One of the hardest things to go through in life is losing a loved one. Unfortunately, that process involves caring for and burying a dead body, and doing so with as much dignity as possible.
That can be tough when you’re dealing with funeral homes. As you’ll quickly discover, planning a funeral can hit you hard in the wallet, the last thing you want to deal with after losing someone close. Instead of putting the ceremony in the hands of others, you should deal with the death on your own.
I’m comfortable enough with the idea of death to keep the body in my home. If you’re the same way, you should hold a viewing in your home. Keeping a deceased person at home is legal in all states except Connecticut, Delaware, Indiana, Louisiana, Michigan, Nebraska, New Hampshire, New Jersey, and New York. A funeral at your own home may be more appropriate than holding it at a funeral home where you’ve probably never been before.
Don’t let the funeral parlors rip you off. Get a coffin made yourself.
Coffins can be an enormous expense for anyone planning a funeral. To solve this problem, have your casket pre-made. Funeral parlors are governed by a code of ethics which obliges them to show you all casket prices but it is not unknown for them to say that the $500 casket is out of stock but the fancy $2500 one is right here and ready. Save yourself the aggravation – and get some nice furniture you can use in your lifetime.
There was a carpenter in Port Townsend, WA, named Outhouse Charlie who would make you a custom-built coffin you can live with. During your lifetime you can use it as a gun cabinet, a bookcase, a blanket box, or whatever you specify to him. But when you die, your furniture doesn’t become a problem for the heirs – it turns into your very own coffin. Charlie suggested such quaint touches as fixing some pin-ups or family photos on the inside of the lid. Sadly, Charlies passed away himself last year and we’re all wondering what his coffin looked like! But it’s a great thought – build a bookshelf or coat rack that becomes your final resting place.
For an even better deal, try the range of cardboard or particle-board caskets at Cardboard Coffins. Their caskets meet Federal Trade Commission regulations for an “alternative container”, and their models look like real coffins but can be put together without tools and will burn or biodegrade quickly. More information can be found at https://cardboardcoffincompany.com.
What to see a country that takes its coffin making seriously? Try Ghana. Look at these personalized beauties!
Don’t believe the myths of the funeral homes and undertakers: Embalming isn’t required by any circumstances. Embalming is required by some funeral companies, but certainly not by the government. And only three states – Alabama, Alaska, and New Jersey – forbid transporting un-embalmed bodies across state lines. Just make sure you keep the corpse cool and you’ll be fine without any embalming.
We all die at some point and you need to make a will before that happens.
Incredibly, half of Americans haven’t drawn up a will. A will is an incredible necessity if you want to avoid putting your loved ones through a potential financial nightmare. Without a will, your family could fight over your assets and a judge could award them arbitrarily.
Most lawyers can draw up a will for only a few hundreds dollars. You make your will out as soon as possible.
Unfortunately, even with a will, your assets will have to go through the legal system and be authentically distributed. If you want to avoid this altogether, try setting up a revocable living trust. They are easy to set up and generally much more efficient than wills alone. Lawyers would prefer that you have a will and not a trust, because with a will (that is not set up within a trust), they can rake in big legal fees during probate.