No one likes to plan for death, but the plain truth is that death is a part of life. We must all face death at some point – be it the death of a loved one, or even our own. One of the most important things we must do in the face of death is to make funeral and burial arrangements. While a funeral casket may seem like not much more than a decorative object used for purely ceremonial purposes, it is much more than that, and deciding on a casket is a big deal. Here are some tips for what to look for when choosing a funeral casket:
Materials. Caskets come in a variety of materials, all with different price points and purposes. Familiarize yourself with these materials so you can make the best choice for your particular needs. Wooden caskets are the most traditional, and the most common; they come in an array of styles and finishes, and can be made from virtually any type of wood – the hardwoods being the most expensive and pine being the least expensive. Metal caskets are the second most common type of casket; these are generally painted to suit the deceased’s personality, or even the mood of the funeral. There are also wood/metal composite caskets, fiberboard caskets, and caskets that are made to be biodegradable.
Extras. It is not unusual to be offered extras when shopping for a casket. Just beware that no matter how good they sound, things like “sealing” or “gasketing” cannot slow the decomposition process, even if they are presented in such a way. Really, they just make the casket more costly.
Price. Keep in mind that funeral directors will show you the most expensive caskets first, and then go down from there, often never getting to their least expensive models. Oftentimes, the most cost-efficient caskets are not even on the showroom floor or in the main catalog; you have to ask to see them. It is worth it to ask, as name-brand caskets can be marked up by as much as 600 percent.
There are literally hundreds of casket types, styles, and designs to choose from. Don’t get lost in the mix; instead, do your research before you enter a funeral home showroom so that you know exactly what you are looking for and how much you are willing to pay for it. Remember that the law requires that no funeral home can deny the use of a casket bought outside of that funeral home, so it is definitely worth it to shop around.
About the Author: Jackson Weyler knows how tough it can be to plan a funeral. You don’t exactly get to travel to a casket store to choose the final resting place for yourself or your loved ones, so it helps to know what options are available in advance. When in doubt, ask your funeral director for help.