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Skyrocketing funeral costs can lead to stress after tragedy

Funeral costs are on the rise, and this can be a huge source of stress if your loved one passes away unexpectedly. If you are the next of kin of someone who dies in a tragic accident, such as a fatal car wreck, paying for their final expenses is likely one of your priorities. Once you look at these costs, you might realize that they are more than you are prepared to cover.

The average cost of a funeral

On average, a basic funeral in 2019 costs $7,000 to $9,000 for a burial. That cost decreases slightly to $6,000 to $7,000 for a cremation. These costs don't include anything beyond the basic funeral, so there will be added expenses for the burial plot, headstone and other similar items.

Making the final arrangements

If you have to make final arrangements for a loved one who suddenly passed away, try to find a reputable funeral home. Find out what items the quote includes, so you know what you will receive and what you will have to pay more for. As you go through the list of expenses, try to be realistic about what you can afford to pay.

You are likely going to be very emotional when you have to go through this process. Try not to make split-second decisions. Whether you make the funeral plans the day the person passes away or the day after that probably won't make much of a difference. This gives you time to price shop and find out which funeral home can work within your limitations.

The Funeral Rule

One crucial point to know as you go through this is that the Federal Trade Commission established the Funeral Rule to stop funeral homes from pressuring the bereaved into buying things they don't need or want. The 1984 rule enables you to receive a general price over the phone, which is helpful during your initial vetting of providers. It also allows you to get an itemized statement of charges, as well as price lists. Interestingly, it also enables you to decline embalming. However, this may alter how much time you have before the burial or cremation.

Because of the huge cost of final expenses, you might need to explore the option of seeking compensation for your loved one's tragic passing. A wrongful death claim can hold the negligent party financially accountable for the damages resulting from the fatal accident.

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