensive. My DW, her sister,my BIL and I all have "green burial" as our last wishes. The "caring" of family members by funeral homes died when Dignity Memorial Service Corporation International went around and bought up all the family owned funeral homes.
Sorry , not true. 75% of funeral home are still family owned and managed. Also, please go get a price for a green burial, you will be shocked at the cost.
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Old 11-07-2018, 03:07 PM   #75
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Both of my parents and MIL had viewings and full funerals. The next generation (me and DW), both thought that was kind of weird and didn't want viewings (or embalming) when we did our preplanned funeral/burials, but we still went with a minimal service and a casket/gravesite. Talking to my kids, I imagine they will want even less. My guess is that cremation will be gaining in popularity over the years and elaborate funerals and burials will become less common.


In the future, I think funeral homes and casket makers will be a dying industry (pun intended).
Maybe casket makers, however the death rate is expected to increase substantially with all the baby boomers., so we will be very busy next 20 years. As far as cost , cremation rates will increase quickly with the increase in cremation rates nationwide. Supply and demand.
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Old 11-07-2018, 03:12 PM   #76
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I have a question, what if someone dies penniless or leaves everything to charities? If there is no family, who pays for the disposition? This is a real question as homeless folk die all the time.
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Old 11-07-2018, 03:33 PM   #77
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I have a question, what if someone dies penniless or leaves everything to charities? If there is no family, who pays for the disposition? This is a real question as homeless folk die all the time.
If you leave your estate to charity, you are not penniless. For the homeless on the streets, when they die and no one claims them the tax payers of that city pay a funeral home for a cremation under indegent laws. The city has to research your background to make sure a person is truly indigent , then hires us to cremate on tax payer dime.
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Old 11-07-2018, 04:15 PM   #78
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If you leave your estate to charity, you are not penniless. For the homeless on the streets, when they die and no one claims them the tax payers of that city pay a funeral home for a cremation under indegent laws. The city has to research your background to make sure a person is truly indigent , then hires us to cremate on tax payer dime.
Thanks for all of your information Monterey298sc, it has been enlightening!!
Best to you,

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Old 11-07-2018, 04:17 PM   #79
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Maybe casket makers, however the death rate is expected to increase substantially with all the baby boomers., so we will be very busy next 20 years.As far as cost, cremation rates will increase quickly with the increase in cremation rates nationwide. Supply and demand.
Cremation will still be much cheaper than a traditional funeral where the body has to be handled over and over again, e.g., to the church, then to the cemetery.

Cremation is also more convenient since the family can have the body cremated, then schedule the funeral whenever they want.

With no need to worry about the mechanics of keeping a body around, whether embalmed or refrigerated.
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Old 11-07-2018, 05:00 PM   #80
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Cremation will still be much cheaper than a traditional funeral
Generally yes, but often more complicated than that, I think.

I elected direct cremation when my father died, and the only funeral director who could handle it where I lived charged me nearly $2K. My only interaction apart from the initial transaction was to receive the cremains in a plastic bag inside a cardboard box (which is what I wanted, as he had asked me to scatter them in a particular place).

When my mother died 16 years later, I went through the same routine, but with a different funeral director, and it cost just about the same. I was surprised that the cost hadn't gone up due to inflation, but finally decided that the earlier time was just more expensive than it should have been.

But I spent some time chatting with the second one and learned a lot. He had set up one of his buildings to cater to the local Indian population, where cremation is a huge deal. It's a big ceremony involving all the relatives and friends, with some interesting protocols, like the oldest son is the one to light the fire (push a switch, actually). There is a huge catered meal, and it's a major event for the community. I didn't ask about the price for all that, but obviously it would be a lot higher than a simple direct cremation.

I was actually very impressed at how he had modified the building (he described himself as a frustrated architect) and done so much to make the people of Indian heritage comfortable and at ease with the procedure in terms of their traditional culture, even though they are a very small part of the local population.
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