Pre-arranging your funeral is a great idea, but if you pay the funeral home directly in advance, you risk losing everything if the funeral home goes out of business. Instead of trusts or prepayments, sign up for a preneed insurance policy through a third company or open a payable on death bank account at your local bank. Your money will be secured.
If you or your spouse is an honorably discharged veteran, burial is free at a Veterans Affairs National Cemetery. Veterans Benefits includes the grave or vault, opening and closing, marker, and setting fee. Our staff will take care of arrangements with the National Cemetery on behalf of the family at no cost.
Most Funeral Homes offer composite caskets made of lesser grade materials for an exorbitant price. Bakersfield Funeral Home includes a 20 gauge steel casket in its Standard Burial Package (see price list fir pricing). This package includes removal of decedent from place of death (or morgue), refrigerated storage, sanitary handling and preparation for burial, transportation by hearse to cemetery and total graveside service. There is no better value in Kern county.
A rental casket is available for that kind of purpose, great for families on a budget or wanting to reduce environmental impact. The body is laid in the casket in an attractively adorned and sturdy insert container, which is then removed for cremation.
Viewings can be presented without embalming if the viewing can be conducted within a few days of death. However, embalming is necessary when the time between death and burial or cremation will be extended due to transport or extenuating circumstances.
Caveat emptor. Some hard-sell phrases to be wary of: “Given your position in the community …,” “I’m sure you want what’s best for your mother,” and “Your mother had excellent taste. When she made arrangements for Aunt Nellie, this is what she chose.” Are some examples of “up-selling” in the Funeral industry. I advise clients to use common-sense and take emotion out of the process. Just as in any financial transaction, the consumer wants to get value for their money. It should be the same in choosing a Funeral Home. Are they upfront and honest? Do they adhere to all California Cemetery and Funeral Bureau and Public Health Department guidelines and regulations? Are their clients satisfied?
“Protective” caskets with a rubber gasket do not stop decomposition. In fact, the moisture and gases they trap inside have caused caskets to explode! Unless mummified, all organic matter eventually decays and ends up as “ashes to ashes, dust to dust.” It’s just another disingenuous selling ploy.
Shop around. Prices at funeral homes vary wildly, with direct cremation costing $800 at one funeral home and $3,000 down the street. (Federal law requires that prices be provided over the phone.) These variations can apply to identical services and products!
It is unnecessary to spend a lot of money to have a memorable service. Consider a potluck at the widow’s home or an informal ceremony at a favorite park, and ask family and friends to tell stories or read favorite poems of the deceased loved one. In the end it’s a matter of the heart, not the wallet.