Who pays funeral costs?

who pays Who pays funeral costs? As part of an ongoing conversation on this funeral blog the debate continues regarding payments for  funeral and cremation services by consumers.  Traditionally, the burden of making sure that a deceased person’s funeral bill is  paid to appropriate entities such as the funeral home and cemetery are primarily upon the deceased’s survivors.  However, a  growing trend is shifting from family to governmental agency responsibility and expectation of services without securing  necessary payment.

Are choices of disposition based on the amount of funds available to be paid for services?  Rising costs of funeral goods and services are no different from any other; a hotel room or an oil change all cost more than even 5 years ago.  Payment for goods and services are secured promptly or you don’t get your room key or car keys returned. From these two analogies, are funeral professionals compelled to “give the room key” or “returning the car keys after the oil change” without payment?  In essence, if a consumer can’t pay for a particular hotel room or vehicle service, then they can’t get the same level of accommodations or the vehicle service desired. Why the expectation that funeral proprietors should provide desired level of services without equal payment for such services?

The subject and issue is not going away…the “I am struggling to pay” segment of consumer is growing faster than “can I write you a check, use my credit card or use the life insurance” consumer.  What is your experience?  Cheers y’all.

4 comments
  1. It is appalling to me that you would not be paid for service rendered! Family or the P.O.A. should be held responsible for the bill. Families should know that whatever resources are available determine the type of service. I have known families who have had children die or loved ones, where they have held fundraisers to help with the cost of funeral expenses! Also, there are many cost effective, meaningful ways to still honor a loved one without huge expense…

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  2. Jeff Harbeson said:

    Sad but true…the unfortunate truth is that this issue is becoming commonplace. As you know that Power Of Attorney ends at death…sometimes funeral providers struggle with family members to take responsibility for the bill. Agreed that an honorable ceremony does not have to include huge expense..the most heartfelt and meaningful cant be purchased. Thanks for following and keep up your great work!

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  3. Thanks for educating me on this subject, when I give presentations I will make it known as part of my ongoing desire to have ageing family members pre-plan their funerals. That way payment is guaranteed. My mom just made and paid for hers – a great relief as a caregiver!

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  4. Jeff Harbeson said:

    My pleasure!

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