PRICING: FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Why do funerals seem so expensive?
Forty years ago, the average funeral cost about $1,200. That same funeral today costs about $6,200. In 1960 a gallon of gas cost about $0.28, today that same gallon cost about $3.60. Simple math will show that the increase in funerals is much less than the cost of other daily items. Compared to other major life cycle events, like weddings (sometimes more than one), medical expenses, graduations, Bar/Bat Mitzvah, etc., funerals are less expensive. None of us want to purchase a funeral. It is an unplanned expense and one we wish we didn't have to incur. Weddings on the other hand are happy events and the costs are rarely criticized though they can cost at least three to four times as much as a funeral.
A funeral home operates like any business. The buildings are designed for a special use. They must be located in a good section of the community, have ample space for families and friends to congregate. The parking areas must be paved, kept clean of snow, ice and sand. All building systems must be kept in working order (heating, cooling, lighting, plumbing, emergency systems, etc.) Every kind of insurance must be maintained and we must pay taxes (property, income, sales, employment, unemployment, etc.) and employ a competent staff to provide 24 hour availability, 365 days each year. The funeral profession is a labor intensive business.
Yes, there is a cost for a funeral and the family decides how much or how little to spend. We endeavor to provide the best value for the money spent. Our facilities are the best in the area. Our staff is fully licensed and trained to be of help. Our merchandise represents the finest quality for the price and we are very competitive on the BOTTOM LINE! We know that you have choices in other funeral homes, but we would like to be your choice!
What do funeral charges pay for?
The cost of a funeral depends on many different items. The services of a Funeral Director and the support staff, the use of facilities designed for funeral purposes, transportation requirements, funeral merchandise such as casket, vault, clothing, cremation urns, funeral stationary, cemetery/ crematory fees, Medical Examiner's fees, clergy offerings, newspaper notices and obituaries are all parts of the cost of a funeral.
The average cost of a funeral in 1999 was about $5,600. They ranged in cost from about $1,500 for the simplest Direct Cremation with no ceremony to about $7,650 for a funeral with visitation, a funeral ceremony in the funeral home or a church, average casket and vault, cemetery fees, newspaper fees, and clergy offering.
When a Beecher & Bennett Funeral Director meets with the family, A General Price List is presented to the family so that they may select the type of funeral they feel will meet their needs. The items that are selected are itemized on a Statement of Funeral Goods and Services. In this way the family is kept abreast of all fees and charges. There are no surprises and the family determines what they will spend and how they will pay for it.
Our fees for services, facilities, motor equipment and merchandise are very competitive. The fees for other items such as: cemetery/cremation fees, newspaper notices, etc. are not controlled by Beecher & Bennett. We only act as agent for the family in obtaining these services and do not have any markup or commission from suppliers.
Beecher & Bennett maintains a selection of funeral merchandise at each facility. A list of caskets and vaults is presented before the selection. Caskets for burial purposes start at $895. Grave vaults acceptable in most cemeteries will start at $740. Cremation Urns will start at $130.
We realize that there are other sources of funeral merchandise and we have priced our selection to be very competitive. The difference is that we have the merchandise on hand. There is no need to go to a supplier's warehouse or deal with an unknown dealer. You do not have to be concerned with any delivery and storage problems or faulty workmanship.
All of our Funeral Directors are available for consultation to assist families in selecting the type and cost of a funeral. There is no obligation...of course! Give us a call, we are here to help.