I’m making this blog short and as simple as I can.
As a volunteer with the Home Funeral Alliance of North Texas, I’ve made myself available to answer the “hot line”. These are phone calls coming into our organization that are made by some pretty desperate people. I still find myself torn up with the scenarios and want to “fix” it all, make it better. The rabbit hole begins once the funeral home has the body, so plan ahead.
I have to make it very clear on almost every occasion that we do not offer financial assistance. Usually there is silence on the other end and I can tell by now that the caller shuts down and well, just isn’t willing to listen to suggestions we have that can help keep expenses down, or even the tools needed to officiate a funeral on their own.
You see, the “system” has made burying your dead on your own very complicated for the average person. I am still educating myself on the finer details of it all. The paperwork, timing and guts that it takes really is commendable to those who have dared to enter the waters of planning a home funeral. It ain’t easy, but hey….most worthy endeavors seldom are.
The resources are available. Take for instance Home Funeral Guides. All you have to do is google search and the information is endless. Our organization will “fight” on your behalf if take for instance, a hospital or funeral home is holding your body or your loved ones body demanding ransom or just intimidating you because you are ignorant of the “rules or laws” surrounding the death business.
The bottom line is this. It isn’t a very loving thing to do, not to plan for your funeral. If you haven’t, then the frenzy that comes upon your demise can be complicated. Family arguments, what you might have wanted and NO FUNDS to bury can make for a very bad situation. The very least you can do is start a separate savings account, like right now. You will need it should you or your family choose to go the “Full Service” route. Plan on at the very least $3000 on up. And I mean up. Prepaying comes with it’s own risk, COMPLICATED.
The Federal Trade Commission/ consumer.ftc.gov is a really good site that can help with a “check list” and funeral home shopping tips, your rights and the legal responsibilities of funeral home to you, the consumer.
Or you can check out the funerals.org site that is so full of useful information and can direct you to local resources such as Funeral Guides, necessary paper work needed to do it yourself and of course NTHFA.org. The cost, much less expensive. I of course advocate for home funerals or very little involvement from a funeral home, to each his/her own.
My next step is to become “certified” as a Funeral Guide. To participate in an actual home funeral is on my “check list”. So unless you are wanting to add more stress to your family at the time of your death, plan ahead. Not fare for them to have to take out a loan, solicit funds or sit doe eyed at the mercy of a funeral director to bury you. So plan ahead.Let us know how we can assist you.
Peace and blessings