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Old 01-22-2018, 12:53 AM
11,426 posts, read 19,433,663 times
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Originally Posted by Lodestar View Post
Some places if you donate your body you are responsible for paying for transportation of the body.

I live in MN and know there are a group working on green burials here but don't know what their status is at present.

My mother left $8,000 eight years ago. I had a terrible experience with the funeral home which wanted more. The owner was a man she had gone to school with and they did a beautiful job with my dad but then he retired and the kid who we dealt with wasn't family. He tried to guilt us and even called us later at home to make some gruesome comments about our choice of the least expensive coffin and liner. I can't even repeat what he said.

I promised Mom I wouldn't overspend on a funeral and she was certain that she had planned for enough and that's what I told him. He got even with us by not notifying the radio station that would have got the news out to everyone who would have wanted to come. For weeks afterwards people were asking why I didn't have it announced.

And when we were at the gravesite he came and ushered us all away from the grave before anyone was ready. He wasn't spending one more second on us than he had to.

I think back and wish I'd withdrawn my business at the first hint at the lack of cooperation. But it had been her choice and it was confusing at the time to think straight about it. I just never expected that we'd be treated so poorly.
An opposite story — my husband’s parents told us forever that their funerals were taken care of with the local guy. When the time came, brother went to the funeral home, was greeted by the guy’s son who then explained that his father never kept records and did business with a handshake, and that arrangements were made could be anything from prepayment to just telling him what they wanted. Since there was no proof of payment on our end either, they talked it over, and he rendered his service for half off.

He’s considered to be quite fair in his business dealings. Others have given him proof of pre paid arrangements and he’s honored them, even if people paid 1960’s prices.
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Old 01-22-2018, 07:26 AM
Location: Vermont
10,089 posts, read 10,604,044 times
Reputation: 13438
The majority of states have no requirement for embalming, or require it only if there will be a delay of more than twenty-four hours. In addition, only two states require it for crossing state lines.

Prices have gone up, but in my experience direct cremation is the way to go.

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Old 01-22-2018, 08:47 AM
Location: Columbia SC
7,961 posts, read 6,706,083 times
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Some places if you donate your body you are responsible for paying for transportation of the body.

This is true. Most places will only go so far to pick the body up. Harvard Medical is not going to pick a body up in CA.
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Old 01-22-2018, 10:55 AM
Location: SWFL
21,431 posts, read 18,139,040 times
Reputation: 18811
Originally Posted by Clemencia53 View Post
Yes, no funeral home necessary in Texas. You can do a home funeral
Same in Massachusetts. The only thing you need is the ME to declare the person dead and there is no sign of suspicious death. If the body is to be cremated and you can get the body to the crematory yourself, you can get away with only about $225 for burial.

My husband's funeral cost me only $1395. He was a Vet, he was cremated and buried in the National Cemetery down Cape Cod.

Now that I am living in SW Florida, the VA would even send his ashes down here to the National Cemetery for me for free! I can be buried in the National Cemetery too. My Mom and Dad are buried up there too but I would not move them down here. They weren't cremated and that thought gives me the creeps.

Call your local Board of Health and ask them what is legal in your state. That is how I found out about all the things that are not required for a burial in Massachusetts. The more people who know the laws, the less these funeral homes can rip people off.

My condolences.
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Old 01-22-2018, 10:58 AM
4,934 posts, read 2,562,297 times
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Originally Posted by bande1102 View Post

After watching that show and the sales techniques that funeral directors use and realizing the mark up, I am strongly leaning towards cremation.
I have a co-worker that has always kept her part time job at the Cemetery. She helps set up services. She is not high pressure--however even the simplest service her commission is a several hundred dollars up to several thousand.

Told my family---do me the cheapest way. No service, buy a nice bottle of Merlot for around $20 and make a toast and be done with it. As for my ashes--bury them in the backyard and toss out the box--no guilt needed. When you sell the house--no worries, I won't bother the new owners

My mother died last year. Cremation (my sister went through a funeral home)/church service/luncheon provided by the church (I think they asked for a donation of several hundred dollars) was over $7000.
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Old 01-22-2018, 11:22 AM
Location: Midvale, Idaho
1,428 posts, read 2,252,516 times
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Originally Posted by Sollaces View Post
Thank you for the laugh. It reminds me of the movies where the mother's urn is up on the mantel and the cat is being chased by the dog and the cat knocks it over. . . .

I wonder if this is what she wanted done with her ashes - Still visiting everyone and being involved in family pictures. I mean there's a point when it's time to let go.

I watched a program on cremation --
I thought it neat that ashes can be mixed in paint for a painting. It sounds like they can be distributed however you want - Following the laws of course.
I have also heard the ashes can be mixed into inks and put into tattoos. I have read many have done this and showing photos of the results.
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Old 01-22-2018, 12:47 PM
Status: "I cannot wait for the heat to break..." (set 3 days ago)
Location: Where the sun likes to shine!!
20,368 posts, read 25,483,948 times
Reputation: 87958
Burials are a scam and it is so sad that people get scammed at the worst days of their lives.

Originally Posted by Tallysmom View Post
I had a dear uncle who told me to never walk on graves because of that. He said there was a lot of nonsense about ghosts and bad luck, but the real reason was sometimes the very old ones collapsed.
Sadly I was just at a cemetery. They are so overcrowded now that there is no choice but to walk on graves. I would hate to end up in a cemetery.

Originally Posted by BugsyPal;50774906O
Over fifty years ago Jessica Mitford (yes, one of *those* Mitford sisters) wrote "The American Way of Death", exposing some sad truths about the funeral industry in this country. While some laws/reforms were undertaken, things largely have not changed.

City Cemeteries Face Gridlock - The New York Times
Thank you for that book recommendation. Oh yeah we are running out of space for graves.

Originally Posted by johngolf View Post
Check on body donation to local medical schools.
I have checked into this. My husband is not too happy about it

Originally Posted by BugsyPal View Post
Here in New York there was recently a scandal regarding bodies "donated" to medical schools.

Ehh...after I am gone I really don't care what they do with me. But if that happened I wouldn't want my family to find out.

Originally Posted by westcoastforme View Post
Yes my family also is against cremation. To each their own
What happens if they are burned and die in a fire?

I'm for either donating, cremation or green burial. As for ashes bury me next to my dog, lol.
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Old 01-22-2018, 01:32 PM
18,773 posts, read 6,129,215 times
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I was just going to update on what my plans are:

Back in 2004, I signed up with Armstrong Family mortuary as I want cremation and if my daughter/grandkids want to spread my remains as they choose, they can pick "me" up at the Venice Blvd mortuary and for this service today's cost is $630.

This company is for Los Angeles residents only. But other companies across the U.S. could have this inexpensive/sensible service too.

I have major portion of my family 3000 miles away in the ground back East. For what I say...it was the thing to do but I sure have changed my thinking over many yrs.

When I think of a friend who's family spent like $30K each on funerals for their mother and father I cringe. Gold caskets.... This family has roots in LA and I think huge funerals are big in that state, they were historically anyway.

Last edited by jaminhealth; 01-22-2018 at 02:12 PM..
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Old 01-22-2018, 05:21 PM
5,162 posts, read 2,992,030 times
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Thanks, westcoastforme and 7gkids. I was feeling good for myself that I stood my ground with him and didn't let his sleazy remarks guilt me. I was numb at the time and in fightin' mode. LOL.

But, now, looking back I probably should have gotten ahold of the retired owner, Mom's friend, and had a talk with him. I'm sure he wouldn't have wanted her funeral to have been treated that way.

Just want people to know that the funeral home had offered the service of notifying newspapers and radio stations and they all didn't get done. So if you ever have any doubt it's worth it to take the time to do it yourself. Or do it yourself to save some money.
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Old 01-22-2018, 06:47 PM
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My mom bought a funeral package when she was already getting dementia. It was still mild, but she signed up for a payment plan, even though she had the money to have paid outright. The payment plan was 4 years long, and with interest, it just about doubled the cost. Of course, we didn't have any idea she was doing this at the time. Later, when she had serious dementia and I was her power of attorney, I looked into this, and of course, I couldn't prepay or anything to reduce the excess costs, so the plan just had to be paid out (it was an automatic debit from her bank account.) I can't fault the mortuary for their performance after she died: they added no costs, and were reliable. But I just wish they hadn't offered her the payment plan.
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