What You Need to Know When Choosing a Casket

By: VGFS
Sunday, June 9, 2019

Selecting a casket for your loved one can feel overwhelming. It’s one of the first major decisions you will need to make following your loved one’s death. In addition to feeling numbness or grief, you may also feel confused about what your loved one would have wanted.

In the end, you want to know that you made a choice that honors your loved one and respects your budget. Below are some points for you to consider when choosing the right casket for your loved one.

Set a budget. Before you attend your first meeting with a funeral director, try to determine an overall budget. From there, you’ll want to decide how much of your budget you can allocate to the homegoing and repast. Doing so will help you to clarify a realistic number and will also assist the funeral director in helping you to find the right casket within your parameters. For some families, the sky is the limit while others need to make more modest arrangements. Always work with what is comfortable for your family.

Determine who your pallbearers will be. Typically, the number of people that you will choose for this special honor and responsibility will be determined by the number of handles on the casket that you select. Caskets often have six or eight handles, so you’ll need one pallbearer per handle. The weight of the casket can also be significant, so you’ll want to select able-bodied pallbearers. You may also give honorary pallbearer titles to family members or friends who cannot physically participate.

Shop around. You do not need to purchase a casket from the first funeral home you visit. You might be able to find a better price, more options, or better service if you visit several funeral providers. Please keep in mind that you will be responsible for the delivery of the casket as well as any associated delivery fees if you go this route.

Consider the casket size. Caskets aren’t necessarily one-size-fits-all. Standard caskets are typically 84” long, 28” wide, and 23” tall. Pay special attention to the width to ensure that your loved one will fit comfortably. In most cases, the 28” width offers plenty of space, but oversized caskets are available if needed. Your funeral director should be able to help you determine the best dimensions to accommodate your loved one.

Be flexible. If budget is an issue, you’ll want to keep an open mind when selecting the best casket in which to lay your loved one to rest. The more durable the material of the casket, the higher the price will be. However, the price goes up as you add on extras. For example, selecting a casket made out of mahogany, bronze or copper can more than double the average price. Bronze and copper constructed caskets are priced by weight, while stainless steel caskets are categorized by their gauge or thickness. When devising your budget, consider upgrades that you will want, such as brass handles, a decorative plaque, or other custom details and start at the lower end of your budget so you can include these upgrades. You may also be able to rent a casket from your funeral home, then have your loved one cremated or buried in a less costly coffin.

Know your rights. Under the Federal Trade Commission’s (FTC) “Funeral Rule,” there are guidelines that funeral homes must abide by. The funeral business is highly regulated and rulings frequently change and are determined by each state. However, for the most part, the Funeral Rule applies. Here is what you need to know about purchasing a casket under the FTC’s ruling:

You have the right to:

  • Get pricing information over the phone and receive a printed copy to keep when you visit the funeral home in-person
  • View a casket price list prior to being shown any caskets
  • Receive a statement of the goods and services you have requested, in writing
  • Use a casket that you purchase from an outside vendor

Selecting a loved one’s casket is an act of love, regardless of the model or style that you ultimately choose. If you need assistance choosing the right casket to lay your beloved family member to rest in, please do not hesitate to contact us with any questions. It’s always our pleasure to serve you.

About Vaughn Greene Funeral Services: For more than 20 years, Vaughn Greene Funeral Services has been providing a ministry of care to Baltimore’s African American community. As a leading local, minority- and family-owned provider, we promise to provide our highest level of service and respect to families who entrust us to honor their loved one. For more information, please call us at 410.655.0015 or visit us online at https://vaughncgreene.com/.

Leave a comment
Name*:
Email:
Comment*:
Please enter the numbers and letters you see in the image. Note that the case of the letters entered matters.

Comments

Please wait

Previous Posts

These Seven Heart Health Threats Might Surprise You

The road to longevity is paved with choices that safeguard your heart health. The heart is not just a muscle; it’s the engine that keeps the body running. You may be surprised to learn that many f...

The Rules of Visitation Etiquette: Eight Tips for Being a Polite Funeral Guest

When attending a funeral or memorial service, it's crucial to understand the protocols, including proper visitation etiquette. Funeral visitations and wakes can be emotionally taxing, but they off...

National Craft Month: How Tapping Into Your Creative Side Helps Your Mental Health

March is National Craft Month and studies show a strong connection between our mental health and our creativity. The benefits of crafting range from decreased stress, improved brain productivity,...

A Practical Guide to Selecting Burial Clothes with Love and Reverence

Choosing burial clothes for a loved one can be a tender act of remembrance and profound significance. Navigating loss is a challenging experience on many levels. Despite the weight of grief, numer...

Ten Easy, Creative Ways to Add More Produce to Your Diet

Few things can enhance health and wellness like striving to add more produce to your diet. Bursting with essential vitamins, minerals, fiber, and antioxidants, produce is nature's gift to our bodi...

Your Guide to Understanding Cremation: Seven Fascinating Myths and the Truth Behind Them

Understanding cremation reveals countless misconceptions about the ancient practice. Cremation has been around for centuries but it remains surrounded by mystery. You might be surprised to know th...

Reflecting on Black History Month, The Importance of Diversity and Inclusion

During Black History Month, we celebrate African Americans and the role they have played in building this country, as well as recognize their achievements. Diversity and inclusion are essential in...

Need an Alternative to Traditional Funeral Flowers? Here are Eight Smart Options.

Eco-friendly alternatives to traditional funeral flowers have emerged as a growing trend in end-of-life services. As more people become conscious of their environmental impact, they are seeking wa...

Winter Heart Attacks: Why They’re More Common and How to Avoid Them

The colder months bring more than just frosty weather—they also bring a greater chance of winter heart attacks. The winter season is usually associated with cozy blankets, warm fires, and snowy ou...

Condolence Messages: How to Find the Right Words at a Difficult Time

It’s very common to have a hard time finding the right words when composing condolence messages. Whether you are posting to an online sympathy board or sending your condolences by mail, knowing wh...