What is a Funeral Consultant? Why Hire One?
What is a Funeral Consultant?
Perhaps you have never heard of a Funeral Consultant? Well even if you have not, you probably agree that when it comes to life’s most important and challenging decisions, seeking professional guidance and support is a good idea. You probably also agree that professional planners, such as wedding planners, can be sanity savers. Let’s take a wedding for example. Many people prefer to hire a wedding planner. Why? Mainly because they want a professional consultant to assist them along the way with the large number of emotional and financial decisions in planning this important once-in-a-lifetime event.
Why Hire a Funeral Consultant?
Most weddings are usually planned within a 6-12 month time frame. However, planning a funeral is usually done within a 24 to 48-hour time frame, and involves making over 150 important decisions. Studies prove that when most families are faced with the task of planning a funeral say they are largely unfamiliar, uncomfortable, and unprepared.
So similar to a wedding planner, a Funeral Consultant’s job is to help families make an important and difficult situation easier. Funeral Consultants are professionally engaged, but have the unique advantage of being experienced while not emotionally attached to the event. Funeral Consultants are trained and educated professionals whose job is solely to educate and guide you through one of life’s most challenging experiences.
Funeral Consultants are responsible for exactly what most families are searching for, which is being educated on a large number of funeral and/or cemetery options, helping you make decisions when you get stuck, keeping you within your budget, and making sure you know what you are doing – and that you don’t forget anything.
4 Ways Family Funeral Consultants Help Families
1. When a death occurs
2. If a death is expected
3. Planning in advance
4. Grief counseling and coaching
One Example of How Funeral Consultants Can Help You Save Money
In a recent survey of just one small community’s funeral homes and cemeteries, a basic cremation started at $710 at one establishment, but cost as much as $3,820 at another. Likewise, direct burial costs ranged from $1,695 to $4,455. The same casket cost was $996 at one place, but $4,200 at another. Cemetery opening and closing fees can vary by more than $2,000, depending on the cemetery and day of the week you choose. In just this particularly local community survey, there were 15 funeral homes and 13 major cemeteries. So how would a family know how to choose from among them? The answer is simple. Consider hiring a Funeral Consultant.
Funeral Consultants research and negotiate the prices for funeral home and cemetery services in a given area. Serving as part family advocates and part event planners, a Funeral Consultant can show you side-by-side comparisons of all of the cemetery or funeral home services, your options, and your costs in your local area. They can also help connect you to other funeral planning resources, including financial aid and support.
According to AARP, the average cost of a funeral today is approximately $10,000. (Note: This does not include the cost of the cemetery plot and associated fees for the monument, and much more.) The average funeral insurance policy that most people buy to pre-pay their funeral costs in advance is approximately $5,000. Getting help from someone who knows how this entire process works, and also knows your local options, just makes sense.
It’s Not Always Just About the Money
Rather than dress up and rush into a funeral home being unfamiliar, uncomfortable, and unprepared, most people prefer discussing their all-important funeral or cemetery arrangements in the comfort of their own home, among their family, friends, and loved ones. Rather than listen to strange terminology and make expensive decisions on the fly, most people prefer a third-party and independent professional to help guide and support them through this difficult and time-sensitive process. Rather than being uncomfortable or afraid to ask certain questions, most people prefer having the option and flexibility to say or ask things like: “That seems too expensive” or “We cannot afford that” or “What other options do we have?” or “What do other funeral homes or cemeteries charge in my local area?”
In addition, many families want their Funeral Consultant to join them at the funeral home or cemetery arrangement conference, which can be an option. Funeral Consultants can also be an excellent resource when it comes to matters related to aftercare planning, such as stopping bills and utilities, work with outstanding debts, working with insurance carriers, estate and tax planning, and more.
How Much Does a Funeral Consultant Cost?
For a set fee, Funeral Consultants will take care of all the tasks, price negotiations, and coordination details, freeing family members from this obligation and helping them arrange the funeral they want within their budget. With the average Funeral Consultant fee being $500, and the average family savings over $3,500, hiring a Funeral Consultant is a good investment. But keep in mind that by minimizing or eliminating a lot of the financial and emotional stress associated with families and funeral planning, most families will tell you that value-added services of a Funeral Consultant can be priceless.
For more information, or to find a local Funeral Consultant, click here.