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The Best Funeral Homes2023Expertise Laurels
2023Expertise Laurels

The Best Funeral Homes

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Frequently Asked Questions


    Funeral homes are establishments that provide both funeral and burial services. Sometimes referred to as funeral parlors or mortuaries, funeral homes are run by funeral directors who work closely with family members and loved ones of the deceased. A funeral director helps with funeral planning, and they advise the bereaved on options for services, caskets, and burials.

    Funeral homes employ workers to assist with various services such as embalming and makeup application for the deceased, and the homes generally have designated areas for viewings, wakes, and memorials. In certain instances, a funeral home may be located on cemetery grounds to allow for burials to immediately follow funeral ceremonies.

    How do funeral homes dress bodies?

    The first step of dressing a body is embalming (when required by the state), followed by drying the body and applying undergarments. The final steps are putting on the deceased's clothing and shoes and socks. In most cases, clothing is supplied by the families or loved ones of the deceased.

    How much do funeral homes make?

    On average, funeral homes make between $54,000 and $76,000 per year. Actual numbers can vary based on factors such as the number of funerals held annually, whether or not burial services are provided, and the specific rates charged by the funeral home.

    Do funeral homes offer financing?

    Certain funeral homes offer financing and payment plans to help the bereaved pay for funeral services in installments. In most cases, funeral home financing comes in the form of unsecured personal loans with monthly payments. Those seeking financing can also inquire with financial institutions such as credit unions and banks.

    Do funeral homes handle life insurance?

    Funeral homes do not offer life insurance policies, but many funeral establishments accept life insurance policies instead of cash payments. It is important to note that policies accepted by funeral homes must be assignable, so 401ks and retirement benefits won't be counted towards payment.

    Do funeral homes keep copies of death certificates?

    Funeral homes generally request death certificates for family members of the deceased. While specific time lines can vary depending on the establishment's policies, copies of death certificates are usually kept on file at the funeral home indefinitely. Next of kin can generally order death certificates directly from funeral directors.

    Do funeral homes cremate bodies?

    There are funeral homes that offer direct cremation and burials along with memorial and viewing services. When cremation services aren't available through a funeral home, crematoriums are another option. However, crematoriums do not offer additional services for memorializing the deceased.

    How much do funeral homes cost?

    While specific prices can vary, the average cost of funeral home services is between $7,000 and $12,000. The overall price includes the funeral home's service fee, embalming when required by state, preparation and dressing of the body, and viewing and memorial services. Some funeral homes also offer cremation services.

    How much do caskets cost at funeral homes?

    On average, caskets at funeral homes cost between $150 and $5,000. Low-end cardboard caskets start at around $100 while caskets made with solid wood or metal start on the higher end. Additional factors that can affect pricing include materials that line the casket and the overall size of the casket.

    Do funeral homes accept life insurance?

    Some funeral homes accept life insurance policies as a promise of payment for services. However, when presenting a life insurance policy in lieu of a cash payment, the policy must be assignable to be used towards funeral services and expenses.

    Are funeral homes profitable?

    The funeral industry has an average gross profit margin of approximately 62.5%, which makes funeral homes moderately to highly profitable. One factor that has affected the funeral industry is the changing market, which has many establishments leaning toward more eco-friendly and less expensive services. This may affect the bottom line of more traditional funeral homes.

    Do funeral homes have freezers?

    Many funeral homes have positive body temperature refrigerators/freezers that help slow down decomposition. The freezers reach temperatures between 36 and 39 degrees Fahrenheit, and it is recommended by most morticians that funeral homes only store bodies for up to two weeks.

    Do funeral homes cremate pets?

    Funeral homes must follow strict guidelines and regulations that prohibit animals and humans from being cremated with the same equipment, so pet cremation is not offered at most funeral homes. Humane Societies and pet crematories handle most pet cremations.

    Do funeral homes take credit cards?

    Most funeral homes accept credit cards as suitable forms of payment. In most cases, parties can charge full funeral services to a single card or split payments between multiple credit cards if necessary. Other forms of accepted payment include checks and money orders.

    Do funeral homes charge for keeping the body?

    Funeral homes do charge for storing bodies. Certain homes charge a daily rate ranging from $35 to $100 per day while other establishments charge lump sums for a prescheduled amount of days. In most chases, funeral homes charge for storage even when the bodies are embalmed.

    How can one invest in funeral homes?

    One can invest in funeral homes by purchasing funeral home stocks or by investing directly in local funeral homes. It's important for potential investors to consult with the National Funeral Directors Association to learn about current market trends and the financial situations of local funeral facilities.

    How much do urns cost at funeral homes?

    Urns purchased at funeral homes range in price from $50 to $1,000 or more, depending on the size and material of the urn. Materials include biodegradable cardboard, marble, brass, and cedar. Wood and stone urns are generally higher in price than cardboard and biodegradable material options.

    Do funeral homes rent caskets?

    Many funeral homes offer casket rentals. Renting a casket can be beneficial due to the fact that the cost is significantly lower than purchasing, with an average rate of $500. Renting a casket is also an environmentally friendly option, as the casket is used multiple times, which helps conserve materials and resources.

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