Planning Your Own Funeral- Resources

Planning Your Own Funeral- Resources

gandhis-funeral-processionPlanning your own funeral arrangements can be a thoughtful and considerate way to ease the burden on your family. Planning lets you shop and compare goods and services without time constraints. You can find the best prices, make sensible decisions, and discourage emotional overspending on elaborate arrangements that family members might be tempted to purchase in their bereavement. Share your plans with family members so they understand your desires and have the information they need.

Many people say that discussions with a lawyer about preparing or updating their will, living will or powers of attorney (including a durable power of attorney for health care) — or conversations with a financial advisor about investment strategies for retirement — prompt them to think about making arrangements for their own funerals. Attorneys and financial consultants can be good sources of information about planning funerals, as are the following organizations:

601 E Street, NW
Washington, DC 20049
AARP is a membership organization for people 50 years of age and older. Funeral-related information also is available at

Council of Better Business Bureaus, Inc.
4200 Wilson Blvd., Suite 800
Arlington, VA 22203-1838
Better Business Bureaus are private, nonprofit organizations that promote ethical business standards and voluntary self-regulation of business practices.

Cremation Association of North America
401 North Michigan Avenue
Chicago, IL 60611
CANA is an association of crematories, cemeteries, and funeral homes that offer cremation.

Funeral Consumers Alliance
33 Patchen Road
South Burlington, VT 05403
FCA is a nonprofit educational organization that supports increased funeral consumer protection. Their website has free pamphlets on funeral planning, plus a directory of local volunteer funeral planning groups.

Funeral Ethics Organization
87 Upper Access Road
Hinesburg, VT 05461
FEO, an independent nonprofit educational organization, promotes ethical dealings in death- related transactions and provides mediation assistance to resolve consumer complaints.

Green Burial Council
8 Estacada Court
Santa Fe, NM 87508
GBC, an independent, nonprofit that encourages environmentally sustainable death care practices as a means of acquiring, restoring, and stewarding natural areas, assists consumers in identifying “green” cemetery, funeral, and cremation services.

International Cemetery and Funeral Association
107 Carpenter Drive, Suite 100
Sterling, VA 20164
ICFA is a nonprofit association of cemeteries, funeral homes, crematories, and monument retailers that offers informal mediation of consumer complaints through its Cemetery Consumer Service Council. Its website provides information and advice in its Consumer Resource Guide.

International Order of the Golden Rule
PO Box 28689
St. Louis, MO 63146-1189
OGR is an international association of about 1,300 independent funeral homes.

Jewish Funeral Directors of America
150 Lynnway, Suite 506
Lynn, MA 01902
JFDA is an international association of funeral homes serving the Jewish community.

National Funeral Directors Association
13625 Bishop’s Drive
Brookfield, WI 53005
NFDA is an educational and professional association of funeral directors, which provides consumer information on its website at NFDA also sponsors the NFDA Help Line, which is designed to help consumers resolve complaints about NFDA members.

National Funeral Directors and Morticians Association
3951 Snapfinger Parkway, Suite 570
Decatur, GA 30035
NFDMA is a national association primarily of African-American funeral providers.

Selected Independent Funeral Homes
500 Lake Cook Road, Suite 205
Deerfield, IL 60015
SIFH is an international association of funeral firms that have agreed to comply with its Code of Good Funeral Practices.


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