What Are the Basic Costs Involved?

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Some people are uncomfortable bargaining or comparison-shopping when it comes to funeral goods and services. But there may be a lot of money at stake. Ironically, dying is one of life's most costly expenses -- third in line after a house and a car, for most people.

The Funeral Rule, the federal law that regulates funeral services and purchases, allows providers to charge a basic fee for overhead and services common to most arrangements. The basic services fee commonly includes these items:

☛ Funeral planning
☛ Securing the necessary permits and copies of death certificates
☛ Preparing the death notice
☛ Storing the body
☛ Coordinating arrangements with a cemetery, crematory, or other providers

While you can't decline to pay the basic fee, you should be aware of exactly what services are included in it.
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