Mom is now in Hospice, being treated in my home, and I have begun planning her final arrangments. She has no burial policy but does have funds available to pay for her burial.
I've been doing a lot of research in how we can keep the costs down, as no one will be in attendance at her burial but the immediate (and very small) family, and we don't want anything remotely elaborate.
I have come across the Funeral Consumers Alliance, which led me to the Memorial Society of Georgia. For a one time lifetime membership fee of $35, and after 30 days as a member, the price for a simple burial which includes removal of body, care, dressing and casketing (a cloth covered casket is included) filing of paperwork and transportation to the cemetery is, as of September 2011, no greater than $2050.00. For cremation, the cost is $1095.00
This price does not include cemetery costs (opening and closing of the grave, vaults or liners, etc) which must be paid to the cemetery.
It also does not include embalming, or any memorial or commital service, You can still havge these things, but they are additional.
Most every state and many foreign countries have a state memorial society of this kind. I assume the prices differ with locale. Also, as in my Moms case, the nearest participating funeral home is 75 miles from where Mom will be interred, so there is a very small addional cost per mile - in Moms case $67.00.
I looked online at the price list for the funeral home that has buried most of my family over the years. Of course they are not owned by a family any longer, but by a huge corporation. They now charge close to $3000.00 just to do business with them. In other words, even if I chose their most basic casket at $800 and nothing else, the cost would be $3800.00, about what I paid for a BIG funeral there 10 years ago when my aunt died.
I am a practical person, and so is my Mom. if it were not explicitly against her wishes, i would do the cremation and be done. And in my case, as Mom is 1000 miles from where she will be eventually be buried, there will additional transport charges.
But even so, from what I have learned, I should be able to arrange this last thing for my Mom - taking her from Maryland back to Georgia for a simple graveside service - for under $5000 total, including my airfare (and hers), and spending way too much on flowers - my only extravagance.
So back to my question - has anyone any experience with a burial via a Memorial society membership?