Are funeral home prices rising? It’s difficult to answer this question because funeral homes do not publish their prices online or anywhere else. That may change soon, as federal regulators are scheduled to look into the rule that governs how funeral homes publically share pricing information, according to the New York Times. Many consumer advocacy groups and non-profit organizations are calling for changes regarding the lack of online funeral prices, which makes it hard for customers to shop around. A lack of transparency may also drive prices up for everyone. After all, grieving customers are not very likely to haggle over funeral prices, especially if they do not know what they should be paying in the first place.
Americans are Struggling to Afford Funeral Ceremonies
According to the trade group, National Funeral Directors Association, the cost of a typical funeral with burial and viewing, was $7,400. Costs may or may not be rising, but that simply does not matter to millions of Americans who are passing away with little to no money left over to pay for a funeral of any cost. In fact, the average American who dies with debt owes about $62,000, according to ABC News. And, 73 percent of Americans die with debt, meaning that nearly three quarters of the population owes, on average, $62,000 when they die. As such, the fact that funeral homes may be raising prices without market competition adds tremendous financial pressure on the loved ones who end up paying for funeral and burial expenses for their deceased.
Will a New Law be Created Protect Vulnerable Consumers from High Funeral Prices?
While the federal government is scheduled to review the current funeral home rule in question—something that they are scheduled to do every 10 years—that does not necessarily mean that it will happen. And, even if regulators do review the lack of online pricing and transparency, that does not mean that the law will change. What can consumers do to protect themselves from high expenses that, for the time being, may simply be unavoidable? There are two answers. The first is to plan for the inevitable. Creating an estate plan with a long-term financial strategy will save your family from the financial burden of an expensive funeral that is arranged at the time of need. It will also ensure that you receive the funeral and burial or cremation that you desire, without relying on your loved ones to make tough decisions about your wishes when you are no longer here to let them know your true wishes. The second answer to that question is to select an experienced probate attorney in advance of death to work out your end-of-life details yourself instead of relying on your relatives to do the deed.
The Pasadena Probate Attorneys at Frame & Frame Can Help
Which families don’t face funeral expenses? Estate planning earlier in life allows time for one’s assets to accumulate and be organized to meet the financial demands of life. Health care for seniors and death expenses can be planned for in advance. A Maryland Estate Planning Attorney can help you face the future with confidence and peach of mind. Call the Pasadena law offices of Frame & Frame today at 410-255-0373 to schedule a free consultation with one of our experienced probate attorneys today.