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  1. Are simple funerals costly in your area? Have you pre-paid yours? My mother and I and my handicapped brother are in a new [not literally new] house and have been for two years. After finally selling her old house and my house, we wanted to pre-pay our funerals as we were surprised at what my dad's simple funeral cost. I went with the cheapest and basic service and cheapest casket. It's pointless to pay for an expensive "box" that's just going to be in the ground. I was going to be cremated as that has been my plan for decades. BUT, cremation is more expensive here. I was really disappointed in that - about $1,500 more than the basic package. People make expensive and emotional decisions when someone dies and want to honor them and they over pay and include services that just aren't necessary. Anyway, I paid for the most cheapest casket [$2,500 - a white one with a Bible and praying hands on it] and took the cheapest basic service. All that includes: picking up/sheltering the body, embalming, getting the body ready for the casket, visitation/viewing, the pastor, casket flowers, obituary in the paper, securing permits, official copies of the death certificate [we ordered 10 for my dad, but only ended up using 8], cemetery services [digging the grave, covering the grave, setting up the tent, chairs, et.al], the hearse and driver, and whatever else. Also, there's a lot of people to pay for all of that. This basic package was about $9,800. My advice if you don't have burial insurance and if you have no clue what a funeral costs in your area is to check it out. I feel good about pre-paying as costs continue to rise annually and I have no burial insurance. I'm just glad we had the money as we sold those two houses. If we hadn't - I just don't know.
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