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Keeping funeral costs affordable

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Anyone who’s put a loved one to rest knows that death is not cheap. According to the National Funeral Directors Association, the average adult funeral cost $6,560 in 2009 (their most current data).
That doesn’t include such common add-ons as a cemetery plot, headstone, flowers, obituaries and limousine, which can add thousands to the bill.
Because death is a frequently avoided topic, many people aren’t armed with information about the many variables — and costs — involved in planning a funeral.
Thus, just when survivors are grieving and most vulnerable, they’re bombarded by decisions that must be made quickly, often without even knowing what their loved one would have wanted.
The key message for the living is to decide on preferred funeral arrangements ahead of time and to convey those wishes to your family – ideally in your will.
Another important lesson: Know your legal rights and what funeral-related goods and services cost so you — or your survivors — don’t feel pressured into buying things you don’t want or need. The Federal Trade Commission oversees “The Funeral Rule,” which regulates how funeral providers must deal with consumers. Among its provisions:


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