What is a Funeral Concierge? Why Hire One?
The Funeral Concierge
Perhaps you have never heard of a Funeral Concierge or Consultant? Well even if you have not, you probably agree that when it comes to life’s most important and challenging decisions, seeking professional guidance and support is a good idea. You probably also agree that professional planners, such as wedding planners, can be sanity savers. Let’s take a wedding for example. Many people prefer to hire a wedding planner. Why? Mainly because they want a professional consultant to assist them along the way with a large number of emotional and financial decisions in planning this important event.
Why Hire a Funeral Concierge?
Most weddings are usually planned within a 6-12 month time frame. However, planning a funeral is usually done within a 24 to 48-hour time frame, and involves making over 150 important decisions. Families that are faced with planning a funeral say they are largely unfamiliar, uncomfortable, and unprepared.
So similar to a wedding planner, a Funeral Concierge’s job is to help families make an important and difficult situation easier. The Funeral Concierge is a trained and educated professional whose job is solely to guide you through one of life’s most challenging experiences.
How Funeral Concierges Can Help You Save Money
Funeral Costs have been going up. Per industry experts the average costs (nationwide) for funeral services are as follows:
- Burial Plot: $3500
- Opening & Closing Fees (digging/filling the grave): $1500
- Perpetual Maintenance, monument permit, stone monument: $2500
- Funeral Home Fees, Goods, and services, out of pocket expenses, flowers, etc.: $6,800
- The average ‘burial policy’ sold today: $5000
A large part of these costs is due to ‘emotional overspending’, according to the funeral industry. We agree, but a primary cause of it is the lack of knowledge on behalf of the family; few know what is required, what is available, or what it should cost. Few even realize each funeral home has different prices and services! When the time comes, there is often no one to turn to for information, other than Funeral Homes and Cemeteries.
This is where the concierge consultant can help.
In a recent survey of just one small community’s funeral homes and cemeteries, a basic cremation started at $800 at one establishment but cost as much as $3,500 at another. Likewise, direct burial costs ranged from $1,500 to $4,000. The same casket cost was $995 at one place, but $3,500 at another. Cemetery opening and closing fees can vary by more than $2,000, depending on the cemetery and day of the week you choose. In this local community survey, there were 14 funeral homes and 9 major cemeteries. So how would a family know how to choose from among them? This was the reason I created Stylish but Frugal Funerals. Consider hiring a Funeral Concierge.
Example: A person in Fairfax, VA has a family member that died and needs to watch their budget closely. They call the nearest funeral home and learn that a direct cremation (take the body to the crematory, cremate and return the ashes to the family) will cost $3820. And that’s it; no further services, no urn, nada. They can have a small memorial service at a local church, then retain the ashes in the plastic box they were returned in, or scatter them at home later.
Total cost: $4350 (includes gratuity to minister, the janitorial fee to church, and minimal flowers.)
Here’s the alternative…
They contact Stylish but Frugal Funerals who can negotiate pricing to provide them with:
- The direct cremation
- A nice urn for their loved one’s ashes
- A memorial service with an organist complete with a slide-show of memorable pictures
- Announcements, Obituary assistance, More upscale flowers
- Followed by a catered reception for family and friends
Total cost: $2350 (and that includes a $295 fee to the concierge.)
How Much Does a Funeral Consultant/Concierge Cost?
For a set fee, a Funeral Concierge will take care of all the tasks, price negotiations, and coordination details, freeing family members from this obligation and helping them arrange the funeral they want within their budget. With the average fee being $250 – $400, and the average family’s savings are over $3,500, hiring a Funeral Concierge is a good investment. But keep in mind that by minimizing or eliminating a lot of the financial and emotional stress associated with families and funeral planning, most families will tell you that value-added services of a Funeral Concierge can be priceless.
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