Choosing the Right Casket for Your Loved One

By: Batchelor Brothers Funeral Services
Sunday, June 9, 2019

When a loved one dies, selecting the casket can feel like both a special honor and a weighty task. It can feel especially daunting if they didn’t share their internment preferences in advance.

You want every aspect of the homegoing and repast to properly honor and celebrate your loved one’s life. You also want to ensure that both your budget and the spirit of the event remain intact. In the midst of your grief, you may not be clear on how to best go about choosing a casket for your loved one. Below are some pointers to help you feel more at ease as you make your decision.

Consider your loved one. If the deceased discussed their final wishes with you or other trusted loved ones, do your best to honor that vision. If you are at a loss, take into consideration what their living personality, style, and preferences were like. If the deceased was quiet and reserved, there is a casket to match this temperament. If they were the first person to crack a joke, you may be able to be less conventional with your choices. Be creative and try to stay focused on what matters: honoring your loved one and celebrating both their earthly and heavenly lives.

Create a budget. Caskets vary by style and price and will often be your priciest funeral purchase. The average cost of a casket is around $2,000 but the price can go upwards of $10,000 or more. Cost hinges on the materials that it was made with, and any customizations or upgrades that you choose to add on. Knowing where you fall on the price spectrum will benefit you and provide the funeral director with a better picture of what you can afford. Use direct and open communication with your funeral director regarding your budget. It will help manage expectations on both ends and provide a common place from which to find a solution together.

Be realistic. Now that you have a budget, you need to be honest with yourself about the quality and level of extras that you can comfortably afford. If you are set on a high-end casket, you’ll have your pick of the finest finishes, such as mahogany, cherry, walnut, or a high-quality metal in the color of your choice. You can also honor your loved one by selecting a medium-range or entry-level casket. Medium-range caskets are made from durable materials such as oak, birch, maple, or a medium-quality metal. Entry-level caskets can also provide an elegant and respectable resting place for your loved one. These inexpensive caskets are made from softer, less durable woods, such as pine, poplar, or willow. The newer models come in a variety of styles and finishes so you don’t necessarily have to sacrifice style. You can also opt for the even more affordable wood veneer, pressed wood, or cloth-covered fiberboard. Coffin-like biodegradable options are also fairly affordable and are a greener alternative. You may also rent a casket prior to cremation or a burial in a coffin. Expect the funeral director to provide you with an itemized list of the charges for all goods and services that you discussed, including good faith estimates for to-be-determined amounts. This will help you to remain within your budget.

Take your time. Time is certainly a factor when planning a homegoing for your loved one. However, if you are unsure about which casket to choose, take time to think it over. If you don’t feel comfortable making a choice right then and there, don’t. You can always go home and review the offerings and prices and return to the funeral home or a different one after you’ve had time to recharge and reflect.

Involve friends and family. Although more voices can lead to more static and noise, they can also be helpful during your time of grief. Consult with trusted family members and friends before making your decision. When you visit a funeral home, bring along a confidant who can maintain a level head during your meetings with the funeral director. Having someone else take notes and keep track of the casket pricing list and other valuable paperwork from the funeral home will be an immeasurable help at a difficult time.

Selecting the right casket can be a overwhelming task, but it doesn’t have to be. If you need help with funeral planning, navigating the loss of a loved one, or selecting the best casket for your situation, we’re here to help. Please contact us today to speak with one of our caring team members.

About Batchelor Brothers Funeral Services: As a leading African American-owned and operated funeral and cremation organization serving  three states, Batchelor Brothers Funeral Services has provided a ministry of care to thousands of grieving families. We promise to provide our highest level of distinguished service and respect to families who entrust us to honor their loved one. In all aspects of the funeral process, we strive to be the absolute best and are honored to help preserve our clients’ legacies for future generations. With three convenient locations serving both North and West Philadelphia, as well as Trenton and Drexel Hill, it is always our pleasure to be of service. Please visit our website for more information.

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