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Hats off to the honourable undertakers

There are some great funeral directors out there who are aware of the financial consequences of funeral costs, of the desire of some to D.I.Y. some or all parts of the funeral process and who actively facilitate this without exploitation.  One Rotorua funeral director we spoke to said he doesn't charge D.I.Y.ers for the pre-cremation paperwork because it only takes a couple of minutes.   We need more people like that.

And then there are other funeral directors who will force people to pay over $4000 for the same job.

On this website, when we talk of the funeral industry and the funeral industry's business plan, we are, of necessity, talking generally.   To the honorable exceptions out there, we are on your side. We understand funeral homes have overheads, we acknowledge that much of the time funeral directors are just providing what people have been conditioned to want.  We realise businesses need to make money.   And above all, we know that in certain circumstances funeral directors are indispensable.

We also know funeral debt isn't good for anyone - least of all the funeral industry.

So that is why Death Without Debt focuses on the failures of the medical profession and the ineptitude of the public service.  It is those individuals who have allowed the current situation to develop and who are actively resisting putting things right.

How do you tell if a funeral home or a funeral director is honest and trustworthy in regard to minimising your expenses?   First of all, glowing references from friends and family normally mean nothing.  Almost all funeral homes are wonderful to deal with if you go along with one of their funeral plans.  It's when you go outside that and downsize the commercial opportunity that a funeral director's true colours will be revealed.

For example, Are they willing to do nothing more than facilitate the pre-cremation sign off by the medical referee?  (You may need this in some districts where the medical referee isn't accessible to the public).  If they are, how much will they charge?  If it's under $50 or so, the fee is probably reasonable given their need to put it through the books.

One final warning.  Be wary of package deals titled "Simply Cremation" and such like.  Insist on itemised quotes for paperwork, coffin (if needed), transport, cremation, etc and don't put up with any evasion around "professional service fees".




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