52 Weeks: Wills, etc. – Funeral and Wake


A traditional funeral with casket and viewing can be very expensive, but it doesn’t always have to be. A great book on this subject is Jessica Mitford’s “The American Way of Death Revisited.” It explores the realities and scams of the funeral industry. You don’t always have to buy everything the funeral home tries to sell you.

Costco sells caskets at low prices. If you are having a viewing followed by a cremation, some funeral homes will rent you a casket just for the viewing. The law does not always require embalming. If the funeral director says it does, get a second opinion. Family members don’t have to ride in a car provided by the funeral home. They can use their own cars if they prefer to do so and save money.

Wake or reception

Many people find the social get-together very supportive and healing. If money is tight, friends and relatives could perhaps be asked to bring a dish. Finger food is ideal, cutting down on cleanup and cutlery needs.


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