Understanding A Funeral Home’s General Price List

The key to getting the best deal at a funeral home is getting your hands on their price list. Luckily the law requires every funeral home to provide one upon request so no need to worry. Many funeral homes even provide price lists on their website like this one or this one. Once you have a copy from each of the funeral homes you are looking into, you can compare prices and get the best deal. Understanding everything on the list can be confusing at first so we will guide you through this example to give you a better idea of what you are looking at. Each funeral home will arrange their price list differently so don’t get thrown off if their’s doesn’t look exactly like the one below. This example is meant to point out the important features of a price list that you will need to understand in order to make the best decision, but don’t hesitate to ask us any questions you have.

What Does A Prepaid Funeral Not Cover?


A prepaid funeral does not cover anything not specifically mentioned in the contract at the time the arrangement is made.  It also does not cover any taxes or government fees for death certificates or permits that will be assessed at the time of death.  Items from other vendors not associated with the funeral home, like cemetary plots, opening and closing fees, flowers, etc., can not be guaranteed but money can be set aside in the prepaid package to be used for these types of items.

When pre-planning, It is important to include all of the items and services that you will want at your funeral in the plan because only those items will be paid for. Many feel that all they need is their cemetery plots and their casket and they are done planning their funeral. This often leaves the family with items and services they want but are not covered in the plan and can translate in to hundreds if not thousands of extra dollars at the time of death.

When you choose a funeral home to plan your funeral, make sure you study their price list and address all the items you will need and want for your funeral.

Why do I need Death Certificates?

Death certificates are typically required in order to close accounts, transfer custody of an account, make transactions or receive benefits from any account of the deceased.  Examples of accounts you would need a death certificate for are insurance policies, bank accounts, loans, utilities, stock accounts, and others.

Death Certificates are the official government document that the county or state of death produces to verify that someone has passed away and it is usually a public document.

Death certificates are available to the next of kin at the county or state health department. The funeral home that is helping with arrangements can also provide the next of kin with copies of the death certificate.  Friends and extended family usually will not be able to get a death certificate from the county or state health department without a legal need.

Each county charges a fee for each copy of the death certificate.  It typically takes two or three days to prepare a death certificate because a doctor must sign the death certificate and document the cause of death.