Thursday, 30 July 2015

Demystifying The Funeral Industry | Part 1

Unfortunately, the funeral industry has garnered a reputation over the years for taking advantage of mourners in order to add a few pounds to their sales.
For, at the end of the day, funeral homes/mortuaries are businesses – a concept that is often overlooked by the general public. They provide a needed service in exchange for monetary compensation. They are on call 24/7 and still have to support their employees and family; when all is said and done, that compensation comes from sales.

Despite legislative provision, funeral business practices still circulate that can be interpreted as selfish, underhanded and misleading. Taken out of context, these practices might just be called "smart business skills." However, within the scope of bereavement, any actions used to make money above and beyond the necessary costs are liable to receive more than a few sideways glances.

Understanding "The Funeral Rules"
Under the Funeral Rules, the bereaved have the legal right to:

Forego Embalming: This is by far one of the most widely circulated assumptions regarding burials. The UK does not require embalming under "normal" circumstances. To reiterate, no laws say that the decedent (who died in the UK) must receive routine embalming in order to be buried.

In other words, within a window of time, viewings can still take place even if the body is not embalmed. Burials most certainly can be conducted without embalming. While many funeral homes might have their own policies regarding viewings and embalming, it is not required by law.

Forego Traditional Coffins For Cremations: Big, fancy coffins are not necessary for cremation. No coffins are necessary for cremation. Cremations can be performed using "alternative containers." Furthermore, most funeral directors have available, alternative containers such as unfinished wood, fiberboard or cardboard containers.

Purchase A Container From A Different Business: "The funeral provider cannot refuse to handle a coffin or urn you bought online, at a local coffin store, or somewhere else – or charge you a fee to do it," Purchasing a container at the same funeral home where the decedent has been delivered postmortem may be convenient, but it does not guarantee the best pricing or the best options available on the market.
Buying A La Carte: "You have the right to buy separate goods (such as coffins) and services (such as embalming or a memorial service). You do not have to accept a package that may include items you do not want."
Cutting Costs Without Feeling Disrespectful
Emotions run rampant during times of mourning. But, understanding that and taking precautions now to prevent emotionally-charged upcharges can save your family unnecessary expenses.

One of the best ways to avoid being sucked into or dragged through up-talk sales' tactics is to plan ahead. Death is unpredictable, but it is generally assumed that it comes in old age. However, while all deaths can be emotionally draining and leave the bereaved fuzzy-minded and incapable of making otherwise rational or financially-conscious decisions, unexpected deaths throw the entire thought-process out of whack.

It is never too early to write down your end-of life and death care preferences. While it may seem morbid or untimely, the one certainty of life is its uncertainty. If being prepared for the unthinkable could even minutely relieve some of the emotional turmoil your family may experience after you've departed your physical body, wouldn't you do anything you can to make sure that happens?

In Part 2 of this series we will take a look at how you can massively reduce funeral costs.

Ideal Death Show 2015 | An Exhibition with a Defference

The Ideal Death Show is a weekend gathering of entrepreneurs, pioneers and progressives from the funeral industry.

At the Ideal Death Show you can talk about bereavement, funeral planning and the more unusual ways that people are choosing to mark their own passing.
There will be lecturers to talk about topics like "what it feels like to die", "what an embalmer does" and "how to write an obituary".
Movers and shakers from the ‘funeral world’ will tell us what’s new, what goods and services they’re offering and what they’ve observed in their work.
Drop by and talk about DEATH!
There will be  Death Caf├ęs where people can speak honestly about their experiences of bereavement and loss.
Keen bakers are invited to make a funeral cake to take part in our competition. The bakers will be asked to explain their motivation behind the cake’s design.
This will be the fifth year of the event. Many people feel uncomfortable about the idea, but our weekends always have more laughs than tears.
The Ideal Death Show will take place at St John’s House, The Broadway, Winchester on the weekend of 4-6 September 2015.

There will be a reception on the Friday, an exhibition and lectures on the Saturday and the unique Good Funeral Awards Gala Dinner on the Saturday night.

The UK Society of Celebrants will be exhibiting too and hopefully there in force to network, meet Members and educate the public in what we, as celebrants do. Do attend if you can - Members who inform us of their intent to attend at least 2 weeks before, will receive some personalised goodies.