Honest Funerals

Comparison Shopping

You may not automatically think of “comparison shopping” when it comes to funeral planning, but it is an important enough concept that both State and Federal Law require that Funeral Homes make it easy for you to comparison shop. We recommend that you check prices for at least 3 funeral homes in your area before deciding on one.

WARNING: If you change your mind after you have allowed a funeral home to pick up the remains, both the first funeral home and the new funeral home may charge very high fees to transfer the remains from one funeral home to the other. In the sample price lists below, those fees can cost from $3,400.00 to almost $7,000.00 or more. That is just to transfer the remains from one funeral home to another and does not include any other services. Making sure of your choice BEFORE allowing a funeral home to pick up the remains can save you thousands.

The General Price List

Every funeral home in New York is required to give you A General Price List of their services without you having to come into the funeral home or meet with a funeral director. Many will post their General Price List on their websites. For those who don’t, you can call and ask them for it. They will usually fax or email it to you and they can not discourage you from comparison shopping.

While the General Price List is not required to include every possible product or service, it is required to show specific items. This makes it easy to compare one funeral home with another using our Comparison form. The form will open in Adobe Acrobat. You can fill out the form on your computer and save it to add or edit it later, or you can print it out and fill it in by hand. If you fill it out on the computer, it will keep a running total of the costs for each funeral home.

Start by filing in the names of each of the 3 funeral homes you have chosen after checking reviews. Then get copies of each funeral home’s General Price List. Fill in each section for the services that you are still considering, such as Direct Cremation or Funeral Services. We will be using two sample General Price Lists to demonstrate the process. They are from very different areas and have a different format. But as you will see, the headings are the same. Sample 1 and Sample 2

For example, each form has a heading “Direct Cremation”
Sample 1

Sample 2

Filing these into the Comparison form looks like this:

While it may look like these prices are only $10.00 apart, looking closely at the General Price Lists shows that in Sample 1 they are only charging $25.00 for the container whereas in Sample 2 they are charging $125.00 for the container. If you can find a more economical container online, you could save a little by choosing Sample 2.

The same process can be used for all services. With Direct Burial or Full Funeral Services, the differences are likely to be significant.

Once you have completed the Comparison Form you or the person you did the comparison shopping form for will be in the best position to choose a funeral home. Bring the form, and the General Price List will you when you meet with the funeral director and stick to what you have already chosen.
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