The High Cost of Dying: A Guide to Funeral Planning

Overview

This comprehensive overview of the funeral home business provides valuable inside information needed by thoughtful consumers, legal advisers, trust officers, and even clergy - all those who must confront the hard practical questions that surround one of life's most trying and emotion-filled experiences. Most of us try our best to be cost-conscious consumers. Yet when faced with the sad task of arranging a funeral, grief, sorrow, and guilt often make us vulnerable. The stress of heightened emotion prevents us from...
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Overview

This comprehensive overview of the funeral home business provides valuable inside information needed by thoughtful consumers, legal advisers, trust officers, and even clergy - all those who must confront the hard practical questions that surround one of life's most trying and emotion-filled experiences. Most of us try our best to be cost-conscious consumers. Yet when faced with the sad task of arranging a funeral, grief, sorrow, and guilt often make us vulnerable. The stress of heightened emotion prevents us from asking pertinent questions about our options and the costs involved. Perplexed by the mystery that surrounds funeral directors, survivors are left to struggle through this painful ordeal with little or no guidance. How does one select a funeral home? What obligations and functions are properly the family's and which should be expected of the funeral home? Who is financially responsible for the funeral? What funeral options are available and which are best? Is it possible to arrange a dignified yet affordable funeral? Is it crass to be concerned about costs at a time like this? These are some of the questions addressed by former funeral director Gregory W. Young in The High Cost of Dying. His easy-to-read reference guide aides consumers - those who are currently in need and those who just want to be prepared - to arrange a funeral while at the same time avoiding unnecessary charges. Young's compassion for the grief stricken and his in-depth understanding of funeral preparation combine to provide a unique perspective on the history and psychology of the American funeral. Unlike sensational media stories or muckraking books of the past, Young's valuable work offers an honest, straightforward view of this difficult and emotion-filled process. Readers will learn why a funeral can be so expensive and that, like any other business, funeral practitioners control only some of the costs involved. Surprisingly, he demonstrates how the funeral director can be a va
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Editorial Reviews

Library Journal
Families of the deceased face not only the grief that accompanies their loss but the prospect of arranging the funeral. Unfortunately, dishonest practices exist, and some funeral directors may take advantage of grief-stricken relatives. Young, who aims to provide ``a helpful consumer's guide to arranging a funeral while at the same time avoiding unnecessary charges,'' discussses working with the funeral director, working out a contract, avoiding ripoffs, and planning a prearranged funeral. Also provided are answers to frequently asked questions, a resource bibliography, and Federal Trade Commission Regulation Rules. Young, a former director of a funeral home chain, sensitively and clearly offers practical guidelines and presents an overview of the funeral service industry. Recommended for public library collections.-Lucy Heckman, St. John's Univ. Lib., New York
Mike Tribby
Although, as Young notes, it is "not something most of us would normally choose to read up on in our spare time," a funeral is a costly package of services many will have to purchase at least once. Young is well qualified to guide those in need of funeral services, for during his career as a funeral director, he assisted authorities in rooting out unscrupulous practitioners, and he undercut the prevailing market price of cremation services. He first considers the "funeral as a consumer issue," then presents a history of funerals and the funeral director and proceeds to the services, sales tactics, and rip-offs common in the business. The chapter "Frequently Asked Questions" and the bibliography are particularly informative; the former covers common concerns such as why funerals cost so much and what the terms in an itemized funeral bill mean, while the latter lists resources on grieving and funeral rites. Addresses of organizations providing postfuneral help, funeral service complaint procedures, and information on anatomical gifts also appear. Excellent counsel on an important though unhappy topic most people deal with sooner or later.
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Product Details

  • ISBN-13: 9780879758684
  • Publisher: Prometheus Books
  • Publication date: 4/1/1994
  • Pages: 1
  • Product dimensions: 6.30 (w) x 9.30 (h) x 0.67 (d)

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Sort by: Showing 1 Customer Reviews
  • Anonymous

    Posted December 28, 2003

    must have book, we're all going to die

    when reading this book i could not believe how the funeral industry really tries to rip people off. since we're all going to die, i would recommend this book so you could be aware of how much a funeral could cost, and should cost.

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