Good evening. We are getting ready to air our investigation at 10pm. This is an online chat to help answer questions about the funeral industry.
This is Kim - I'm having to post my answers under KWCH so you won't see my picture. I'm happy to be joined by Ashley Cozine tonight. He's with the National Funeral Directors Association. He will take any questions about the funeral industry.
Thanks, Kim. I'm Ashley Cozine, a local funeral director and member of the Executive Board of the National Funeral Directors Association. I will pleased to try and answer any questions you might have tonight.
Thanks for your question. Should you have any concerns about the state of your preneed funds, a trusted funeral director will show you your records, where the funds have been placed and the current value of your account. If your wishes or needs have changed, they will be able to help you update your arrangements.
A cremation casket generally doesn’t have any metal hardware. A regular wood casket would likely have metal handles, mattress frame, hinges, etc.
Funeral homes are required by law to accept third-party merchandise, such as caskets, vaults, etc.
Licensed funeral directors in Kansas are required to take 12 hours of continuing education every 2 years in order to keep their license current.
Generally there are guaranteed items (funeral home charges such as services, casket, vault, merchandise, etc.) and non-guaranteed items (non-funeral home charges such as newspaper, flowers, sales tax, cemetery, etc.). This should be clearly explained at the time pre-arrangements are made. The price paid for guaranteed items should be covered at the time of need....you shouldn’t have to pay any more for those items.
Every funeral home in the U.S. is required to have a General Price List. There is certain information on the GPL that is required by the FTC. Ideally, this makes GPLs from different funeral homes across the country easier for consumers to compare. The GPL would potentially alert you to a funeral home that might have considerably higher prices than others.
To those of you who have sent information on specific situations, please feel free to contact me directly at email@example.com or call (316) 831-6134.
I am a strong advocate of planning ahead. This gives the consumer an opportunity to gather information, compare options and costs, visit with one or more funeral homes in person, get to know staff, ask questions, etc. and ultimately make informed decisions before death occurs.
According to a survey conducted by the NFDA, the median price of a funeral service, including a metal casket is approximately $6,560.
Basic services of funeral director and staff; transfer of remains to funeral home; embalming; other preparation of the body; use of facilities for viewing; use of facilities for funeral service; funeral coach; service car; basic printed materials; and metal casket.
I would recommend that when you prepay for a casket (or any other merchandise for that matter) you ask for a photo for your personal records. This will give you proof of what you have purchased.
There are a wide variety of costs and service options among funeral homes in the Wichita area. This is all the more reason to compare and make informed decisions ahead of time. Just remember that although you often "get what you pay for", you don't necessarily get the best service when paying the highest price.
You are correct...it does not include cemetery expenses.
Can you please be more specific?
There is no requirement to purchase a casket, i.e., a family could make their own. Outer burial containers are generally required by cemeteries in order to protect the grave and maintain the appearance of the grounds. Embalming is not required, i.e., cremation. However, the state does require refrigeration after 24 hours if a body is not embalmed, cremated or buried. You can bury on family property, such as a farm, however, potential problems or concerns may arise if the property is ever sold in the future.
The prices are listed on each funeral home's General Price List, as required by the FTC.
Thanks for all the questions. If you have any further questions, please feel free to contact Kim and she can pass them on to me.
Thanks to everyone who contributed tonight. I'm sorry we didn't get to all of your comments. Feel free to contact me directly at firstname.lastname@example.org or (316) 831-6134. A big thanks to Ashley Cozine for taking the time to answer questions. Have a good night.