The subject of funerals isn’t much fun, but it can be a big expense. I’ve only had to be one of the primary people arranging a funeral once, and I definitely didn’t make smart choices. I was so overwhelmed by the whole process that I just agreed to pay whatever amount was asked for. However, cheaper alternatives exist.
A piece on CBC radio a week or so ago about funerals explained that the typical funeral costs between $5000 and $7000 before paying for the casket, organist, and various other extras. The total cost can easily approach $10,000. I definitely don’t want my family to waste this much money on my funeral.
An interesting alternative to a funeral home for Ontario residents is a business called Basic Cremations. (I have no connection to this business, financial or otherwise.) They will pick up the body, cremate it, and handle some basic paperwork for about $1600. They offer various other more expensive options, but this is the price of the basic cremation service.
This seems much more practical than forking over many thousands of dollars to a funeral home. The missing element is a place for a visitation. I’ve always felt that a visitation at the home of the family or a friend is more personal than a funeral home. In many cases, a subset of mourners plan to head over to a family member’s home after the funeral home visitation anyway.